Julia Ryan was born on March 2, but her journey to Boston Children’s Hospital began months before her birth.
During Tori Ryan’s pregnancy, doctors near her home in South Carolina diagnosed her unborn child, Julia, with bladder exstrophy, a rare and complex birth defect where the bladder develops inside out and is exposed outside of the body.
“There were a lot of tears,” says Tori’s husband, Sean, of receiving the news about their daughter. “It was hard. We had to balance our own worry with the excitement our two older daughters felt about having a little sister.”
Their concern for their unborn baby led the Ryans to Boston Children’s. …
When Lauren was just under two years old, she developed a fever of 103, was irritable and lost her appetite. Mom, who suspected her daughter’s condition was more than “just a bug,” scheduled an appointment with Lauren’s pediatrician.
Based on her symptoms and physical examination, Lauren was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). The tiny tot was treated and quickly felt better.
Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived. To mom’s surprise, the UTI returned. …
For a lot of moms — those who have daughters, or haven’t experienced the nuances of baby boys — caring for a newborn and toddler boy’s “private area” can be a bewildering experience.
What should everything look like? Why is my son’s privates swollen? How do I clean the area?
These are commonly asked questions but topics that are not commonly discussed outside the pediatricians office.
“I remember when my son was born and worrying if everything looked normal,” recalls Elizabeth, mom of an 18-month-old toddler boy. “That area was totally foreign to me and I’m someone who is not entirely comfortable about talking about it.”
Allie and Chris Taylor vividly remember the day their second son Jett was born.
“Jett was a gift to me — the one I fought and cried for,” Allie recalls.
Twenty weeks earlier, during a routine ultrasound conducted at a nearby hospital, Allie and Chris were told their unborn son’s kidneys were enlarged. Doctors feared the worst.
“They did a second ultrasound and told us my baby wouldn’t make it past 28 weeks gestation. We were told we should see a specialist but not to keep our hopes high.”
Allie and Chris were seen three days later at the Advanced Fetal Care Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. They met with a team of fetal and pediatric experts, including Dr. Richard Lee, co-director of the hospital’s Urologic Trauma Unit.
Lee shared his expertise and gave the Taylors hope. …