Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Results...

Thursday was a tough morning. Had to take Katherine in for her sonogram and VCUG . The sonogram was to view her anatomy to ensure her kidney related anatomy was normal. The VCUG was to see if she had the bladder reflux. Thankfully, my SIL Debbie was in town from Canada and went with me to the appt. All I can say is Debbie, you rock. I was so shaky after that I'm not sure I would have been able to safely drive home.

First we had the sonogram. I had to hold Katherine in front of me, similar to a burping position while the tech spread the goop on her and scanned her back. This wasn't painful, but Katherine cried during the whole procedure. I'm sure it was a bit frightening for her and that she could sense my stress. The good news is she has two perfectly normal kidneys. Debbie was able to join us and was really great trying to comfort Katherine (and me.)

Next up was the VCUG. Here I went in alone with Katherine. I had to put on a lead vest and stand behind Katherine at her head and hold her arms down. She was laid down on a large table where they proceeded to insert a catheter. Now, this was the third time we've done this. At the pediatrician's office it was no problem. Here, the frickin' woman could not get the catheter in. Katherine was crying and screaming the whole time. It was awful. Finally, she brought in another woman, who after a few attmepts was successful. Now, I know my daughter is tiny, only 8 pds, but come on. This is your specialty. I was really upset at this point as they had caused my daughter what I considered undue pain and stress. Fortunately, at the point the doctor came in and he was great. Explained everything and said he'd had to do the same thing with his daughter when she was 2 months old. Basically verbally comforted me, which was exactly what I needed at that point.

Then, they proceed to insert the dye via the catheter. They fill up her bladder with the dye and then watch while she urinates to see if the dye refluxes back out of the bladder. Poor Katherine is crying this whole time, I think uncomfortable w/ the fullness of her bladder but still holds it for a few minutes until she finally relaxes. While this is happening, there is a huge xray machine over her whole little body that the doctor is turning on and off. I must have given him a strange look because he then tells me he's turning it on and off to expose her to as little of the radiation as possible. OK. This whole time, even while they were putting the huge lead vest on my I hadn't considered her exposure to the radiation. So there I am, feeling very surreal like I'm watching the procedure, not participating in it, and realizing for the first time that she is getting exposed to radiation. And she's so tiny and only 2 months old. All I can think of is all this radiation going into her little body and that I cannot protect her. Knowing myself, and that a flood of tears is imminent, I focus all my attention on comforting Katherine as best I can and manage to get through it.

The initial result the doctor gives is that they watched her urinate three times and did not see any reflux. Good news. But, they did find a diverticulum next to her bladder, which is a sign of reflux. So he wanted to go back and do another sonogram to see it for himself. When we did this, they couldn't really find it (sort of saw a small black area) which confirmed that he was correct as the diverticulum will only show up when the bladder is fully distended. So this was the bad news, as these usually only show up alongside reflux. While he didn't see reflux on the VCUG, he said it was still possible she has it, but it didn't show up during that particular urination. So he said I should wait and talk to my pediatrician about our course of action.

So I essentially thought we were out of the water until my pediatrician called yesterday. They want us to take her to a pediatric urologist for a second opinion, which won't be until Oct 28th. In the meantime, my pediatrician spoke with the doctor who performed the VCUG and they both agreed we should start her on a low grade antibiotic for the next six months to prevent future urninary tract infections. She does have reflux, a level 2 out of 5. I'm still not sure how that diagnosis came about since they didn't tell me that at the appt. So basically, I expect the urologist will agree to the prescribed antibiotic and in six months we will have to go through the whole procedure again. Joy.

I'm not thrilled about putting Katherine on antibiotic for such a long period of time, but because her UTI didn't show any typical signs of fever, it's quite possible she could get another one and we would not know. And if one were to go untreated, it could result in kidney damage. So, we will proceed with the antibiotic and hope for the best. Fortunately, I have a friend who's 9 month old is going through the same thing, so I have someone I can talk to.

