Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sadly, No Miracles Happened Around Here

Sadly, there was not a miraculous healing with M's kidneys.

We've had a long day. None of us ate until after 4:00 p.m. M was a complete trooper the entire day and did not cry one time. She constantly amazes me with her ability to handle the stresses of being at the hospital. Every time we've had to be there, she's incredible. She marched in, smiling and greeting anyone who looked at her. She was so polite to her nurses and the child life specialist. She even played with a little boy next to us while we waited (for 4 hours) to have the VCUG done. On a side note, several of the employees said, "Haven't you been here before?" I wasn't sure if that was because we were so terrible or so delightful!!! One lady even specifically remembered doing the VCUG with us last year!!

The ranking scale for kidney reflux is 1 (being least severe) and 5 (most severe). M's right kidney is a 2 and her left kidney is a 3. The pediatric radiologist (I love, love, LOVE him. More on that later) seemed more concerned about her condition than I've felt from the pediatric urologist last year (see post to remember my opinion of him) or her pediatrician. He encouraged us to see a highly recommended pediatric urologist, the best in the state, in his opinion. He noticed, or she developed, a kidney diverticulum. That means a pouch or sac has developed attached to her left kidney. I'm not sure if this is what raised his concern or just the fact that she has not improved since last year. He, unfortunately, does not feel that M will outgrow this condition. TOTAL BUMMER.

I'm so thankful that the Lord arranged for us to have this particular radiologist. He was so wonderful with M. She was put under just enough to be totally unaware of what was happening to her, thanks to another wonderful person in the room, the pediatric anesthesiologist, who explained everything to M before he did it. When the radiologist wanted M shifted or moved, he would give the directions, then say, "Mom, tell her we're shifting her to the left, putting her on her back, taking pictures of her." "Isn't she so beautiful?" "Oh, she's doing such a wonderful job." So even though M was in la-la land, I was whispering to her everything that was happening. I have no idea if that made a difference to her, but it was extremely comforting to me! When he was done and she was "relaxing" for a moment, he went back over some of the images with me, explaining them so I could understand. I don't remember everything he said, even though I tried to repeat it so I would. I wish he was a regular doctor so he could see him all the time! We adore M's pediatrician, but this doctor comes in a very, very close second! When we went to a different part of the hospital to have a renal ultrasound, I mentioned his name to the ultrasound technician (who has been down the road of infertility with his wife! You can find out a lot of information in a darken room while someone is ultrasound-ing your kid!), he said, "Oh, you're so lucky! He's the best!"

So, no miracles for us today. But we had wonderful care for our sweet girl. And I'm so thankful for that. I'm very thankful that we had a doctor who could explain things to me in a simple, straightfoward way without alarming me. I'm thankful that the nurses and other caretakers were so kind to us and we witnessed them being so kind to several other patients.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praying for a Miracle

Last December we found out that M has a condition known as kidney reflux. We've treated it daily with a small dose of antibiotic to ward off the inevitable UTI.

Tomorrow we're going for a follow up VCUG. I'm so very thankful that our pediatrician has agreed to issue orders for sedation. After M's hospitalization in April 2008, when she was cathed four times in as many days, I just can't allow her to be cathed while she's awake. As far as I know, everything is in place for tomorrow. We're scheduled for an 11:00 a.m. procedure. Last time, I was allowed to be with M throughout the entire procedure. They even let me hold her while they put her to sleep and I was holding her when she woke up. I'm very hopeful that tomorrow will be similar.

I'm praying for a miracle. I'm praying that her kidneys will be functioning perfectly, that the risk of surgery will be forever removed regarding her kidneys. I'm praying that the Great Physician has completely healed my little angel.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I love cereal for a bedtime snack. I hate PMS.

I love shorter days. I hate waking up when it's still dark outside.

I love rainy days. I hate working on rainy days.

I love teaching. I hate grading huge stacks of papers.

I love eating. I hate cooking. (That's a bit strong, but it works.)

I love reading. I hate when I finish a book too fast.

I love my pajamas. I hate cold feet.

I love watching my shows. I hate talking during them. (H, PLEASE wait for the commercials!)

I love spending sweet time at tea parties. I hate when they are over.

I love reading with M. (There's nothing I hate that goes with that. Oh, wait...) I hate the thought that one day she won't want me to do that anymore. (There ya go.)

I love trick-or-treating. I hate all the junk that we bring home.

I love the hopefullness of each month.
I HATE, HATE, HATE the end of the month when it's painfully obvious we didn't create a new life. I HATE, HATE, HATE PMS.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Harvest of Friends Blog Party

Wow. It's going to feel sort of weird introducing myself on my own blog. But I'm SUPER excited to participate in my very first EVER blog party and to do it with such an awesome hostess! This weekend I happened upon Lynnette's blog and couldn't tear myself away. I SO wish we could be real life friends.

My name is Natalie. I'm a Christian, wife, mother, kindergarten teacher, friend, crafter, (really) wannabe photographer. My husband, H, and I have a precious four year old girl, who I call M on here. God could not have blessed us with a more wonderful child for our family. We've spent the past two years learning that the Lord gives and He takes, and we are constantly striving to praise Him in the storm. We are struggling with infertility. This is a huge faith journey for me. As much as I don't want to be walking this path, the Lord is using this time to grow me into a more faithful woman, and for that, I am so very, very thankful.

Here we are: M and me a few weeks ago. I didn't edit this picture.

Lynnette was kind enough to provide a list of fun questions for this super fun party, so here goes:

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?

Ha! In our house, food and drinks are NOT allowed on the computer desk. BUT, when H isn't here and I am able to sneak a little something over here, I love to sip on hot tea.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?

