We spent this evening at the emergency room. Chloe has been very cranky for the past two days. Although she's more of a thoughtful, silently taking it in and less of a happy, giggly baby, Chloe is not a particularly fussy baby. She wants what she wants and she'll let you know it but she's easily soothed. So the past two days of pat the baby, rock the baby, bounce the baby, walk the baby, trade parents, try feeding her, try changing her, sing mindless shushy songs to her repeat until she falls into a fitful sleep told me she probably wasn't feeling well.
Since I have a bit of a cold I figured we were sharing. I basically resolved to keep her as happy as I could and wait for the "storm" to pass. Then at 2:30, in the midst of a screaming fit (Chloe, not me) I decided to change her diaper.
There on the right side of her hip was a lump. Slightly larger than the tip of my thumb and very reminiscent of a cyst. I called Karl in to look at it and then handed him the baby while I called her doctor. Unfortunately the normal nurse was on vacation and I got voicemail instead of a real person. Yay. I left a message and waited.
Called the front office to make sure Mary Beth was actually in and...
Chloe had finally worn herself out and fallen asleep and I was loathe to disturb her until I heard from Mary Beth. I decided to wait until she woke up and if I hadn't been called back I was going to take her to Convenient Care. In the meantime Karl and I entertained ourselves with visions of everything that could be wrong.
She woke up at about 5:30 and we decided to go ahead and take her over to Convenient Care. I started to get her ready, went to change her diaper and no lump. Oh crap.
So now I'm not sure what to do. If we take her somewhere and say "Well there was this lump, but now it's gone." we stand a good chance of being looked at as hysterical first time parents. Plus I realised the first time I saw it Chloe was extremely upset and had been crying and yelling for a good bit. So I pulled out the camera and set it with her diapers and said "Okay if it comes back we take a picture." (Special thanks to Amanda and her hives)In the meantime let's wait for Mary Beth to call us back.
An hour later Karl got the picture and maybe a little blood in her urine. So we packed up the diaper in question, the camera and Chloe and headed off to the emergency room. I figured why bother with Convenient Care when at this point they are most likely going to send us to the ER anyway.
On the way to the ER Mary Beth called. I told her where we were headed and what was going on and she agreed that we'd made the best decision.
So...we arrive at a decidedly busy ER but we were well armed with a soiled diaper, a good picture of the lump and an incredibly cute baby. We didn't have to wait long before Chloe had a room. (Number 8) I'd almost feel guilty for line jumping, but I don't because hey, that's my kid and hey, I don't even know the people ahead of us.
We didn't have to wait too long for the doctor. He looked at our daughter, looked at the lump photo and said "That's a hernia." Explained that unless Chloe's bowels get trapped by the hernia (i.e. won't go back in and she starts vomiting)they won't do anything until she's two and then she'll have surgery. Stressful but not terrifying. I can live with that. Then he looked at the diaper agreed that it could be blood and said he wanted to test her urine.
Now month old babies aren't known for their ability to pee in a cup so guess how you obtain a urine sample from a newborn. If you said bribery you'd be wrong. If you said catheter you'd win the prize. I'm not sure what prize that would be but you'd win it. And if you are the mother of said newborn the prize just might be helping hold her down while they do what has to done.
Chloe's catheterisation brought back some very scary memories of another sick little girl. Watching the cath kit being opened brought on an extremely vivid flashback of taking care of Andie's central line. How to put the gloves on so they stay sterile, the betadine swabs to wipe down the area, three of them just to make sure and unrelated to wound care, having to sit on Andie and talk her into having her shot every single time. I held my daughters chest down and tried to soothe her through what was going on but I felt semi hysterical. When I finally got to hold her and comfort her her I cried. I didn't want to let her go but I knew Karl needed to be reassured by the weight of her in his arms. It's amazing how she makes us feel.
There was a little bit of blood in her urine but no obvious sign of infection so they are going to culture it and we can check on the results Thursday.
I'm fine, Karl is fine and Chloe? Well, she's just amazing. But honestly I hope she doesn't keep scaring us like this.