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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


As many of you know, Sadie has a big head.  I mean, a REALLY big head.  I was looking at some pictures of my dad holding Sadie and their heads look about the same size.  I’m sure it was just the angle or something but her head is rather large.  I’ve never been surprised or worried about her head because Hannah had, and still has, a large head.  I think Sadie’s head looks even bigger than it is because she is so bald and the rest of her body is pretty short.  However, between her 4 month and 6 month well baby checkups, her head grew 2 inches.  Yes, you read that right, two.  This was rather alarming.  The nurse measured twice and when Dr. Kaplan came in she wanted to measure again because she didn’t think the first or second measurements were correct.  Sure enough, it was correct so she entered it into the computer and up popped Sadie’s growth curve with a big red dot above the curve.  Dr. Kaplan wasn’t overly concerned but she wanted to see Sadie again in 6 weeks to make sure her head didn’t continue to grow at such an alarming rate.  She told me that sometimes when their heads grow fast all of a sudden that fluid could be building up around the brain.  She told me not to worry though because she had only seen that happen once, in a very premature baby, and that she could tell when she walked into the room that there was a problem.  I made another appointment for 6 weeks later and walked out of the office calm and confident that my baby was just fine.  Truthfully, I was not worried about it at all.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I only mentioned it to a couple of people.

Fast forward 6 weeks later.  Sadie’s appointment was on a Wednesday but on the Sunday of that week both girls were very sick and we ended up taking them to an urgent care clinic where they were diagnosed with ear and upper respiratory infections.  That was an awful experience all around and as the (horrible) doctor was examining Sadie he commented on how she was “abnormally large” for her age.  He wasn’t even commenting on her head at the moment, just her body size in general.  Now, this irritated me just a bit because while Sadie is a lot bigger than Hannah was, she is not “abnormally large.”  Her weight and height have always fallen into the 50th percentile- and that’s what I call normal.  After he had irritated me, he continued talking and brought up her head size.  He told me I should really get that checked out.  I assured him that I had in the past and we were going on Wednesday to have it checked again.  His reply was, “Well, when was the last time you had it checked?”  I calmly told him it was in December, 6 short weeks ago, when really all I wanted to to was scream at him.  He made me feel like I was a really bad mom because of the way he was talking to me.  It was as if he assumed I was 16, had no money for food and additcted to drugs.  However, the fact that he noticed her head size, and commented on it, left me a little worried that her head was too big.

So, Wednesday came and we headed off to our normal pediatrician’s office.  Sadie’s head had grown more, but not a lot more.  To be honest, we had bigger problems because she had gotten RSV, was having trouble breathing and had a terrible cough.  Dr. Kaplan wanted to go ahead and order a head ultrasound just to check to be certain there was no fluid on her brain.  She was very calm and reassuring.  She said that there was nothing to worry about and by 9 months she was sure her head size would be fine but it was much easier to do an ultrasound while her soft spot was open.  If we waited until it closed up and we were still worried about her head then the only option would be a sedated MRI, which is much more involved.  She told me it would be normal and that they would tell me at the ultrasound that it was normal.  So, off I went, still not worried about it, because the doctor was so reassuring and calm about the whole thing. 

When Kyle got home he wanted me to tell him all of the specifics and as I was telling him, the worry began to creep in.  From that moment on, I began to play the “what if” game in my head.  And you know the funny thing?  I was worried they were going to find a brain tumor.  Yes, you read that right.  Was there ever any mention of a tumor?  NO.  Did I have any reason to believe there was a tumor? NO.  Was this an irrational fear made up in my head?  Well, yes.  Looking back on it, I think it was my internal way of coping with the whole situation.  If there was in fact fluid on her brain, it would be nothing compared to a tumor.  Crazy and ridiculous, I know.  So crazy and ridiculous that I never even told anyone about it.  I even cried a little in the shower about the whole thing.  It is every parents worst nightmare to find out something might be, or is, wrong with their child. 

So, we went and had her scan done and Sadie did so well.  She sat there and just looked around while the lady took picture after picture of her brain.  The lady was nice however, she gave us no indication as to what was going on in her head.  When she was done she said, “Ok, the doctor will read these this afternoon and write the report.  She will then send them over to your pediatrician and you will follow up over there.”  Ahem, you aren’t going to tell me everything is ok?  No, she was not.  Off we went for more waiting.  I didn’t  hear anything on Tuesday but I didn’t want to call just in case they didn’t have the report yet.  Then…we got hit with a big snow storm that closed the office for 2 days.  Tick, tock, tick, tock.  Waiting was SO hard! 

Finally on Friday I got the call, “Mrs. Peterson, this is Anna from the pediatrician’s office.  Sadie’s scan was normal.”


She’s crawling.

And standing.

And laughing.

And dancing.

And getting into all sorts of trouble.

And she’s normal.

Normal never sounded so good.



Kim said...

Yes, Sadie is very normal! In fact, she is adorable! And Alexis, anyone who has witnessed you in action as a Mom, knows what a great Mom you are. You have two beautiful, healthy, thriving and smart girls! Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug because you're doing a fantastic job! There's your encouragement for the day.

The Cutter Family said...

Oh Friend, I just love you!
Kim is right, Sadie is a beautiful, normal little girl and you are a great mommy!

Your post gave me a little insight into why we are such good friends: We both choose to have our emotional breakdowns privately in the shower instead of talking to someone about it like normal people!

I'm glad everything came back normal and now you have the reassurance you need to fully relax about it! Sorry about the Urgent Care dr .. I really hate it when that happens. You should gone all "Magen" on them! (Remember the apple tree incident?? Always remember the apple tree incident!)

Teresa said...

Pei pa koa is pretty decent cough medicine (from herbal as I remembered), great non alcoholic medicine, some western cough medicine are more effective, but this is non drowsy.

You can access info online @

Brockman said...

Sadie is so precious! I can only imagine how scary those days of waiting were. I'm so glad you got positive news - now relax and enjoy your beautiful family.

EmmaRae of the Milky Way said...

I never noticed a thing about her size in any of the pictures, I just think she's beautiful no matter what!!
glad things are okay, I pray they continue to be so!!