Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A picnic blast from the past

Back in the spring of 2006, I was pregnant with Big Sister E and went in for my 20-week ultrasound only days before my husband and I left for a vacation with family and friends to San Francisco and Maui. We found out she was going to be a girl and I was overjoyed, ready to shop for little Hawaiian print dresses to bring home in preparation for her arrival. However, when my cell phone rang during the trip and I found my OB on the other end, I knew it couldn't be good news.

One of the hardest things to hear when you're pregnant with your first child is that there might be something wrong with them. It turned out the ultrasound showed one kidney was measuring much larger than the other one and Big Sister E was diagnosed with hydronephrosis, a fancy word for dilation of the kidneys. We were told to wait it out, as most cases end up resolving themselves, so wait we did. In the end, she was one of the unfortunate cases that didn't clear up on its own, so she had to have surgery. Let me tell you, getting your 4-month-old all drugged up and ready with her IV and then handing her over to a med student and watching him walk away towards the OR is completely heart-wrenching.

February 20, 2007

Thankfully, it all turned out fine. Between then and now we've been through a million different tests and scans and appointments to continue monitoring her and they've all had very positive results. In fact, after the checkup we had a few months ago, I was told that they were "graduating" us and Big Sister E was now done being poked and prodded unless we saw reason in the future to check her out again. YEAH, as if I'm volunteering her for more of THAT.

One of the few positive aspects of the whole experience has been the children's hospital picnic that we have gone to every summer for the past three years, including this past weekend. Every child who has been a patient at the hospital is invited to come with their family and play games and eat food and win prizes and, in general, have fun. It's a very humbling experience, as we go and see so many children with so many different abilities and needs and many that have been through difficulties in their lives that I will never begin to understand. I turn and look at my little girl and know that the only lasting effect she will ever have is a 2-inch scar on her lower back. And I know that we are so lucky.
Big Sister E eying up Daddy's snow cone in 1997

How times have changed.

So, we go to have fun. I let her eat a lunch of potato chips and ice cream and snow cones and popcorn and cookies and think to myself that one day of complete junk food doesn't matter. Not when we're there to celebrate children and thank the hospital for all that they have done, not only for us but for kids from all over the state and probably beyond. It reminds me to be thankful and glad that we were able to catch the hydronephrosis early enough and that by having the procedure as a baby, Big Sister E will have no memory of any of her hospital visits or the tests or the surgery and her recovery.

As for Big Sister E at the picnic? She of course enjoyed the food, liked playing some of the games (when kids are standing there with a fake fishing pole in their hands and the line gets draped behind a sheet and then reappears with a small foam cow clothes-pinned to it, are they REALLY believing that they are fishing?) and won a few small prizes. I even managed to talk her into getting within five feet of Scoopie. It was a successful day celebrating the health and wellness of my little girl.

The prized foam cow can be seen here not leaving Big Sister E's clutches. This was taken after about a half hour of on-and-off discussion and multiple failed attempts to go anywhere near Scoopie. When she finally relented and gave him a high five and paused long enough for me to take the picture, I think he was pretty happy about it, too. That, or he was glad to stop being stalked by the crazy mom who was too excited about getting her kid to say hi to an oversize custard cone.


Mandee said...

How touching! I am so glad that you sweet little one is ok! That is great that you get to go to the picnic every year. I love how you posted pics of back then and now.

Baby Jayden said...

I just read your little girl, glad that she is ok. I love your pics.

Daisy @ Lil Hiccups said...

I am a new mom and anything makes me cry if he is in pain or sick....I am glad you little girl is doing great!

Cute PICS!

Thanks for stopping by

Mandee said...

Be sure to stop by my blog b/c I have an AWARD for you!!! :)

Homemade Mamas said...

What a lovely bog...and even lovelier little girl! :)

Found you through MBC!

Nanny Dee said...

What a difficult time that must have been for you and your husband! She is so cute in those pictures even with all that was going on.

I'm glad that now you have an official celebration each year and that she's a healthy big girl!

mudmama said...

Thank GOODNESS she is A-Ok now, I know that must have been so stressful, but YAY for a happy healthy girl!

Lauren (aka Mud Mama)

Stephanie said...

How scary for you! I can't imagine having to go through that with such a small baby. I'm so glad to hear that she's doing well now. :)

Unknown said...

awww im so happy she is ok

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