my thoughts on motherhood, kids, books and stuff

Holding My Baby A Little Closer and Longer Tonight…

Kai had his six month checkup today.  I cannot believe we are halfway through his first year.

He is growing right as he should be.  He is about average in his weight and he is on the tall side.  His head size proves how big his brain is and what a smart little guy he is.  He was happy and interactive with his pediatrician, who all four of my kids absolutely adore.

He asked me if I had any concerns and I remembered to bring up his chronic coughing that we have talked about at each of his checkups and has never seemed to cause much concern.

This time the doctor raised his eyebrows a little bit more as I explained that Kai has just always had congestion in his throat and coughed regularly.  The doctor said it is somewhat common in infants and he probably just produces excess phlegm, but it should get better over time.

Then he asked me if I had any other concerns.

I remembered that we had been noticing that Kai has been wheezing quite regularly for the past few weeks.  Not enough that we have been concerned about him getting enough air or that we thought we needed to rush him to Urgent Care, but enough to notice.  In the past two or three weeks it seems to have increased enough that I would have taken him in if he hadn’t already had a checkup scheduled for today.

The doctor asked me, "well, what do you mean by wheezing?  A lot of parents think their baby is wheezing, but it is actually just phlegm in their throats."

I was quite sure it was wheezing, but of course Kai wasn’t doing it at the time so there was no demonstration.  I tried to explain it in more detail, but the doctor still seemed a bit skeptical of it and didn’t seem concerned at all.

He went on with the exam and checked his heart and lungs with the stethoscope.  He took his time and and turned to me and said, "you’re right…he does wheeze."

I wasn’t sure how to take this, but I waited for the doctor to finish checking him.  He asked a little bit more about it and I told him that I didn’t even realize Kai was wheezing at that time.  The times I noticed his wheezing it was loud enough that it could be heard from across the room.

The doctor said that it is not normal and it could still be that Kai produces a lot of extra phlegm, but he wanted to order some tests to rule out a few things.  He said he wanted Kai to get some chest x-rays to see if there could be an infection in his lungs and rule out other possibilities.  He said he also wanted to get Kai tested for cystic fibrosis.  When he said that my heart began racing a bit faster and I could feel myself break out in a cold sweat.  

He told me not to stress out about it.  He just wanted to rule it out.  He also told me not to race home and do a search on google for cystic fibrosis because it would just scare me. 

Of course, that is exactly what I did and he was right…at first.  After reading through a lot of sites about it I don’t think that Kai has enough symptoms and I feel pretty comfortable that he will not have it.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he had asthma though and I hope that is something they will be able to tell from the x-ray.

It is amazing what it can do your perspective though just to be told that there is a chance (no matter how small) that your child could have a serious illness.   When I got home, even though I know it is most likely that he is fine, I took him out of his car seat and held him close and rocked him and cried a little bit.  I am the type of person that can create a scenario in my head all on my own without any help from the doctor, so to have him say the words for me was quite unsettling.

I am feeling good tonight and I am actually not very worried about getting a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis…but…feel free to mention our cute little guy in your prayers if you have the chance.  It certainly won’t hurt!

I think that experiences like this help us to appreciate what we have even more.  It made me think of the parents who are told that their child has cystic fibrosis, or cancer, or any other serious health problem.  My heart goes out to them.  We all want our children to thrive and be healthy and live long and happy lives. 

I will update with any news we get after his x-rays.

happy kai kai laughing

  • He sure does look healthy and happy. Our prayers, of course, will be offered for him and I am going to call his name in to the temple for their prayer rolls. It does give you a scare when the possibility of a serious illness is brought up by a doctor but hopefully he is just being very cautious. Give that sweetie a hug for me too.

  • Kim, it’s good that your doctor is doing tests to rule things out. I truly do hope everything is fine. We will certainly keep him in our prayers. It does sound like maybe its asthma though. Both my girls have had it. Jenaya outgrew it by age 4. But Lanessa has had it sooo bad. Poor thing.

    I read Brett’s post “The best 5 mins.” on his blog about Kai. It was so sweet and well written. It really moved me.

  • whim

    Thank you Trisha. The more I read the more I think he probably has asthma, which strangely enough is the thing the doctor didn’t mention. How did they diagnose it in your girls?

    Kai seems so healthy and thriving I get less and less worried the more I think about it. I do want to find out what causes the coughing and wheezing though. It would bug me to have to clear my throat and cough constantly!

  • What a precious beautiful child!

    Here from Rocks in my Dryer

    Wishing you and your family all the best

    Mary, mom to many

  • I hope it isn’t anything too bad! We will keep him in our prayers, such a cute little guy.

  • What a cute baby. I hope all is well. It’s nice the doctor is doing tests to check for everything. And a great reminder to appreciate our children and value each day.

  • With Jenaya the diagnose was harder because she had whopping cough at 13 mos. That was a nightmare! Her Dr. told me that she would cough more with any little tickle in her throat from all the scared tissue. So for the longest time we assumed it was the scared throat that made her have a cough when she layed down or fell asleep in her car seat or ran in the wind. Because she didn’t have any other signs of other symptoms. Just this bad cough. It took awhile before we thought it was asthma. Her Dr. told us it is hard to diagnose asthma in little ones. The other thing her Dr. talked about was Jenaya’s eczema, I guess that a lot of times they go together. Also Jenaya was premature and had been on oxygen for her first 3 months of life. So it was more likely for her to have “lung disease”.

    Now with Lanessa, who was also premature by 3 months started out great. She didn’t even have to go on oxygen for the first couple of weeks of life. We noticed around 6 mos. With her “coughing”. Looking back with hindsight about Jenaya, we knew more of what to look for. I wouldn’t say for sure that I’ve ever heard them “wheeze” theirs is more of a deep cough that won’t stop and makes them throw up. Lanessa’s Dr. will listen to her lungs and can hear it “crackle/wheeze” she says she hears lung disease. Lanessa also has eczema. I don’t know if this info helps or not. Everyone is so different. Lanessa’s has been a lot more severe than Jenaya’s was.

  • whim

    Trisha, thank you so much for the info. I had heard it was hard to diagnose asthma in babies because they can’t do the same tests.

    Kai had terrible eczema until about a month ago when I switched to homemade laundry soap and he hasn’t had it at all since then. That is one reason they ruled out a food allergy as causing the cough.

    He has pretty much just had that kind of cough that newborns have when they are clearing the fluid from their lungs when they are a baby. It is a productive cough, and when he isn’t coughing a lot of times he has a rattle in his throat like he needs to clear it. I have people ask me everywhere we go if he is sick and I am always telling them he has just always had a cough.

    The wheezing comes and goes a bit more, but sounds like a whistle or like some people sound (me) after running hard. But he has never “struggled” to get air or acted like it bothered him….weird.

    I am glad that Jenaya was able to outgrow it and I hope that Lanessa will too. I bet it is hard to see them struggle with it when it hits.