Waiting for a stream

I’ve been sitting around watching my no-diapered 18-month old prince since we returned from Dallas this week. My husband says I’m obsessed. I’m pretty sure he’s right. I tie up his shirts with a hairband and tuck the end of his supra pubic catheter port around the back to allow me the best seat in the house while he drinks his bottle, and I wait for the stream to come. I don’t know how long it will take — and I’m sure if it took that long I’d sit here forever. I do know that when I finally see an uninterrupted urine stream coming from this sweet angel of mine I’ll probably fall over and die — half from exhaustion and half from joy. Then I’ll get up and cry, dance and run. And go get some uber insightful message tattooed on my body to remind me of this long, battle of an experience we finally made it through. But for now, I just need the stream to come.

While I sit and watch, I massage his penis while he first strains to get it out – which creates a bulge at the base of his penis where his meatus was when he was born – that makes his penis fill up like a balloon. I cheer him on like a bleachered mom, encouraging his little body to relax its sphincter muscles, kick its bladder into gear and finally pee out his urethra. His pee drips are all over the carpet like little wet freckles. I don’t mind since we need to replace it anyways, and since besides our other two children, a successful repair of his proximal hypospadias has been the most important thing in our lives since before he was born (he was diagnosed in utero at 19 weeks). So now as he tries to pee, he strains and he poops. I follow him around the living room with a package of wipes in hand, catching every little one that makes its way out as he pushes. His little butt is sore and red. I joked with his nanny the day we got home that she’ll likely never again she someone huddled around their son’s penis, cheering every beautiful drip that makes its way out. It’s sort of like watching a leaky faucet that just keeps dripping and every now and again, gets a spurt of water, which he works to get out. Its something you want to work so much that you’ll do anything for it. I don’t know how many days it will take, but we have one the best pediatric urologists in the world assuring us his urethra is wide open, and we just have to wait for his body to catch up.

A week ago we flew out from Oregon to Dallas to undergo what we thought was a stricture repair following his stage 2 urethroplasty 4 months ago. We traveled back to Dallas once since then for a replacement of his catheter, and to OHSU Portland for the placement of the supra pubic tube to provide his urethra some rest and healing before the repair.  Both sets of surgeons found an obstruction at the tip of the penis. With a new urethra in place and not being able to scope it, it was assumed there was a stricture.

On this trip, they put him under for an expected 2-hour surgery. We were called in about a third of the way through. Dr. Snodgrass came in and told us his urethra looked perfect. He said they had put a 10 scope in and found no stricture and no swelling. Both he and Dr. Bush agreed no surgery was necessary and that we were to uncap his SP tube the next day and “let him pee”, feeling there must have been lingering post-op swelling and that the repair at this point looked perfect.

We now have an appointment in 2 days to remove the supra pubic tube — and let me tell you, it can’t come soon enough. Emmett was taken off his bladder spasm medication, Oxybutynin, in Dallas to avoid interference with his bladder, which you’d know if you’ve read my previous posts, is a recipe for disaster. He’s been up every 15 minutes at night with bladder spasms. I put him in a warm bath in the wee hours of the morning to calm his bladder and the poor sweetheart nods off as I hold him up. Within minutes he’s snoring, finally more comfortable as the bath water forms a blanket around him.

It has been a journey I’d wish on no one. But through it all, we’ve had the best surgeon possible guiding our every step and we haven’t been without blessings. With the delicate tissues involved in hypospadias repair, the very least amount of surgeries the better. We are blessed we didn’t have a complication and the 2-stage repair, although complicated, was a success. Now, we’ve just got to get his little body to catch up so he can start using his beautiful new penis.


I’ll let you know when the stream comes.



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