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Baby checkup and then some

I’ve been debating whether or not to write publicly about this since we found out last Saturday, but I feel like it is too big a part of my daily thoughts to pretend that it doesn’t exist. I want to use this space to document being a parent, even if that sometimes includes the not-so-great, and honestly maybe I’m hoping for a little reassurance or hoping that getting it out there will make it less scary for me. Maybe saying it out loud will ensure a happy result the way that telling someone a scary dream makes it sound silly and improbable.

It was the first week at my new job, and so I couldn’t make it to Vera’s four-month check-up. Brett took her by himself and everything looked good, except for the flat spot on the back of her head.

Our pediatrician has been watching it for a while, and previously told us that it was common and normal and should round out when V gets a little more mobile. This time, however, she was more concerned. Apparently a hard spot prompted her to request an x-ray of Vera’s skull. She wanted to send Brett over to the hospital that day, but he wasn’t comfortable going without me, so we waited until Friday when I had the day off to go together.

Vera did great at her x-ray. No crying, and the lab tech couldn’t believe how easy-going she was. She said it was the best baby she had worked with in her 20 years there. I wasn’t doing so great though. I looked fine on the outside I’m sure, but I was scared to see my little baby lying on that big cold table under a lead vest, even if she didn’t seem to mind.

Afterwards, we got a colorful sticker from the nurse and left, not expecting to hear anything until the following Tuesday, since it was the start of a long holiday weekend. I was nervous though. I hadn’t been at the original appointment and so hadn’t had an opportunity to ask questions or even to judge the doctor’s face for a clue as to how worried she was or how serious this might be. I tried to put it out of my mind as we went from the hospital to a concert in the park that night.

The next morning though, I got a call from our pediatrician. I was surprised, because it was a Saturday and a holiday weekend at that, and that made me nervous. She calmly told me that the x-rays didn’t show enough but that they could see a protrusion on the back of Vera’s head that might indicate a problem. I asked for more specifics and she told me that she’s worried that Vera’s skull might be fusing together too soon.

I’m going to try to explain it as best I can, but please keep in mind that I am just trying to recount what I was told as well as I can remember and understand it. So I’m sure this is a dumbed-down explanation.

Basically, there are plates in a baby’s head that eventually fuse together to form a solid adult skull. If, however, the plates fuse too early, it can cause all kinds of problems as the brain tries to grow and doesn’t have enough room to expand. This is what they are worried about with V, and if we find out that is the case, the next step would be to do surgery to correct the issue.

Because the x-rays we had didn’t show enough, Vera is scheduled to have a CT scan tomorrow. I am nervous and scared. I can barely imagine her lying there for the scan, and the thought of having to let someone cut into my baby’s head is terrifying and brings tears to my eyes.

I’m alternating trying to stay positive with trying not to think about it. Brett’s attitude is to not worry until we know that there is something serious to worry about, and that is mainly why i haven’t shared this until now. We don’t know for sure that there is something wrong. We could get the results back and have a perfectly healthy baby. I am praying so. We did find out today that they shouldn’t have to sedate her for this type of scan like they originally thought, which is a little comforting. I’m still not crazy about exposing her to this amount of radiation at such a young age though.

So tomorrow afternoon (Brett’s birthday coincidentally) we will be at the hospital again, and I’ll be acting brave again. And hopefully in a day or two we’ll get some good news. Say a little prayer for my baby.

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