so... Bayli had surgery today (March 26th 2015) on her urethra.
at her two year old dr appointment, we asked our pediatrician if he knew what was wrong, he had never heard of a girl having that peeing problem, and referred us to a urologist at primary children's hospital. this came as a total shock to us as her parents, since our kid has never been sick with more than a cold, and has never needed to go to the dr's for anything besides her usual checkups, we were surprised that the answer was something as big as "primary children's" in our minds, only the kids with the really bad, or really rare health problems have to go there. so... we asked another dr for his opinion. this other dr said, it's probably no big deal, she will probably grow out of it, and if it's not causing her any pain or UTI's then just deal with it, or at least wait until she's bigger. we decided to combine both of their advice, wait a year, if it was still an issue, then use our referral and get it taken care of.
so... i started focusing on potty training bayli, we were slowly figuring out how to place her on the toilet to avoid making as much of a mess, and there were a few days where she would go 100% with no accidents, but only if we spent the entire day without wearing pants or underwear, as soon as she was wearing underwear or pants, she would have accidents. well... months went by like this, and when we found out we were expecting, i was determined to not have to deal with two kids in diapers, so (once i was out of my exhausting first trimester) i put all my efforts into staying driven, and cleaning up accidents instead of just going back to diapers in order to avoid the messes. and we did it! she was potty trained but... she still had this issue with her stream. in order to go on the toilet without making a mess we had to take off all of her clothes beneath the belt, and place her at the very back of the toilet doing the splits, and have her lean forward as much as she could, and even then she would still spray about 30% of the time onto the toilet seat or floor. her stream just went basically straight up sometimes, like a little boy. so... knowing that we were going to be spending all of our "max out of pocket" with dr bills already this year because of the new baby, we decided it was time to go to primary children's hospital. we took a video of her peeing, so that the dr. could see what we were talking about, and when he saw it, he said, "yes it is very rare, but i see about 3 cases of girls with similar problems a year, and i can surgically remove whatever blockage is in her urethra causing her spray to re-direct, kind of acting like a thumb over a hose." so we booked the soonest appointment he had, and... here we are today.
sadly, the surgery had to come just two days after her birthday. (nice present, right?) but it was his soonest opening, and if we waited any longer we might be dealing with a new baby and a healing toddler from surgery and that just sounded terrible. so... today it was. we had to avoid crowds and little kids for about 2 weeks prior to the surgery because she had a little cold that she just could not get rid of, and they won't operate if she is sick, so that meant that her birthday plans changed slightly and everything we did was close to home. but she finally got healthy and that was all that mattered.
today went like this...
she woke up, we couldn't feed her because she needed to have an empty stomach for the surgery, we gave her a bath and got her all ready to go, we were supposed to be there by 10:45, and after playing the hospital waiting game for about 1/2 an hour we finally were meeting with the nurses, getting her vitals checked, and putting her in her cute little hospital pj's, they asked us questions, we asked them questions, you know the drill.
once the surgery was finished we went into the consultation room and met with the dr. he said everything went smoothly, and i asked him what we should expect as she woke up from the anesthesia. he said some kids wake calmly, peacefully, "sweetly" and others were screamers. there really was no way to tell which way a kid would react, but deep down i knew bayli would be a sweetheart. that's how she always is.... i was wrong,
as we walked into the room to greet our waking child from surgery there were about 3 nurses already there standing over her, one was holding her, and they were saying things like "look, here's your mommy. she'll make things better" and "mom's here!" i rushed over as the nurse handed her to me, i glimpsed into her eyes and did not see my daughter. technically speaking yes. it was bayli in my arms, but every ounce of her personality was gone. bayli was uncontrollably kicking her legs, writhing in pain, trying to find a comfortable position. she was drooling, and snot was coming out of her nose, and her eyes danced around the room, never settling on an object, not me, not her dad, not the lights, nothing. she was making an almost animal noise that i had never heard before, a mixture of a yell and a cry and a growl. it took her the longest time to come up with an audible word, but when she did, the word was "no." she would yell it over and over again. garrison and i took turns holding her, the nurses would offer her something to drink, "no!" we switched out their scratchy starched hospital blanket for one from home, and that seemed to help, but there was never a single moment in the half hour we were in that room that she stopped moaning, or coughing, or yelling, or crying. the nurses kept saying things like "this is normal, sometimes kids just react like this" but they were glancing at each other and the conversation between their eyes went more like this, "oh these poor parents, this kid is freaking out, i wonder how much she's scared the other children in the room." eventually they gave her some form of a sedative through the iv in her foot while she kicked and yelled "no" some more. then they moved us, they said the other rooms would have a tv and some more privacy, and less scary looking equipment, and maybe that would help her settle down. so they wheeled us over to the new room, i got some disney channel cartoons set up (it happened to be doc mcstuffins) and we tried to get her to drink something.
