- Me: Look me in the face
- Mr. Ables: What?
- Me: If you can, if they have them...I want you to buy me a lottery ticket.
- Mr. Ables: No.
- Me: Come on, just one.
- Mr. Ables: No. We will not fall into that. We will not throw our money away.
- Me: It's only a dollar.
- Mr. Ables: Let's buy ten!
As I zipped Silas’ pajamas up after his morning diaper change, I felt a small lump on his back. Thinking it was laundry lint or something like that (I’ve even found a static-y sock in the leg of one of his outfits before), I reached down his back and pulled out a small brown nugget.
Around the 35th week of my pregnancy, I had a quick ultrasound to monitor Silas’ growth (remember Big Otis?). As predicted, he was a big ‘un!
But surprisingly, they also discovered that one of his kidneys was bigger than the other. The OB that week breezily said, “oh, by the way…on your ultrasound, one of your baby’s kidneys is measuring large. Just make sure to mention that to someone in the hospital after he’s delivered.”
Our family began praying then. I did the worst possible thing: Internet research. Thankfully, most everything I found said that it’s fairly common for boy babies to have this problem, and it typically clears up on its own. A few mentioned kidney failure at worst.
So after he was born…we mentioned it. Silas was scheduled for a renal ultrasound at three weeks old, at which point we learned that his kidney still measured larger than the other…but again, it would most likely clear up on its own.
We were given a name, one I could dominate a Scrabble game with if given the opportunity: hydronephrosis. Basically, there’s a blockage between one of the kidneys and the ureter (the tube going from the kidney to the bladder). This causes urine to back up into the kidney and cause it to swell.
The phrases of this season: “it’s not a big deal” “it’s common” “it’ll be okay”
My inner thoughts: “!!!!!?!?!???!!!!”
And I know—in the scheme of all that goes wrong with babies, this is small. But it’s what we are going through, it’s the worst I’ve known with him, and so I carry this tiny burden close. Does that make sense?
I haven’t written about the issue here because I wanted to believe it would go away. But after a procedure called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG), though we had some answers, we also knew that the problem remained. At this point, we had to wait for another ultrasound and then the surgery talk would have to begin.
A VCUG consists of inserting a catheter (yes, they make them that small) into the bladder, filling it with dye, and watching what the “urine” does. They want to make sure that none of it is refluxing into the kidney, causing the swelling. I was a wreck, standing in a lead apron beside Mr. Ables as two nurses pinned a wailing and flailing Silas down. Though it was over in an instant, my maternal instincts were on high alert.
Again, at that time, the same consolations: “it’s common” “it’ll probably clear up on its own.” There was no reflux.
After his second renal (kidney) ultrasound, I became more concerned. Now I knew what to look for, and even my untrained eyes could recognize his swollen kidney. To me, it seemed to fill his abdomen. At this point, we were told that Silas would have to have a renal scan, and soon.
While an ultrasound focuses mainly on outside anatomy of the kidney, a renal scan will tell us exactly what is going on inside. Sounds like a good idea, right?
And it is. It’s just the procedure that we face tomorrow that preoccupies my thoughts today.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll check in to the hospital. After the typical paperwork and workups, they’ll start Silas on an IV, which they’ll fill with a solution that they can then see with a camera as they try to determine what is causing the obstruction. This process will take a couple of hours, and Silas will have to remain perfectly still for that entire time, which means that he’ll have to be sedated.
I can’t seem to process what tomorrow will be like, how he’ll react. How I’LL react.
I cling to the simple truth that it IS a small thing. That overall he’s a healthy, smiley boy. A gift the likes of which I can’t comprehend. I know we’ll get through it tomorrow, and get on with the joy of living.
It’s times like this that motherhood aches.
My prayers are small, but today even the silence of what I can’t wrap words around is holy and understood.