I really want to thank all our friends and family for all your support through this. You've been invaluable and it would have been a much tougher road without you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Little Babushka

Such a hat girl! Today Natalie is at Disney World with her dad, cousin Alex and Auntie Debbie and Uncle Andrew. Such fun. Which means mommy gets a quiet day home alone with the baby. I'm off to go enjoy that right now.

p.s. In other news, we have Katherine's appt. tomorrow to find out if she just had a UTI or if there is something more serious going on. Stay tuned and please keep us in your thoughts!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Little Cuties

My new favorite photo of the girls...

da girls

In other news, our air conditioning broke last night. We called the repair people and they can't come out until 4:00. And it's going to be 91 degrees today. Joy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Got Curls?

For any gal out there who has curly hair, have I got a brush for you. Yes, you read that right... brush. After a 15+ year hiatus from the brush, I am now a convert. My MIL (thanks Janet!) turned me on to the Ouchless Brush. I saw one last night while shopping and decided to try it. I'm usually dubious about new products for curls. I've donated many George Washingtons over the years to products that have not lived up to the hype. Thus my beauty product skepticism. But, figuring it had been 15 years since I've tried a brush, and now that I have little ringlets to tend to, I thought perhaps it was time to try again.

My curly-haired friends, it was.

I tried the ouchless on Natalie this morning, who I can attest has the curliest spirals of any three year old I know. And it worked. Really well. I did my usual routine: saturate her hair with half the bottle of spray detangler and then I started using the brush. Amazing. She actually enjoyed the scalp massage. She did not scream "go slower mommy!" This is nothing short of miraculous in our household. It takes me a full 5-10 minutes to comb out Natalie's hair with a wide tooth comb. You can imagine the battles. I even told her that preschool wouldn't let her in if her hair wasn't combed. Yeah, I went there.

Afterwards, I tried it myself. And it made my already combed, dry hair look better too. Incredible. It smoothed my hair without combing out all the curls. I will be buying another one ASAP because I simply cannot share it. I must have my own.

So if you have wavy or thick or curly hair, run to your nearest drugstore and buy this brush now. It will be the best $5 you've spent on a beauty product in years.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stayin' Alive

No, I'm not getting my grove on, although I am a huge Bee Gees fan and not afraid to admit it. I know you know what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the build up of 8 weeks of severe sleep deprivation. It is settling in and I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I'm averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep per night, broken up into several intervals and it has caught up with me. I'm managing okay with additional cups of coffee chased by an evening glass of wine (the only positive of not being able to breastfeed Katherine anymore.) But boy do I miss the days of "sleep when the baby sleeps". Yeah. That doesn't fly when you have more than one child.

So, here is a belated update while I've got the baby sleeping and Natalie in quiet time for about 30 minutes...

Katherine is gaining weight like a champ! She's up to 7 and 1/2 pounds and doing quite well. To get her to gain weight we had to pretty much go completely to formula. This broke my heart and I'm still very sad about it. I just miss the bonding of nursing an infant. But I know she is healthy and will be fine, so am slowly finding my peace with it.

The bad news is she has a urinary tract infection, so she's been on antibiotics for a week. This can be the sign of something more serious in an infant, so we have to go do more tests in a few weeks when the infection is clear to make sure she doesn't have either bladder reflux or some sort of anatomy issues. Sigh. So we are still not out of the water yet, so to speak. She is however, smiling all the time and starting to coo, which I just love.

Natalie is having fun in the big sister role although she does often ask when it will be time to put Katerine in the swing. I think she misses some of her playtime. But she's already starting to play with her sister. The other day I had gone to the bathroom, and came back into the family room to find that Natalie had joined her sister lying on her back on her activity mat and was telling her all about the birds and such that she was looking at. Melted my heart. I'm looking forward to watching their relationship develop as they grow and become playmates.

But for the time being, what I'm really looking forward to is an uninterrupted five hours of sleep.