because of how raspy her voice was, and how much she was coughing, and because she kept her hand in her mouth (not a usual bayli characteristic, she's never been a thumb sucker or anything) we, including the nurses, thought she was uncomfortable because of the breathing tube that had been placed down to her lungs through her throat, i just assumed that the pain from her incision site had been numbed, and so it wouldn't be "down there" that hurt yet. that's why we kept trying to get her to drink something. finally she came up with the words "no, my bum hurts" and we realized why she was yelling no over and over, we had it all wrong. i was whispering things in her ear like "i know your throat hurts honey, we'll get you feeling better as soon as you take a drink" and she was frustrated that i didn't know what was hurting her. once we realized that her "bum" was the area that hurt, we could voice her concerns for her and she started calming down. i would now say "i know your bum hurts, and you want to get out of the hospital, but we can't leave until you drink all this juice" and then she would drink. we have always been very logical with bayli. telling her why she needs to take naps, and why she is being disciplined, and why i can't play with her right now etc, and so treating her like normal was good. she is also very independent, when she gets hurt at the playground, or from stepping on one of her toys in the house, she hates it when i coddle her, and try to comfort her, she would rather react on her own and get over it. it's almost like if i watch her fall, and then react to it, she gets embarrassed, and the situation gets worse. so, when we stopped trying to hold her, and just let her lay on the bed by herself to writhe in pain, it helped. -this was SO hard, i felt like she must think i was abandoning her, or giving her "tough love" when i wasn't! it was just what she needed, but it felt so wrong nonetheless, to watch her in so much pain, yet there was nothing i could do to comfort her, or take the pain away. no kisses from mom would do any good at this point-
finally... about 2 hours after the surgery had finished, she was calmer, and starting to talk, and could focus on the tv, and was drinking and eating, so we were discharged. we carried her to the car, and she fell asleep on the drive home. we drove around, not wanting to possibly wake her, she woke around 5:00. then we went to grandma's house (because grandma was one of the few things that she actually asked for in the hospital) and there she played with her other cousins, and was held by grandma and grandpa. it was while she was "playing"-more like watching her cousins play- at grandma's house that she told me she needed to go potty. garrison was currently away buying the pain medication we would need, and so i rushed her into the bathroom and mentally prepared myself for the worst while trying to act as natural as possible. i sat her down, and out came a stream. it went down! yay, and then she started screaming and bouncing on the toilet, she cut off the urine, and just said no no no again like before. i tried to hold her and tell her that i knew it hurt but that if she could just let it all come out, it would make things better. she didn't believe me, and refused to finish going potty. the rest of that day we gave her the medication as much as we could, as often as we could, to try and help. but nothing was working. she drank a little, she ate a little, but still, nothing was helping her find a comfortable position, or helping the pain stop. we knew she needed to finish going to the bathroom, but when we asked if she would try, you guessed it... "no"
around 8:00 we were getting ready to come home from grandma's house, and she told garrison that she needed to go potty. she went on the toilet, and cried as she peed but actually emptied her bladder, and was immediately feeling better. she came running out of the bathroom excited to tell me what she had done, ready to eat some chocolate chips (her usual treat for going potty) and all of us in the living room were shocked, astonished! this was the first time since the surgery that she acted like herself. she was running! she was eating! she was laughing and saying please and thank you. she was bayli again. all it took was emptying her bladder from the pressure that must have been hurting her incision site, and bam. there was my little girl back.
it has now been a few days since the surgery, and she is recovering wonderfully. ever since she figured out that she needs to empty her bladder in order to make it feel better, she has been going to the bathroom regularly. we keep her extra hydrated with lots and lots of juice and water to keep flushing everything out, and only occasionally she will say it hurts when she pee's. besides that she is all back to normal, and experiencing no pain. we stopped giving her pain medication after that first day. overall, she has big bruises on one hand and both feet from where they kept trying to place an iv, but those surprisingly haven't been bothering her, she has 3 stitches from the incision, which will dissolve soon, and she also has 4 holes from where they stitched her labia open during the surgery, two on each side. she had a sore throat for just that little while in the recovery rooms, and that's it!
i wonder what she will remember, if anything, from this surgery. Garrison had a hernia surgery when he was only 2 and still remembers things from that. i feel good with our decision to go ahead and do the surgery, i know that in the long run, she will be grateful that we took care of this when she was still young. it was emotionally exhausting for me as her mother to watch her in so much pain that first day, but knowing now that she is basically all better, and back to her old self, still potty trained and everything makes it a lot easier on me. i feel like i am a much more empathetic person now when it comes to other parents that have sick kids, or kids that undergo surgery. although Bayli's surgery was fairly simple, and i understand that so many kids have it way worse, it was so interesting experiencing it all and feeling those emotions. i truly hope and pray that it's many many years before we have to do anything like that again. now i just get to be thankful that it's all over, and oh so grateful for modern medicine.