Monday, August 25, 2008

This is the week for doctor visits!

Wow. I have a lot of updating to do! Buckle your seatbelt. :)

Today we left the house before 9 a.m. to go to our pediatrician's office for Benjamin's four-month well visit. Thankfully, he'd already had his vaccinations! It was more of a handful to take Andrew with me because once we were in the exam room, he just wanted to tear all the toys and books off the shelves and make a big pile in the floor. (He even saw a couple of interesting looking trucks in *another* exam room when we went down the hall to weigh Benjamin, and since the room was empty, I went in there and got said trucks. Hey, gotta pick your battles...) I finally got Andrew interested in a vehicle puzzle and his snack when the doctor came in. (Incidentally, right before Dr. Stephanie came in, I handed Andrew his water and he said, "Thank you, Mommy!" And she evidently heard him in the hall because when she came in she said, "Oh, I like to hear those 'thank yous'!" And *then* Andrew was looking at his puzzle while I was talking to her, and he said, "C-A-R, that's a car!" Dr. Stephanie chuckled and said, "Andrew, didn't anyone tell you you're not supposed to be able to do that yet? You're going to be bored in kindergarten!" I love that boy!)

Okay...on to Benjamin. At the pediatrician this morning, he weighed 12lbs, 4 oz!! He is in the 50th percentile for Down syndrome babies. His length was 24 inches, which is the 75th percentile for DS babies! (At the cardiologist's office this afternoon, he was 12lbs, 2oz and almost 25 inches. Ummm...yeah. Matthew and I both watched as she measured him hurriedly and frowned b/c we knew it was wrong. Granted, he may be a little bit in between the measurements, but he did not grow almost an inch in five hours!)

Dr. Stephanie said that his cradle cap is looking great but his "pre-eczema" is still flaring up. So we'll just keep working on it. There's only so much you can do to help it! She said his ears looked clear and was impressed that he is rolling over onto his stomach. She's always amazed at his muscle tone. It helps to hear this encouragment because it is SO easy to be disheartenened when I think of how much worse his muscle tone is than a normal baby's would be at four months old. I was so sad yesterday when I put him in his exersaucer to see if he would do okay and he just fell forward and could COMPLETELY not sit in it at ALL. He was like a two-week old in that thing. Sigh. I know. I know. But still.....

She mentioned that she thought his heart murmur sounded a little bit worse than she'd heard it before. Which didn't bother me, but just reassured me that he needs surgery!

Then....we discussed his penis. LOL Poor thing has issues. Sorry for those of you (like my dear grandparents) who might be uncomfortable with this. But it is a medical thing and another prayer request. :) As we were caring for Benjamin's circumcision after he was born, we noticed what looked like a nick from his circumcision right underneath his urinary opening. He still peed out of the original opening, and this other hole just looked like a slit that would heal. But now he is actually peeing out of it. (We just noticed it a couple of weeks ago.) Dr. Stephanie said it could not have happened during the circumcision b/c there is a urinary tract coming out of it.

It is called a hypospadias. It is actually a birth defect. defines it as: "an abnormal condition in males in which the urethra opens on the under surface of the penis." (May I suggest that you NOT look it up on wikipedia? There is a rather graphic picture of an adult with this condition! Look at your own risk...) Anyway, basically, Benjamin will need yet ANOTHER surgery. Sigh. The doctor said they usually like to coordinate surgeries so they can just get it all done at once, but that the heart surgery will be enough to deal with. There is a pediatric urologist who is at Vanderbilt but comes to Chattanooga every-other Friday. We will be meeting with him on September 26, the Friday before we go up to Vanderbilt. Dr. Stephanie thinks the surgery will most likely be later this year, like maybe around Christmastime. Basically they have to "pick" an opening and repair it so the urine comes out the right way. Heck, after open-heart surgery, this will be a breeze!

So then we went to my parents' house where my father (who has Mondays off) watched Andrew (and put him down for a THREE HOUR NAP--why does that never happen at my house???) while Matthew and I took Benjamin to see Dr. Herold, the best pediatric cardiologist ever. :) I told him what Dr. Stephanie had said about Benjamin's heart murmur, but he listened and said, "I am not impressed with this murmur." LOL Matthew said, "We'll have him work on it." He thinks that Benjamin's heart is basically the same as it has been. There's a big hole but his body seems to be doing okay with it for now. There is not significant failure (yet). He upped his meds a little based on his weight.

Tomorrow I have to take Benjamin to the eye doctor. It's seriously laughable how much time I spend in doctor's offices now!! Thankfully, my sister-in-law is able to come watch Andrew in the morning so I don't have to drag him to another office. (THANK YOU, EDIE!!! Andrew is excited about showing you his library books.) There is nothing wrong (hopefully) with Benjamin's eyes. But vision problems are common in Down syndrome babies, so we are supposed to get his eyes checked at about six months. But we are having to do it sooner b/c of his heart surgery. The original appt was scheduled for October 1. But we'll be in Nashville then, so when I called today to reschedule, she said, "How about tomorrow?" Ummm...yeah! He will have his thyroid and hearing (two other common problem areas) checked with Dr. Stephanie at his six-month checkup.

Oh man this took a long time! But I wanted to update all of you. Oh, the cardiologist said it would probably be okay if we went to our Labor Day weekend, but traveling all the way to VA for a wedding would not be the best choice. We would just hate for him to get sick in any way and have to postpone the surgery. So sorry, Carol and Justin!! I'm sure the wedding will be lovely.

Gonna go feed the sweet little boy and then I'm off to bed!


~heather~ said...

Wow, that's a lot on your plate, and on your kiddos plates! You guys are inspirational, you know that? For handling all of this with grace and a great attitude. Love you guys, kiss those cheeks for me!

Christia said...

Wow Angela! I am seriously always impressed with the amount of grace and patience and kindness that you have. I will definitely be praying for your family during all of these doctor's appointments and Benjamin's upcoming surgery. HUGS! Love you.

elizabeth said...

Angela, I am so proud of you. Your boys are so lucky, just knowing that you can overcome anything with Christ will be the best example to them. Remember, God gives these special babies to special mothers, Although I never thought too much about it as Thomas has aged, I see that the patience I have for children is greater than anything I could have prayed for. We continue to keep you in our prayers.
eliz P