two inches

We had our first follow-up appointment yesterday with Parker's Pediatric Endocrinologist.  I've been anticipating this appointment for weeks.  Similar to the excitement you feel as you prepare for a prenatal visit.  You're nervous, anxious and excited.  You anticipate that you will leave the appointment with great news and be steps closer to your desired outcome.  In pregnancy, obviously the desired outcome is a healthy baby. 

My children may be getting bigger, growing older and maturing, but they are still my babies.  I'm still responsible to keep them healthy and care for them just as I did during gestation.  In pregnancy there are many signs that your little fetus is doing well.  An expanding waistline, feeling the baby kick and an ever increasing appetite. 

Since Parker's Growth Hormone Deficiency diagnosis, we've felt just as lost as we did when we found out we were pregnant.  We felt like we could spend hours asking the doctors and nurses questions, but to them everything was just standard procedure.  They sent us on our way with little information, some medicine, wished us "good luck" and told us to come back for a follow up visit.  

Just as I did during my first trimester of pregnancy, I spent hours goggling everything I could find about Parker's condition.  As with pregnancy, every experience is different and unique.  As with pregnancy, we felt like all we could do was follow our doctor's instructions, pray, wait and have faith that everything would work out the way it should.

We've been following the prescribed regimen of daily Genotropin injections.   Parker is still a champ.  Tim has become an amazing nurse.  I'm still pretty good myself.  Payton and Cooper are the best cheerleaders.  We faithfully count together every night, "One alligator.  Two alligator.  Three alligator.  Four alligator.  Five alligator."  It's become part of our bedtime routine.

It feels like we hit the second trimester.  You know that part of pregnancy where you begin to feel comfortable.  You're not as sick and you have a sudden burst of energy.  However, you are still anxious to know that all the sacrifice and effort you are putting into this pregnancy or in Parker's case, his injections, are worth it.  

Tim and I had noticed that Parker seemed taller and skinnier.  His clothes that used to hang on his body were fitting a little better.  We unrolled his pants.  His shorts were becoming a little too short.  Friends were commenting that Parker seemed taller.  Leaner.  Our friends and family thought he was growing.

Just as people begin shyly commenting about your increasing belly during pregnancy and telling you that you look so great.  You try not to believe them.  You want to believe them, but it all seems too good to be true.  It seems surreal.  

This is exactly how I've felt about Parker's situation.  I knew he was growing, but I wasn't sure how much.  We neglected to take his exact measurements at home the day we started his injections.  We kind of had bigger things on our minds like trying to dose .6 mg of medicine into a needle, make sure the air was out, the needle was attached just right, swab the skin, dispose of the needle in the sharps container, hope that your child isn't screaming bloody murder and that we weren't bawling our eyes out...type things!  We knew it seemed like this medicine was working, but was it really?  We weren't sure.

I sat in the hospital waiting room with butterflies in my stomach watching Parker play a Batman Lego Video Game, within two minutes, the nurse called us back.  "Parker?"  Here it was.  The moment of truth.

"All right, Parker.  Can you take your shoes off and hop on the scale?"  The sweet nurse said as she commented on his Obi Wan Kan Obi tattoo. {Going back to the pregnancy analogy, of course the weigh in was always my LEAST favorite part about the prenatal visits}.

"Now come over hear and let's see how tall you are."  The nurse had done this a million times.  I, on the other hand, felt like I was waiting in line for the Tower of Terror at California Adventure.  I think in my mind I was repeating over and over again, "No whammies.  No whammies.  No whammies."  Don't judge me.  I was nervous.

She told me the measurements and I was frantically writing them down.  As if I knew what they meant.  How tall did he used to be?  I couldn't remember.  Parker was already getting his blood pressure checked and being doused with stickers while I was trying to act completely coy and ask about his previous height.  

She sat us down in the room and we had to wait some more.  Again, this felt so similar to my pregnancy analogy.  More waiting.  No news yet.  The doctor came right in, quietly reviewed the charts.  Reviewed them again.  Reviewed them again.

"This is amazing!  You've grown two inches in four months."  The doctor was pleasantly surprised.   

{Did you read that?  TWO INCHES IN FOUR MONTHS.  He only grew 1.5 inches last year!}

It was amazing.  We'd heard stories of four inches the first year, but that is incredible success.  We were told to expect centimeters a year.  The doctor finished giving Parker a thorough exam and was even more stunned to discover that he was having no side effects from such a rapid growth spurt.  

It was just like the first time I saw my little two inch fetus on the ultrasound.  I was giddy.  It's a miracle.  The miracle of life begins with conception and continues throughout life.  Our bodies are amazing.  Modern medicine is truly miraculous.  

I feel peace knowing that, for right now, all is well.  This daily regimen is working.  Parker's body is accepting the treatment and he is growing.    He is getting stronger.  We know that we have a long road ahead of us.  Unfortunately, the waiting period is much longer than a nine month pregnancy, but the end result we hope will be the same.  A healthy baby.
 P.S.  Since this post seems way more about me, my feelings and my longing to be pregnant again {did I just type that?}  I thought you may be interested to know how Parker felt.  He was just happy that he didn't have to have his blood drawn today.  He was breathing a sigh of relief when he found out there would be no needles.  He could care less that he grew two inches.  "I already knew I was taller."  He's not even phased by any of this.  He loves the attention, the stickers, the treats and going on a "date" with Mommy.  Gosh I love this kid.


Anonymous said...

Wow! 2 inches is amazing. What a great kid. Tim needs to just accept the inevitable that you guys are going to have another kid! :)

Laura Jansson said...

I could feel your every emotion. I can imagine I would be feeling exactly as you did when you took him to that visit! I'm so glad that the shots are working and he is doing so well! Good job to your whole family for being such great 'nurses' & cheerleaders for him! He definitely has a great support group! :)

Tiffany said...

YAAAAY! 2 inches...that's awesome! He looks so cute eating his chinese food!

Becca said...

That is so exciting! I have been meaning to ask you how he was doing with all that.

Patty said...

WOW Brit! I'm SO-O-O-O happy for Parker AND you AND your whole family! What a team effort! Your synopsis of the whole event was a tear jerker!

Us said...

GO parker! He's so cute!

Brianne & Jarod said...

WOW! That is GREAT news...and the way you described how you feel about the whole situation is AWESOME. You are truly an amazing writer! WOOOPEEE for the two inches!!