4 Years

Today’s the 4 year anniversary of my daughter’s last surgery!!!  4 years since I walked in the recovery room and held this sad little girl!

And this anniversary is extra sweet because a couple months ago, her doctors at the hospital told us we don’t have to come back!  That was the end of the sentence!  Not “you don’t have to come back until… next week/month/year”.  Just “you don’t have to come back”.  I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was to hear those words.

The doctors knew there was something not quite “right” with her since the night before she was born.  They realized that night that she had a 2-vessel umbilical cord instead of the normal 3-vessel cord.  Apparently this is indicative of urological/reproductive problems.   From the beginning we knew she needed surgery.  Around 5 months we scheduled it and so began longest couple months ever! I was sending my little girl into the unknown!

She was about 7 months at the time of the first surgery.  When they wheeled her away we thought the doctors would almost definitely be removing a kidney and possibly removing her ovaries since they were covered in cysts.  I’ll never forget when the doctor came out to get us in the waiting room and said,”Well, we removed an organ but not the one we thought.”  I think my actual response was “uhh, uhhhhhh, uh, huh??”  It just wasn’t registering!

Turns out she had an appendectomy!  Something that hadn’t even been mentioned up until that point! They said they got in there and saw the appendix was about to burst (usually fatal in a 7 month old), so they had to quick remove it and didn’t want to remove more than one organ at once!  Besides, the ovaries weren’t covered in cysts! They were covered in the kidney that nobody could find!

So we spent the first 4 years of her life going back to the hospital every 3 months for a day full of tests and nephrologist appointments.  It was horrible.  Ultrasounds and catheters and me having to hold her down while she twisted and screamed out for me.  I would be bawling and the nurses would hold my hands down firmer so I wouldn’t let her wriggle or worse yet, just pick her up. This girl could never seem to catch a break.  Every doctor’s or dentist appointment… something was always wrong.  Her good kidney had reflux so she was on antibiotics for 4 years, another surgery to correct that reflux, her baby teeth didn’t have enamel so she had 3 root canals and many fillings, her intestines were mal-rotated (and, of course, she was a baby who swallowed things)… the list goes on, but meanwhile this little girl lived her life and you never would have known there was anything wrong!

And then 4 years ago today she had another surgery and when we went for the month follow-up, they said everything was corrected!  We still had to go back every couple months, until that turned into “come back next year” and that turned into “we’ll see you in 2 years”!!  And now we are done!

No more of this, God willing…

and lots more of this…

I love you Miss Looloopants!!   To the moon and back…


Hi, I'm Natalie and I like to move slowly (like a turtle, if you will)! I daydream about minivans, painting walls and eating fudge with a spoon. Welcome to my little computer home where I share my family's adventures as we live life from the slow lane!

Latest posts by Natalie (see all)


  1. Congrats, Miss Looloopants and Momma!

    PS. I <3 the tiara and google-y eyes glasses photo. SO. CUTE.

  2. What a very special day indeed! Congratulations to your whole family for getting to this point!

  3. i can’t even imagine how hard those years must have been. she looks like such a sweet girl…so glad she is better and doesn’t have to go back.

  4. Gallamore West says:

    Wow, I had no idea your daughter went through all of that. That must’ve been the best thing you’ve ever heard from the doctor, that you don’t have to come back! She is gorgeous!

  5. Continued blessings to your family! LOVE all the pics!

    Also love your thrift store finds, too! I definitely need to know the colors you painted your finds…that blue…gorgeous! That green…perfect! I just started doing “Goodwill Hunting” last week. Check out my blog (I’m new to this!) and see what you think.

  6. Oh my, you brought tears to my eyes. Thankfully the worst is behind you and you get to focus on the future! She is one beautiful little girl :)

  7. Uncle Benny loves Emma.

  8. What a great thing to celebrate :) Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. what a sweet and brave girl!
    thanks for sharing!

  10. I have tears in my eyes reading this. What a beautiful, brave little girl you have and oh my goodness, what a brave, beautiful mama you are. Thank you for sharing your journey (and its blissful end!) with us.

  11. Beautiful post, Natalie…and she’s just a beautiful little girl!

  12. Anonymous says:

    All my hugs and love from a mommy going through similar things with her little girl. It’s a hard road to walk with them, congrats for walking it through to the end!

  13. wow! i didn’t realize all that she had gone through. what a trooper!
    i still think it’s so wild that we were both at the med center the same day for renal ultrasounds. i’m glad neither of us have to go back next year. God is good :-)

  14. Big *hugs*! I spent a week in the NICU with my daughter. I can’t even begin to imagine all that you have gone through! So so happy to hear there are no more surgeries!

  15. I also got teary reading this. Such a brave little girl! Hope she’ll remember those hard times in the future whenever she doubts herself! She’s a fighter, a survivor, and amazingly lucky (after all, the found the problem in the appendix before it exploded). You are amazing too! It’s unbearable to watch your child suffer.

  16. I somehow stumbled across your blog from pinterest. What an amazing story and a beautiful little girl. My husband also suffered from malrotation. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was almost 13. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story!!!

  17. You’ve got me all choked up over here! Congrats to your family for foraging through the tough times; I am glad to hear that those times are over!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    OMG, I can SO relate! We’re still waiting for our “you don’t have to come back” day but it’s coming! Reflux, surgeries, complications – check. Bright and sunny and resilient baby girl – check! Counting our blessings…

  19. Oh my word! She is so lucky she was sent to such a loving home with an amazing mother. What a little fighter :) I am so happy things are going so well!!!

  20. thank you for the recipes.

Speak Your Mind