Our Teddy Bear's Journey

Theodore was born with renal failure. This is his story.

A year ago today

on December 4, 2012

Yeah, there might be a few of these types of posts. This week is a strange mix of anxiety about how he’s doing now, sadness over how rough the last year has been on everyone, joy at how far we’ve come and that he’s still here, and grief over the still fresh memories of the days surrounding his birth, diagnosis, and the start of our NICU stay.

One year ago today, December 4, was a Sunday. The urologist decided to do Teddy’s surgery, originally scheduled for Monday, on Sunday instead. That probably meant it was more serious than anyone let on, thinking back, though that didn’t occur to us at that time. They fixed his UPJ obstruction (narrowing at the ureter exit just below his left kidney) so that that kidney could drain.

The hope was that the kidney would drain, and it would start to work like a normal kidney, and we could go home and have a happy life with just the one kidney.

The urologist had us pretty convinced.

Because we still hadn’t learned rule #1. Don’t believe the good news. Sounds awfully jaded, but it’s really the only way to do this Medical Needs Parenting business. Don’t totally let go of hope, but don’t believe the good news.

So, we kissed our big kids goodbye that afternoon – for the first time, ever. (yes, at 7 and 3, we still hadn’t spent a night away from our kids – none of us had ever really wanted to sleep apart.) And then later that evening, we kissed our itty bitty goodbye and handed him over to the nice German anesthesiologist and told him to take good care of our Teddy bear.

And as I wrote at the time, it wasn’t that hard. I mean, yes. It was hard. God, it was hard. The 11 times since then have been hard, too, and I’ve cried every single time, and I”m crying now just thinking about it. But we knew it had to be done, and that made it a lot easier.

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