Monday, April 20, 2009


The kidney reflux progress tests for my Potato Bug Boy are all over and done with (for now, at least). We had the VCUG this morning at the hospital, where he got to be immobilized on a board while they stuck a catheter all the way up into his bladder and pumped a lot of liquid into it and then tried to take pictures before he peed it all back out (they were not successful with the getting him to not pee part). They were very nice, and put on Finding Nemo for him to watch, and tried to help me distract him, and gave him a beach ball when we were all done so he could play with it while we waited to get the CD of images from them. He was fairly good, though as to be expected he cried from the moment I set him down to check his diaper to several minutes after I pciked him up after the test was over, and sporadically after that whenever he remembered that he was supposed to be traumatized. The doctor who did the test told me that he still had reflux, but that because he peed during the ENTIRE test, they weren't ever able to get his bladder completely full of their contrast dye and so he couldn't tell me what grade the reflux was.

Cue the sorrowing and worrying on my part.

Once we finally got the CD and got back to our house, it'd been just about three hours since we left, and I had half an hour before I wasn't supposed to feed the kiddo anything anymore, and approximately an hour before we had to leave for the second appointment of the day. What's a mommy to do? I stuffed him full of banana and milk and put him in his crib so my super-sleepy boy could take a short nap.

Then I had to wake him up to go to the next appointment. Still sleepy baby who's already been traumatized by tests once during the day = a bad patient. We got to drive right back to the hospital (actually, to a building next door), where I got to refill out all the exact same paperwork they had me fill out LAST TIME. Cue more frustrated mommy. At least the babykins enjoyed crawling around while we were waiting for them to call us back (they need to clean their carpets though, his knees were BLACK by the time we got to go back there). And then we had the ultrasound. Ultrasound = needing to hold still to get clear pictures. Grumpy baby who has to (gasp!) LAY DOWN on his BACK on a PAPER SHEET = wiggly. And crying. Lots and lots of crying. I think he remembers the paper sheet from the doctor's office when he got his shots last week. Traumatic. Even though the ultrasound was so totally painless, as far as physical pain goes. I cannot speak for his emotional pain (he was upset), nor for the pains of the technician, who was having a horrible time trying to get clear pictures of his bladder and kidneys (I got to hold him for the kidney ones, and he wanted to crawl all over me and was still being very wiggly, poor ultrasound tech). Of course, he had pooped right before the ultrasound, so we both got to deal with diaper stink the whole time. Once she was done, I got to lay him BACK DOWN ON THE PAPER SHEET (oh noes!), which of course, caused great amounts of crying, so that I could change his stinky diaper. And he, in retaliation, peed all over the paper sheet in the middle of the diaper change. And for once, I was not responsible for cleaning up his mid-diaper-change pee.

Poor, poor ultrasound technician. At least I had a plastic baggie for the stinky diaper to go in.

Then we got to sit and wait in a small room (not the lovely waiting room) for the nurse to come and tell me what was what and how he was doing. The room, of course, had an exam table in it, with a paper sheet. Potato Bug took one look at it and started wailing. I eventually managed to more or less distract him with the "I'll hand you something that you can throw on the floor for me to pick up while still trying to hold you" game. We played it with almost everything I had in the diaper bag and in my purse.

Finally, the nurse came in, only to let me know that she was getting errors from the disc from the VCUG and needed to go call the radiology department at the hospital to get the doctor's write-up or a new CD. So we got to sit and wait a couple more minutes. And then she came back in, with the doctor's write-up. And he had Grade 3 reflux at the last test, in his right kidney. And now he has a trace of Grade 1 in his left kidney, and she couldn't quite tell exactly for sure what the Grade was for his right kidney due to the CD problems, but she felt like classifying it probably as also Grade 1 (though it could feasibly be Grade 2, she said). Anyway, either way, this is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT. Cue happy mommy. Ultimately, we decided to call it Grade 1, and give him 2 more days of his antibiotics (due to the catheter that morning), and then, just, stop. No more daily medicine. Call it good. He's growing out of it.

Of course, I still have to watch, and if he gets a high fever (anything over 101.5) I have to go get him catheterized to get a urine test done to see if he's got a kidney infection, and if he does, then we will have to admit that he still has bad reflux.

But we're all hoping (of course) that that never happens. And in the meantime, we will be assuming that it is Grade 1 and that it will disappear completely as he continues to grow. (Grade 5, by the way, is the worst, and takes surgery to fix. Grade 3 gave him a 50% chance of outgrowing it on his own.)

So, I am no longer feeling like a bad mommy. And I am not carrying around that constant worry in the back of my head anymore that he will not outgrow it. And he's happy because we're staying home the rest of the day. And I am happy because I am incredibly relieved.

He got a banana in the car on the way home from the ultrasound and follow-up, because he was still extremely tired and kind of grumpy and undoubtedly hungry. And I learned an important lesson. Do not give your child fresh fruit (particularly not bananas) to eat in the car when they're prone to throwing their food to the side sporadically for absolutely no reason. I got to fish banana bits out from under the passenger chair of our truck once we were home and he was in bed. And the truck, I suspect, still probably smells like banana.

