Sunday, July 10, 2011

My little Anna Banana Bugaboo

Within hours of being born, Anna underwent surgery to close the lower portion of her spine.


A few days later, she had shunt placement surgery. The shunt was not draining properly and had to be revised. Anna spent three weeks in the NICU recovering from her surgeries. She was mainly housed in an open air crib. During one of our visits, the nurse told us how she would walk Anna around at night to visit with the other nurses and babies. That little story has always stuck with me.

A week and a half ago, Anna was scheduled for a renal ultrasound (ultrasound of her bladder and kidneys) and a follow-up appointment with her urologist immediately after. Because of the timing (aka we wouldn't arrive to work until almost 1:00), Rich took the entire day off from work. Grammy suggested that she take Emily and Allie to her house the night before so that she could take them to the beach that next day (the day of Anna's appointments.)

So for the first time since the girls were born more than four years ago, I had only one child for a night. One! When I arrived home from work, Grammy left with Allie and Em. Now, I know it is all relative but I have to say that going from three to one is such a HUGE difference. HUGE! The house was so quiet. There was no running around or screaming or crying or fighting over toys.

I loaded up Anna into our single Baby Jogger and we took off for a two mile run. Keep in mind that I just started running again so I was taking it a bit slow. It took me 12 minutes to run the first mile and 11:30 for the second mile. Meh.

We arrived home and began a very calming bedtime routine. The girls tend to act crazy at bedtime and feed off of each until complete chaos breaks out.



That was simply the calmest, fastest, easiest bedtime ever. And Anna and I had some very special alone time as Rich was at his class that night and didn't arrive home until Anna was sound asleep. Don't be fooled into thinking that I had an uninterrupted night of sleep though. Anna can be really good and sleep through the night in her own bed for a week but then start waking up every night for four nights in a row and then go back to good sleeping. On that particular night, she ran into my room at 1:00 yelling, "I had a bad dream!"


After Anna's appointments, Rich brought her to my office for lunch. Although it doesn't sound too much like a special treat to me, the girls like visiting our places of work. As I've mentioned before, it is so easy for us to forget that Anna has spina bifida as it is all part of our daily life. Unfortunately, her medication doesn't seem to be doing what it is supposed to be doing so her urologist wants additional testing to be done on her bladder. She's had this procedure before (apparently the last one was two years ago) and I know that she'll remain calm for it but at this moment it is slightly nerve-racking knowing that there are concerns over her bladder.

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Krystle said...

I love when we just have one girl at a time, because the bonding is just such a different experience.

Sorry to hear the ultrasound didn't go as good as it could have.

I totally get the bladder concerns, with P's tethered cord surgery soon, I'm not sure what her post surgery bladder will do. The retention is horrible to watch & NO WAY would she EVER let us cath her.

Anna is such a little trooper!

Ps. Do other kids ever ask about her scar?

Olivia Grace said...

Praying for sweet Anna!!! What an angel!

Tracy said...

So sorry to hear Anna has to have more tests. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers for sure.

Still loving the new blog look!!! Boy, I hear you on how things are different with fewer kids. It's rare that I don't have all 4 kids 24/7, but on those rare occasions when I might have one or two... it's a world of difference. I get frustrated sometimes when I feel like our lifestyle isn't understood or over simplified. Their is NOTHING simple or easy about 4 kids 4 years and younger. NOTHING.... I'm exhausted and my nerves shot every night when I fall into bed.

Blessings to all of y'all! Hang in there...

JourneyWithTheCrosiers said...

Oh my, I am absolutely in love with that precious picture of Anna's scar peeking out above her jammies. I am amazed at how much Beckett's scar has changed and faded along with the "myelo" skin is becoming less red and more pink in only a year.
Praying for your sweet Anna and upcoming concerns.

Jen said...

What a sweetheart. I'll be thinking of you all!

Wendy said...

Aw crud :( sorry to hear her meds aren't doing what they ought to. Her scar on her back just breaks my heart and makes me so happy at the same time. Sad that she had/has to endure that but wow, what a strong little girl.

Summers Family said...

Sorry about the not so great urology news. I'll be praying that the additional tests will shed more light on the situation and that it will be better than first thought. Annabelle just had her VCUG a few weeks ago and her renal ultra sound on Tuesday - so very nerve wracking!

PS - oh my what a difference going from 3 to 1 is. It's crazy quite around here when the boys stay at their Grammy's house (my mom).

JEN said...

She has such a sweet little face. I like her bangs.

Becky said...

Anna is such a brave little girl for everything has gone through. I hope her tests go well.

Cindy said...

Sending you all our prayers that the tests and any new treatment/meds help and all goes smoothly. It's horrifying while you are going through it - it's your baby and it's scary. My thoughts are with you and Anna.

As for those pictures, my God, Anna is such a beauty. She has this special sweetness to her that comes through in all of the photos. I am glad you got that special time with her. Isn't it amazing how different it is when some of the girls are away - it's like someone else's life for a night. Much quieter indeed.

CJ said...


SNubile said...

I found your blog through your posting on the disboutique thread on the disboards. I am posting here becasue I want you to know that little Anna inspires me. She is such a brave soul. YOu have certainly done a great job being her parents as well.

moplans said...

I've been wondering how Anna was doing medically. Thanks for the update.
I have a daughter born around the same time as your girls with numerous medical issues.

I think given what you have been though with all of your girls being a helicopter parent is totally acceptable. At least I tell myself I can't help being one.