We're getting close, friends. Before you know it, we'll be all caught up on the story and I can just post, you know, about life and stuff. It actually makes me a little nervous—I do better with a purpose. But posting about life, especially life right now, is why I started this blog in the first place. So come for the story, stay for the journey.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's get back to business here.
First of all, I forgot to mention in my last post, when the attending physician at Children's was discharging us, she told us to expect Roo to "track" like a preemie. She said that even though he wasn't gestationally a preemie, his size and the issues that he'd had were very typical of a preemie, and he may continue to develop that way. She encouraged us to get in touch with Help Me Grow, because he may have some developmental delays—again, those typical of a preemie. Fortunately, I was already connected with Help Me Grow. Long story short, I had gotten in touch with them when Lamb was just a baby because I had heard good things about the Parents as Teachers curriculum that they utilize, so I have had a Help Me Grow service coordinator (who is fabulous) for 5 years now.
Anyway, we followed up with our pediatrician on Monday morning. Let me tell you something. I love our pediatrician. We started going to her when Monkey was born, after a huge battle with our old pediatrician's office. She is great, she is very personable and is always "up" on what's happening with our kids, and we have similar approaches to parenting, medical treatments, etc. But on this particular day, I was quite frustrated with her. Before we left Children's on Friday, our doctor there called our pediatrician and explained that we needed a follow-up appointment on Monday, including another round of bloodwork to make sure that the levels were still coming down. She then asked our pediatrician, "Do you want me to have them follow-up with you on Monday, or should I have them come here?" My pediatrician asked that we come to her office instead of going back to the hospital. So I loaded up the three kids and headed over—yep, just me! I don't remember exactly why I ended up taking everyone by myself, but it was crazy. She checked Roo out, we chatted about our hospital stay a bit, Roo's growth, etc. Then she said, "Well, I'm not sure if we'll be able to do the bloodwork here because we can only do heel sticks, and I'm afraid that will mess up the sample." Seriously?!?! She specifically asked that we come to her—knowing that we needed this blood draw—instead of going to the hospital where they have all of the facilities that we need, and now she's telling us we're going to have to make another appointment somewhere else on that same day??? I was not a happy camper.
They did a heel stick there with the hope that it would be sufficient, and we went home. And about 30 minutes after I got my big kids down for a nap, I got a phone call that the bloodwork had come back goofy and we were going to need to take him in for another draw. Grrrrrr. Fortunately, this time my mother-in-law was able to come to my house for a while so that I could just take Roo.
We went to our local hospital this time instead of Children's. They asked me to hold him while they drew the blood, and I thought, "This is going to be a disaster." But can you believe that my sweet little boy didn't even wake up when they drew his blood??? He was so worn out and so used to being poked at that point—he didn't even flinch!
It was so close to the end of the day by then that we weren't able to get the results until the next morning. But when we did get the call, everything was good! His CBC and sodium levels had continued to decrease, and his bilirubin was still in the normal range as well. Thank you, Lord!
And finally, it felt like we could breathe. We stopped managing and started settling into life as a family of 5. Lamb and Monkey were great with Roo from the start, and I loved watching them with him. He still slept a LOT, and when he was awake he was quiet as a mouse. That little baby barely cried, and when he did it was just a single yelp. I wondered if he would always be so easy, or if we were in for some trouble when he caught up to a "regular" full-term newborn. (He's still very easy, so I didn't need to worry. J) I visited a friend with a baby just a few days younger than Roo, and he was fussy and crying, and it took me a while to remember that that is what most babies are like when they're upset. If we'd had Roo first, we would have been in for a SHOCK when we had a second baby.
In May we had Roo dedicated. We started attending a new church last summer, so neither of our other kids were dedicated there. Unlike other churches I was familiar with, our church has a separate dedication service on Sunday afternoon, after the regular service. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a beautiful service. There were nine kids dedicated, I think. Roo was one of two infants—the rest were between the ages of 1-3. The pastor had asked each of the fathers to write a letter to their child (unbeknownst to me), and he had the dads read their letters during the service. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, let me tell you. We were blessed to be surrounded by family and friends for that special day.
In June we took Lamb for her 5-year well-child visit to the pediatrician, and we took Roo at the same time for his 2-month visit. My husband went with us this time, and Monkey was there too—it was quite the family affair. It was chaotic, but we were just enjoying the time together and going with the flow.
And then, our pediatrician said something unexpected. We didn't know it at the time, but she was setting the stage for a whole new world for our family. "I have some concerns."