The Boy Turns Twelve

Twelve??  Yes, twelve.  I still can’t believe it.  He keeps getting older.  And bigger.  And his voice keeps getting deeper.

When he was born, he weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and he fit between my elbow and my palm (all snuggled, of course).  When he was born, the nurses quickly nicknamed him “Red” because he was born with a full, and I mean full head of hair that they thought was red.  It still looks red when it gets wet, but he has always been blonde.  When he was born, he was a great eater.

About a month later, we almost lost him.  He had a “malrotation of the intestine” which was not discovered until I questioned his pediatrician’s assessment of the fact that he was projectile vomiting across the kitchen and spitting up yellow.  Only after we switched pediatricians and did an upper gi scan did they figure out he had this malrotation.  And that he was hours away from being in serious, serious trouble.  Immediately after the gi, they took him and told us he was scheduled for surgery in four hours.  To this day, I’m glad it all happened so quickly.  I didn’t have too much time to think about what could have happened.

After the surgery, he wasn’t allowed to eat.  They wanted everything to pass his system to make sure the surgery was a success.  Therefore, only sugar water was allowed in small amounts.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but pictures from that time reveal him to be this tiny skeleton-looking baby.  After three days, he was supposed to be clear, but he wasn’t.  He ended up not being able to eat for six days.  I was still recovering from childbirth, and there was no place for either of us to sleep there – only one recliner.  So we took turns sleeping at the hospital.  It was the worst kind of purgatory, being separated like that, praying for his recovery, while still in pain and bleeding myself (and having to pump on top of all of it).

Needless to say, he not only survived, but thrived, and soon filled out into a typically chubby, happy baby, who was still a good eater, still had a head full of blonde hair, but could no longer fit between my elbow and palm.  He was growing, and he hasn’t stopped.

Happy Birthday to my Boy.  He’ll never know how thankful I am he’s here.



No Time To Be Scared

When The Boy was born, he was two weeks early and a tiny little thing, but he was still considered full term.  It was a long labor, but he was deemed a healthy baby boy, who had no problems nursing, and we were sent on our way.  Once home, I started to worry about how much he was spitting up, and also by the color of it.  We had been assigned a pediatrician through the hospital, and we called with our concerns.  We were basically poo-pooed as newbie parents and told not to worry about it.  Except that I had done more than a fair share of babysitting in my time, and this was not right.  When The Boy projectile vomited across the kitchen (our very large kitchen), we went in.  The doctor looked at his bib, with the yellow stain on it, and then all of a sudden she was concerned.  She took the bib, walked out of the room, and then came back and told us if it happened again to go to the emergency room.  Even as a newbie parent, I was less than satisfied with that response.

We decided to get a second opinion.  Same medical system, different doctor.  After explaining what had happened in the past two weeks, he asked, very casually, if we had had an “Upper GI”.  Umm, nope.  The previous doctor told us that would be too invasive.  He replied that it wasn’t invasive, the baby drinks some milk-like stuff, and they take an X-ray to track the liquid through his gastrointestinal tract to see if there is a blockage.  Made sense, didn’t sound invasive, and one was scheduled ASAP.

We brought The Boy in, fed him the stuff, and then we were met in the waiting room by an intern who told us that our son would be having major intestinal surgery in a matter of four hours.

Words cannot describe the shock and fear we felt, but I appreciated the professionality and care from the staff, and kept thanking the stars, the heavens, God, and whoever else that would listen that we had gotten a second opinion.  The Boy had a “malrotation of the intestine” and they told us that if he hadn’t had the surgery within the next 24 hours, he may not have survived.

We went straight to the surgery waiting room and waited.  And it was quite possibly the longest and worst day I have ever been through, although we really didn’t have time to be scared, and were still in shock.

peanutHe did exceptionally well in the surgery, and was admitted to the hospital where one of us stayed with him round the clock for the next week.  He was not allowed to eat or drink anything except sugar water until his system was completely clear, so that they could make sure the surgery was a success.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I look back at the pictures and he looks like a little baby skeleton.  My parents hadn’t even met him yet!

I was still healing from childbirth, and taking shifts being there, lack of sleep, worrying…  It was a trying time.  The surgeon was fantastic, checking up on the little “peanut” as he called him, and pretty soon, we were able to take our baby boy home again for the second time.  It was never lost on me how very lucky we were and are that all was well in the end.  Except, as the surgeon explained about the scar on his belly, “He’ll never be a Chippendale dancer.”  I think we can all live with that.