My camera. I LOVE reality TV shows (wait...don't leave...please...). One show I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to go on is Amazing Race. H and I have talked many times about how much we'd love to do it, but he'd never commit because he says I'd be more interested in taking pictures than participating in the challenges!

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?

Mountains. I grew up 10 minutes from the beach. As much as I do love it, it doesn't have the same draw for me as others. I'd love to live on a mountain, near a quaint little town, with big comfy couches and a fire burning all the time.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?

Dusting, I think. Or just general straightening up. It's a never ending task around here.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?

Probably my father.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?

If you looked at our calendar, you'd think socializing, for sure. But most of the time, I'd really rather be at home with H and M.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?

Ocean's 11.

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?

That's presuming I wear make-up. When I do wear it, I most certainly sleep in it.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?

I've always wanted to go to law school. No hidden talents. I want to be better at some of things I already know how to do. For example, I can knit, but I'd love to knit socks. I can sew, but only basic things. I can take pictures, but they are so predictable. I want to be more cutting edge.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?

Um...I'm a super fast reader! That's not very strange. I can curl my tongue. Does that count?

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?

His personality. Completely. And he has the most servant heart of anyone I know.

12. What is something you love to smell?

M's hair after I wash it. Or a candle called cafe au lait. Or apple pie baking. Or home made bread in the bread maker.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.

I'm probably too friendly.

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?

Buy a new purse. Because I'm chubby, I love to buy purses and shoes. I think this is a small problem. Actually, it's a large problem. Or I might treat myself to some exquisite yarn that would just stay in the bag for a long, long time.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?

Loud laugher. Kids and their funny comments make me laugh the hardest.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?

Hobby Lobby. Barnes and Noble. Target. The grocery store.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?

Craft. Scrapbook. Edit pictures. Read to M. Knit. Sew. Do kind things for H.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?

Big spender. Shameful.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)

This is a hard question! I think it changes based on who I can think of at the moment. I love Madeline. I LOVE Amelia Bedelia. But those are characters from children's books. I'm going to think on this one and come back to edit it later. I'm just not sure right now.

20. Would you want to be famous?

Absolutely not. However, if being famous brought glory to God, I'd be willing to go there. But I probably wouldn't like it.

Whew! That was fun! I can't wait to check out the other guests who party with Lynnette!

Monday, October 12, 2009

4 Years Ago Today

Four years ago this moment, I held a tiny 3 1/2 hour old infant in my arms. She was absolutely perfect, tiny and beautiful. I loved holding her in my arms, but I so enjoyed seeing others hold her because I could see more of her.

Now, look at her. I could never have imaged that 4 year old she would become. Yet, knowing her, I can't imagine her any other way. She is exactly who she is meant to be.

She weighs 39 pounds.
She's 44.5 inches tall.
She's funny. No, she's hilarious.
She LOVES to tell knock knock jokes that don't make sense.
She loves Chick-fil-A and the chip and cheese house.
She takes long baths.
She reads before she goes to sleep.
She hugs and kisses the dog all the time.
She's just getting the hang of pretend play.
She loves to play games, but doesn't really understand rules.
She talks all the time.
She can memorize a song after hearing it twice.
She gets caught in the details.
She's ALWAYS got a response, to everything, in every situation.

I love her. I love everything about her. I'm so proud to be her mama. I'm so thankful for each moment of the past four years and I look forward to each moment of the next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



I have a birthday party to plan.

I've got about a million chores that need to be done.

I've got a grocery list that must be made and a checkbook to balance.

I'm going upstairs to read in my bed and watch TV. All of that stuff can wait until tomorrow, RIGHT???

Monday, October 5, 2009

Honey, you might want to come see this...

I've had an accident.
I could tell by his voice that HE was alright. He didn't sound pained. He sounded utterly..uh, well, he sounded terribly upset.

So I went outside and found this:

And I laughed!
And laughed.
And laughed.
Because what else could I do? How can you get upset about something that was so entirely an accident and the someone who did it is so entirely upset by it? I just couldn't muster up the energy to be upset. I was thankful that H was okay. I was thankful that we can afford to fix a mistake. I was thankful that if this was all that was wrong, everything would be alright.
And to be honest, I wasn't QUITE as thankful this morning when it was raining and I had to drive the van with this gaping hole covered with a plastic trashbag and a towel on the dashboard. But I still laughed on the way to school. I'm sure I looked quite the sight!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Poor Baby!

That's what the doctor said to ME this morning! Wednesday evening I started down the slope and haven't stopped yet. I kept thinking, "This weekend I can rest and I'll get better." Not so much. This morning, I woke up more sick than I've been all week. I went to the local doc-in-a-box where I received excellent care. When the doctor walked in and heard my answers to his questions, he said, "Mrs. Benson, do your sinuses hurt? You've got a sinus infection."

I answered, "Not near as much as my throat."

When he looked at my throat, he said, "Poor baby!"

Not only do I have a sinus infection, I've got tonsillitis!!! YUCK! I came home from the pharmacy with a script for antibiotic, steroid, and pain relief, PLUS the clomid.

Now, a question for any of you who have taken clomid or have any experience with it: The pharmacist encouraged me to wait until next cycle to start it because my body is fighting the infection so hard and a pregnancy occurring is slim. I do trust her--she seemed very knowledgable and helpful. But I don't want to wait another cycle to start the clomid. What's your opinion? Please be honest! I suppose I could call the doctor on call for my OB's office. The downside to that is that they have added several doctors for weekend rotation, so I may talk to someone who doesn't even work at my doctor's office.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sick mama

I had to take a quick trip to the OB's office today to get the prescription for Clomid. I'm not feeling so great...sore throat, feverish, earache. I asked him if he could look at my throat in case I had an infection. He responded, "Well, that's not usually the part of the body I look at!"

Ha ha.