A Pearl Health Update

IMG_5808It’s been six months since we brought Pearl home. It has been six months of smiles, laughter, naptimes, a few sleepless nights, and some tears. Pearl can roll over, coos and chatters, and drools like crazy. Our guess is that she is moments away from crawling. She loves to cuddle, loves to put anything and everything in her mouth, and usually wakes up with a smile.

After the turmoil and anxiety of the last few weeks of pregnancy, her good health has been a gift that we are thankful for every day. Before leaving the hospital, we were told a few warning signs to watch out for. None have cropped up and she has yet to have even a cold. At each of her check-ups, Pearl has been right on target with her weight gain and hitting every appropriate milestone. She is beautifully healthy and looking at her now you would never know that it was ever in jeopardy.

In July, Peter and I returned to the hospital in Vancouver for an ultrasound of Pearl’s kidneys. She had two renal ultrasounds in her first week of life and because they told us nothing definitive, we knew we’d be heading back in a few months to check again.

I was surprised by the rush of emotions that accompanied our return to Children’s Hospital. This is the same place where we went for the in-depth ultrasound a few weeks before Pearl was born. This is the parking lot where I sobbed after being told something was wrong with our baby’s heart. This is the hospital where our beautiful girl came into the world and we heard that initial, amazing cry. My breath caught as we passed the doors to the NICU and I thought of that first, excruciating day of her life. And I thought of how incredibly fortunate we are to have a healthy baby because there are babies who enter that NICU and never leave and how can that not break your heart?

Peter accompanied Pearl last time she had this ultrasound so I hadn’t been in this part of the hospital yet. Pearl hated being set down on the bed in a strange room, despite the warm blankets the tech wrapped her in.

“She’s so angry!” commented the tech. Yep, my girl doesn’t like new places unless she’s in the safety of a parent’s arm. She cried the whole time and I attempted to calm her while trying to peek at the screen. Of course, the images meant nothing to me. The tech checked with the radiologist before sending us on our way.

“She seems pretty ok,” she said before telling us we could go. (Obviously, I spent too much time trying to guess what this meant/referred to.) “Stay healthy,” she told Pearl, “Don’t come back here.”

Basically, her ultrasound was pretty ok. A little better than the last one but not yet perfect. The swelling seems more concentrated than before but in line with what they spotted on ultrasounds before she was born. It looks like we may have to return for another ultrasound at some future time. Yes, we’d hoped to be told everything was perfect but Pearl is healthy. There has been no sign of infection, no discomfort. I don’t know what will happen with her kidneys down the road but we trust and know that God is still at work, still in control. We are fortunate to very rarely think of our baby’s health. I know that’s not the case for so many families.

I’m sharing this because I know that many of you have prayed and thought of our girl and our little family. Thank you. I want to share how powerful those prayers have been and still are in our lives. Thank you for your ongoing prayers.  I am constantly in awe of the work God has done in her little body and that He will continue to do. Thanks for taking this journey with us.

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