Category Archives: Chloe

Chloe and the Swollen Spleen

Once upon a time there was a cute little 2 year old red head named Chloe…

Chloe has Hereditary Spherocytosis she inherited from me. My family has a long history of this blood disorder. My grandmother, mother, aunt, myself, my sister, my 2 cousins and now mine and my sister’s children. The 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene doesn’t seem to apply to us. The main problem with this disorder is the enlargement of the spleen due to increased activity. In the past, we have had our spleens removed around the age of 5. These days they like to put the surgery off as long as possible to keep the spleen functioning to help you fight off childhood infections.

Chloe (and now Carlee) are seen at St. Jude’s every 6 months. They monitor the anemia and size of the spleen. During Chloe’s latest visit at the beginning of the month, the doctor noticed a drastic increase in the size of her spleen. We went for an ultrasound of her spleen and gallbladder. A few weeks ago I received a phone call with the results of the ultrasound. They want to go ahead and meet with Mitchell and I to discuss removing her gallbladder and doing a partial splenectomy.  I was not expecting this news.

Chloe’s spleen is swollen to 500mL. Regardless if you know how big a spleen is supposed to be, picture half a one liter coke bottle. That is how big her spleen is inside her little 32lb 2 year old body. She also has gallbladder sludge. The sludge hasn’t turned into gallstones yet, but they know it’s coming and would like to remove the gallbladder before she starts hurting.

Today Mitchell and I met with the surgeon and the hematologist and discussed options, risks, benefits and general information about the surgery.  We have decided to go forward with the surgery. They will be laparoscopicly removing her spleen and gallbladder on March 1st. We will go in on the 28th of February for Pre-op where she will receive a blood transfusion that night to prep her for surgery. On the 28th, they will not only “physically” prep her for surgery, but emotionally also. They are going to roll play with dolls, said something about Mitchell wearing a bunny suit (not kidding, can’t wait to see this!) and basically walking her baby doll through her surgery to help her understand.  She should be able to go home that Thursday or Friday. She will then have an ultrasound follow up around a week after her surgery and will be dismissed to go back to the sitter. Amazing how short the recovery is!

This is probably going to be way scarier for me than it will be for her. There  are two things that comfort me the most, one is that she is under the care of the chief of surgery of St. Jude hospital and the head of Hematology at St. Jude hospital. I couldn’t think of better hands to be working on my daughter. The other is when I had my surgery at the age of 5, I have nothing but fond memories of it. They are so wonderful with the kids and turn what could be a scary situation into an actual happy experience.

So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we go through the next few weeks.


I love Science

Everyone watches their child go through the milestones, rolling over, sitting up, first steps, first words, etc, but I think many parents overlook other milestones their children reach.  This weekend Mitchell and I watched Chloe perform a science experiment.

She was eating dinner and drinking from a water bottle (daddy was, so she had to also).  This water bottle has a handle on it.  First she saw her spoon fit through the handle.  This was neat because it made a noise when it hit the table.  So then she tried her passy.  It fit, neat-o! She gets excited and claps. Time to try the bowl, nope too big.  That’s ok, the food in the bowl will fit, but it’s stick and doesn’t make it through to the other side.

But Chloe sat for a good 15 minutes trying to put objects through the water bottle handle.  She would turn the water bottle, look at it, almost like she was calculating in her mind the dimensions.

Of course with Mitchell and I both being science nerds at heart, we loved watching her focus for this long on experimenting (that didn’t involve picking food out of the floor!)

A day in the life of this mom

2am – 3am: Feed baby, get her back to sleep.
4:30am: Put passy back in baby’s mouth.
6:00am: Wake up
6:05am: Wake Mitchell up because baby has woken up.
6:10am: Change baby’s diaper, fix her bottle, hand her off to Mitchell.
6:15am-7:00am: Get ready for work
7:00am: Attempt to leave for work
7:15am: Actually leave for work
7:15am – 8:00am: Drive to work
8am – 5pm: Work
5pm – 6pm: Drive home
6pm – 10pm: Cook supper, feed baby, bathe baby, rock baby to sleep, lay baby down, rock baby again because she woke up when I laid her down, wash bottles, wash dishes, get baby’s bag ready for sitter’s the next day, pack lunches for the next day.
10pm: Eat dinner
11pm: Crash
11:15pm: Put passy in baby’s mouth.
11:30pm: Finally down for the night.

Funny thing is, I’ve never been happier in my whole life.

Chloe Baby

Chloe Spring was born May 21, 2008 at 10:29am.  She weighed 8lbs even and was 19.5 inches long and absolutely perfect!


Photos taken by Steven.