Friday, June 29, 2012

More Family Fun

I forget the dates, but sweet Seth gained 5.4 oz in one week between weigh-ins! It's not much, but I'll take it!! :) We were supposed to take him back this past Monday, but after fighting a fever (me) for 5 days with it finally breaking late Sunday, I didn't want to take my germs into the pediatrician's office! So, I called out... We go back on Monday. I am eager to see what he weighs now... His appetite has really kicked into high gear lately! :)

Now that we have that update taken care of...

We went bowling! It was so sweet to watch the little ones... Thankful for bumpers and ramps! :)

Thankful for a big sister who loves her baby brothers. :)

Thankful for big, toothy grins at the park!

Thankful for a big brother who still plays in the sandbox with his little brothers.

Thankful for just a few more minutes outside before going to bed.

Thankul for silly boys with silly poses :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

And the Results Are...

After a very stressful Monday, Tuesday was spent waiting for the phone to ring. 

Later in the afternoon, it finally rang with the right person on the other end (I think every telemarketer called that day!). 

Growth Hormone? Normal. Meaning his body is CAPABLE of growing.

Iron? Still low, but showing improvement.

Platelets? Normal

White Cells? Normal.

Thyroid? MOSTLY Normal. One particular aspect was just the teensy, tiniest bit low. So they called the lab and asked them to run an antibody screen... just to be certain there was nothing trying to attack that aspect of the thyroid.

On Thursday, I received the call with the antibody screening results... also normal.

So, while we rejoice that his blood work is normal, we are also perplexed as to WHY he isn't growing at a steady rate.  While we rejoice that things like lymphoma or leukemia have been ruled out, we still want to know how to help him grow better and what is preventing that right now.

The nurse practitioner said I have two options now... 1.) Wait to see what his one year check up shows and go from there, or 2.) Go forward with a referral to a specialist (I remember hearing both hematologist and endocrinologist mentioned recently).

I went with option #3 *smile*... He's going back in on Monday for another height/weight check. The nurse practitioner will go over everything with the doctor next week (He's out of town this week). We will get his opinion first (He has lots of experience as a pediatrician, where as the nurse practitioners are newer on the scene) and then make our decision.

Yes, I understand that babies growth rates slow. Yes, I know that some babies are just small. Yes, I am aware that he is developmentally on track.

But I also clearly see that dropping from the 56th% all the way down to the 5th% in only four months is NOT normal. I also see that in only 1.5 months, he has dropped farther down to the 4th% & 2nd%... again, not normal.

He nurses frequently. He eats table food and baby food... about three times a day with snacks in between.  We are giving him his iron... not the 3x a day recommended, but generally at least 2x a day.

And so, that puts us right back into watchful waiting... yet another lesson in patience for this Mama! ;)

PS... A BIG THANK YOU to my prayer warriors!!! Hugs to you all!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

'Failure to Thrive'

I had made an appointment for my little Seth for this morning to check his height and weight. It just felt like he had not really grown since his 9 month check-up back in April.

The morning dawned and I got all the kids ready. My hubby had to work this morning (he's normally off Monday mornings), so it was just me and the kiddos. Started out the door only to realize it had started to rain. That added extra time to loading up!! Once completed, we got on the road, a little later than I had hoped, but still... and then... we got stuck in the Bonnaroo exodus! Thankfully it wasn't at a complete standstill!

We swung by and picked up my mother-in-law who had an errand to take care of in the town we were headed to.

At the pediatric office, things went smoothly. Little man measured at 27 inches and weighed in at 18 lbs 1 oz. However, their computers were down and they couldn't input the numbers on his growth chart. I left behind my cell number and we took off to deliver brownies to friend who had a baby this past Friday. :)

While at her house, the phone rang.

It was our nurse practitioner.

Not the nurse that I was expecting to hear from, but the nurse practitioner who has been working with us since his last check-up.

Uh-oh. What could THAT mean??

Yep, you got it! It meant MORE BLOODWORK.

This time SIX different labs were ordered!

