Thursday, March 09, 2006

How do you collect a urine sample from a baby?

Thursday was not one of my favorite days. Charlotte was sick Tuesday with a stomach bug, and running a fever off and on Wednesday. My husband, M., noticed that there were pink spots in one of her wet diapers, so I called the doctor in the morning asking about a UTI. They gave me an 11:30 appointment. I was wondering how on earth they would test her, since she doesn't exactly have the bladder control to pee in a cup.

As soon as we got into the examining room, the poor baby recognized the place and the nurses, and got very upset, fearing that she would get shots I guess. After being weighed (20 lbs, 3oz fully clothed...up a whole 2 oz from a month ago) and having her temperature checked (it was normal, but had run around 99 earlier in the morning), they applied the collection system. Basically, it was a plastic bag that was adhered to her diaper area. We put her diaper and her clothes back on, and she started to calm down. Then the waiting began.

She downed the contents of a pedialyte popsicle (unfrozen), and some additional water, and I took her out to the waiting room to play with the toys. After several minutes, she made *that* face....the one that means she was filling her diaper....and not just with urine. Her stomach was still recovering, so this was not a neat, firm sort of poop. Yikes what a mess. Remember that she had a plastic bag stuck down was covered. I had to help the nurse remove the thing (she had on gloves, and the adhesive was pretty stuck despite the mess). Poor baby--that was like removing a large bandaid, from a part of your body you don't really want things stuck to :( After all that, the test for the UTI came back negative (thank goodness), and they told us that she was likely just a bit dehydrated. Her stomach flu had the markings of "rotovirus" (sp?), which could linger for several more days. Basically, give her comfort and plenty of fluids. And expect to do a bit of extra laundry.

By now it was 12:30 and Charlotte had missed lunch at daycare, so we stopped at a Taco Bell around the corner from the Dr's office for food. No, Taco Bell isn't the first place you think of when you have an upset stomach, but it was there, and she likes it, so close enough. Lunch itself was fine, though a bit hectic for me (ever juggled a bag, a baby, 2 cups and a tray?). Towards the end, however, Charlotte pooped again.

I had not brought the changing pad or wipes with me from home that morning. I had grabbed 2 diapers from daycare before I left (thank goodness I brought more than 1...). And Taco Bell had no changing table (boy is that annoying...). So I got to change a baby on the floor of a fast food restaurant's restroom, using damp paper towels to clean an already irritated bottom. Yummy.

Charlotte fell asleep on the way back to daycare. It was naptime there, so I carried her in, and laid her down in one of the cribs to finish her nap. Yes, it was probably bad of me to take her back to school when I knew she likely had a stomach virus. But, I can't take a week off every time she gets sick, especially when she's getting sick nearly every month. I wish there were an better way (that also paid the bills).

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