Aunt love with a side of teething:
exersaucer designed by Zach Morris:
looking dapper for cousin Sarah Campbell’s birthday party:
just two dudes reading:
Sweet Silas Boy…
First, you turned five months old:
And with that, I totally and ridiculously fell in love with you. I mean, you’re the best thing ever, little boy. You love everyone, you smile all of the time, you still snort when you cry, you poot and burp as loud as a truck-driving old man, you coo and make dinosaur noises, you sit up and roll around, and drool by the gallon…
I could go on and on and on. I can’t believe we get to live with you, it’s a treat every day to go get you out of your crib and see your gut busting smile.
Aside: when is it that we lose that overwhelming, bust your pants JOY JOY JOY to wake up? Seriously, I could write emo songs and Sylvia Plath poems about how much the morning brings me down, and then my son shows me that waking up IS FREAKING AWESOME AND LIFE IS GRAND as soon as his eyes open. As seen in this sweetness here:
And maybe this is why I didn’t write a five (and six) month update sooner: I knew what I’d write. A gushy, mushy sop of drivel about how much I love my baby.
We had our friend Mike over for dinner two nights ago, and when we told him that we were sorry that he didn’t get to play with Silas (who was already sleeping), Mike replied, “I hate kids.”
For real. He said that. After I cooked for him! We fervently shook our heads and said, “no no no…you just haven’t met Silas.” As if we had a part in making the perfect child (we did)…
And he came back with, “that’s what everyone says about their kids.”
Maybe he’s right, but I don’t care. Sound the trumpets, ring the bells because Silas James Ables is my favorite baby OF ALL TIME WORLD WITHOUT END AMEN.
Then, Silas boy, you turned six months old. I mean, for real: you’ve been on this earth with us for a whole half a year.
You lost your hair and grew two teeth. And like the boss that you are, you did both of these things overnight. Why mess around? Get it done and get on with your bad self.
I actually had a dream that you had teeth, and then the next morning: BAM. Teeth. I said, “Silas, you have teefers!” So I guess I’m one of those people who will say stuff like that.
You love to roll now. I can’t just leave you in the middle of the room and expect to find you there. Instead, you steamroll from place to place and always find some new danger. Wires. Fireplace hearth. I am even afraid that you’ll chew on a magazine and get a massive paper cut. When I see you doing your rolling thing, I sing “Rollin rollin rollin, Si-las is rollin’…SI-LAS” to the tune of “Rawhide.”
I need friends.
I’m a MOM.
Here’s you a couple days ago:
Already trying to make a break for it. What’s gonna happen when you actually start crawling?
These days, you like:
- EATING. You’ll eat anything from prunes to basmati rice. You especially love sweet potatoes.
- fake coughing (is it bad we call you TB Baby?)
- sleeping 12 hours at a time (I just jinxed that, though…)
- chewing ALL THE THINGS
- Papa’s scratchy face
- when Papa comes home from school (the absolute glee is something to see: squeals, laughter, dancing)
- getting someone’s attention and then getting them to smile and talk to you (aka flirting)
- when you’ve bombed your diaper and I’m changing it and say “POO-OOP” in a big womp-womp voice
- new favorite song: “Party Up (Up in Here).” Then I played you the YouTube version of it…not baby friendly.
- being naked always
- your blue puppy “lovie” (though you like to put it on your face and sort of smother yourself to sleep. it freaks me out)
- your family
You do not like:
- the vacuum cleaner
- going to bed at night (you fuss and roll around for about five minutes before giving in)
- the first bite of most foods (from “this is nasty stuff” to “get in my belly”)
- I need to work on recording things you don’t like. You’ll have days or nights of unhappy, crying fits but they are rare and mysterious. For the most part, dear boy, you are content and therefore, we are spoiled.
- you have a mullet
- you have about eight hairs on your head that are about five inches long
- you still have your “stork bite” birthmark on your forehead that comes out when you yell really loudly and we call it the Super V
- you like to give big wet slimer kisses
- you peed on my face today. I still love you
- you say mamamamamamamama…FIRST WORD? I wish.
Blah blah blah my baby is the best blah blah.