I drove back to the pediatric office, very thankful that MIL was with us. I popped into the office of the other nurse practitioner on staff (who happens to be a friend)... not questioning the other NP at all, just needing a little moral support and prayers...

Then it was off to the hospital. Handed off lunch money (ok, actually it was supposed to be mortgage money!) to MIL and Seth and I went inside. Again, I was so thankful that MIL had tagged along today! She took the other four children and left me to focus on my baby.

After the classic hurry up & wait period of hospital settings, we were taken to the lab. Two sweet ladies were there to take care of us. But who got to hold down Seth? Yep. Right again. Mama.

The needle slid right in and the blood started flowing... for just a few seconds! Apparently the vein started rolling and the blood flow into the vial was stop and go. Another lady with more experience was called over.
Mama's heart was already breaking...
but when I saw them start fishing around in his arm with that needle,
 the tears started flowing.
I still held on.
I still attempted to calm and sooth my son.
But the tears flowed freely.

After what FELT like an eternity, but was actually only seconds, they pulled out. A few moments to calm my sweetie pie and then it was take two on the other arm. Thankfully, that arm cooperated much better! They collected enough for all five blood tests!

The sixth lab order was for a urinalysis... which Seth did not cooperate with! So after sitting at the hospital for two and a half hours, the lab ladies said, no worries, they would just let the pediatric office know it didn't happen and the office could reschedule if needed.

Of course, I did ask WHEN labs should be completed. Four of the five blood tests were in-house labs, meaning the pediatric office should get results TODAY. The fifth test must be sent out and it will probably be end of week before I hear about that one.

Oh yes... the tests. What were they? CBC, thyroid panel, complete metabolic panel, growth hormone, and lead. (I don't think lead is of much consequence... I think it just got tacked on to save a lab trip next month - it's a normal 12 month lab order) Quite a work up, huh?

Then it was off to grab Mama (me!) a bite to eat and then drop off MIL (who had taken care of her errand while we were at the hospital). After ALL THAT, I got to see my dear hubby for exactly 2 minutes before he headed off to his second job. I won't lie. It was tough. What I really wanted was to be taken in his strong arms and held while my heart broke over the what-ifs hanging in the air & cry my little eyes out. Instead, I 'sucked it up', gave him a smile and kiss and a wave goodbye.

Throughout the day, I sent and received texts from some lovely ladies who have become prayer warriors for our family. As I sat in that little office nursing my baby boy, I poured my heart out to God. I know He is mighty. I know He is in control. I know there is a reason for whatever is happening. I prayed for strength. I prayed for understanding (I know we don't always get answers- but He designed me to NEED to know). I still ache for my baby boy.

FAILURE TO THRIVE... that was the diagnosis code on each of the six lab orders...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just Something I've Noticed...

We are waiting til July to have more blood tests drawn to check on Seth's iron levels.

I'm curious though... If I manage to forget a day of iron drops (don't judge- I do have a house full of younguns!), I notice his bottom lip seems to get rather pale.

He still plays, climbs, crawls, etc. He seems happy and content... but after all the ups and downs of the last month, the discoloration of his bottom lip timed to missed doses of iron drops, has raised a little flag in my head.

Today I went to change Seth out of of his night clothes (just a onesie & soft pants) and noticed his onesie was a bit big on him. Curious, I checked the tag... 3/6 months! Have I mentioned that he is currently 10.5 months?!?

Yes, I know some clothes are made bigger than others. Yes, I know kids come in all shapes and sizes. However, due to the crazy stuff that has been popping up the last two months... it simply raised a red flag of sorts..

I called his pediatric office and scheduled his 1 year checkup (Goodness gracious! Where has this past year gone?!?) and also asked for a weight check on Monday. I will ask to see his weight plotted out on his growth chart to determine if he is maintaining the 5th percentile from his 9 month check in April. If he is continuing to drop... I may ask to go ahead and run another blood test to see where his numbers are... instead of waiting another month and a half.

If there are still issues that are not being corrected with the iron drops, I'd rather proceed to a specialist quickly.

We continue to pray for his health...

This little boy brings so much joy to our family!