Which, by the way, is Potato Bug's first word (other than Uh-oh and mamamama and dadadada). He sees bananas, and he says "nana nana nana nana" and gets very excited. Oh, my funny little babykins. I love you so much.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1 year

My little boy is still quite little. 19 lbs. which puts him in the 5th percentile for weight still, and 29 1/2" tall, which is 50th percentile for height. Since those percentages are pretty much the same as they were last appointment, the pedicatrician says it's probably just how he's going to keep growing, kinda skinny. She joked that maybe I should feed him a lot of cake to fatten him up. He ought to be big enough in about a month, she said, to move into his big-boy forward facing carseat, once he gains that vital last pound. All in all, he seems quite healthy. He didn't like lying on top of the paper on the table, and really didn't like the shots, but calmed down as soon as I gave him a cookie once I picked him back up after. The insurance we've got for him right now apparently requires some routine bloodwork done at a year old, so I decided to get it all over with in one day, and we headed over to the lab right after the pediatrician's this morning. He really didn't like the blood draw (of the normal sort, with the needle in the arm), and they didn't get very much blood (the phlebotomist said I should have him drink more water, but I personally don't think it was a very good poke in his arm). So, we might have to go back and do it again if they don't end up having enough. I fed him a banana as soon as we got home which cheered him right back up. He adores bananas.

I am feeling like a horrible mother because I have not been giving him his antibiotics for his kidney reflux for the past several months. I am waiting to hear back from the nurse at the pediatric urology office about it, since his appointments are next week. We went on vacation, and I didn't remember to give it to him while we were going all about and so busy, and then I kind of didn't remember once we were back home, and though he has seemed perfectly fine with no signs of any kidney infections I am still feeling like a failure of a mother for just totally spacing my child's medicine for not just a week or two, but months. Gah. I guess we will see if there were any infections for sure or not next week. I am a bad mom.

Potato Bug loves watching Baby Signing Time. When I put it on for him, he crawls over to me and tries to climb in my lap, and then cuddles with me while we watch it, which is pretty much the only time he does that. The rest of the time, he wants to be either crawling around the house, or if he's hungry, sitting in his booster seat and eating. He's become quite adept at throwing his food on the floor. I feed him pretty much the same stuff as we eat now, though he eats a lot more bananas and applesauce than we do. He likes Cheerios in milk for breakfast most days. His diapers smell worse and worse, it seems, with every diaper change. I guess that's pretty normal with the switch to real food.

He's very good at crawling very fast. He likes walking holding on to things and is getting better at it. He can hold his balance standing up without holding on to anything for longer each time he tries, which isn't very often honestly, as there's almost always something around to hold on to. He is extremely good at waving, and when he feels like it, will wave at everyone and everything. When he doesn't feel like it, he won't wave at all. He didn't feel like it at the doctor's office this morning.

His signs are getting better. He regularly signs food, and milk, and all-done. He frequently signs hat also though I don't think he associates it with hats yet as he doesn't like wearing hats, and therefore I have no idea what he's trying to tell me with that one. Maybe he just likes my hair. Who knows. He occasionally signs more. I think he recognizes several other signs also, though he hasn't attempted to do any others yet. He talks to himself and to me quite a lot, though still with no actual words yet of course. He likes to sing sometimes, especially into anything that reminds him of a kazoo. He's very good at putting balls back in his ball-popper, and also at throwing them (and other toys) across the room. He's started to enjoy getting down on his stomach to look at things when they roll under the couch or a chair, and sometimes puts his head down on the floor and looks like he's about to do a somersault with his bum up in the air. He just stays like that for a few seconds, looking at the world upside-down through his legs, and then goes back to his normal crawling around. Sometimes he tries to clap, but not very often. He's very good at feeding himself, though I am always worried he's going to choke on something (particularly bananas) as he likes to stuff as much food as he can into his mouth in one go if he likes it. He still likes going on walks and watching the cars and birds go past. Mostly we stay inside and play, though. Baths are fun, toothbrushing still doesn't work quite how it's supposed to (he just wants to suck the toothpaste off and then bite the toothbrush, but we're working on it), and he's taken to helping me pull his shirts down over his head when it's time to get dressed.

Sometimes he decides he doesn't want to have his diaper changed. He's really very strong and flips his whole body over while I'm trying to hold his legs and wipe his bum off. I let go of his legs to try to flip him back over and he sits up. I have started trying to put the new diapers on him as he's either standing or crawling sometimes, since when he decides he's not going to lay on his back, there is nothing I can do to get him to lay on his back without hurting him (and I don't want to hurt him).

He has started to make decisions about whether to be sad or not. When he bumps his head, or somebody he doesn't know touches him, or whatever other thing he doesn't like, he sits there and thinks about it for a minute, then frowns, then opens his mouth wide and silent, and then starts crying. He's very good at frowning when he's upset. He's also very good at laughing finally. He laughs at the silliest strangest things sometimes, so I end up doing weird stuff all the time trying to get him to laugh more.

I promise to add some pictures later tonight, after he's asleep for the night.