At the end of June, the day before I was heading out of town with the boys, I was changing the J-man’s diaper on the couch when I noticed a bulge below his tummy but above his privates. I called Chad to come see it and we decided that it was just his muscles because he wasn’t laying flat while I was changing him. Then, when I was in Indiana, I noticed it again and the thought of a hernia crossed my mind. Of course (because I never learn) I googled it- and within 2 clicks I knew that’s what we were dealing with. Blah! But my cousin Nicole is a baby nurse, so when I saw her the next day, I got the scoop that it wasn’t an emergency but that I needed to get it looked at by our pediatrician. Fast forward a couple weeks to Jack’s 2 month appointment, and our pediatrician took a look, and didn’t say much beyond referring us to a specialist. I asked how soon I needed to get an appointment and he said it wasn’t an “emergency” but that I should try to get in within the next several weeks.
I knew from google that Jack would need surgery to repair it, and since my pediatrician who is normally wonderful and talks me through everything was rather quiet, I knew that’s where we were headed, but since no one seemed to act like it was an emergency, after my initial freak out leaving the doctor’s office, I decided to put off worrying until we knew more. I made the appointment for the second week in August and put it out of my mind.
Then this past Sunday morning, after a night of tummy aches, I went to change Jack’s diaper and noticed that the hernia was at least 3 times the size that it was when we went to bed, and that there was some discoloration at the bottom of it. After a call with the on call nurse at Jack’s doctor’s office, we ended up spending several hours at Children’s Healthcare Immediate Care. The doctor there was able to push the hernia back in (yes! with his thumb, just right there, yikes!) and then taught us how to do it, in case it came back out again, and encouraged us to get the appointment with the specialist moved up. Sunday afternoon, I did have to push the hernia back in, OMG!, and I got the appointment moved to Thursday (yesterday). I had been told that the surgery was outpatient, laparoscopic, no stitches, and wouldn’t need to happen for several months- and altogether easy peasy. As much as it made me sick, I knew that Jack would never remember this and it would be over before I knew it.
Well that’s not exactly how it all went down.
Yesterday, I showed up at the doctor’s office with my Jack, 30 minutes before our 3:30 appointment so that I could fill out all the paperwork. I got everything finished in time to sneak to a back room, courtesy of a nurse, and feed Jack before we saw the doctor. As is the norm after Jack’s 3pm feeding, he filled his diaper- and I’m not talking #1 here folks. When I stood up to change his duty, I looked down and “it” was ALL over me. And him. And his clothes. Ay yi yi! So after de-pooping everything, tying the dirty clothes in a bag, and getting ourselves back together, we were ushered to our real room, where we waited until 4:45 before seeing the doctor. (Reminder: My appointment was at 3:30 and they asked me to get there at 3:00.) Considering that I didn’t have a change of clothes (why don’t mom’s carry diaper bags for themselves?) and was still wearing pooh, had rushed from work to get to this appointment that was over 30 miles away from our house, was at this appointment without Chad who was out of town, and was rather sleepy from Jack’s new sleeping pattern (or lack there of) I was less than thrilled to sit there for almost 2 hours. So you can imagine how well I responded when the doctor walked in and told me that this was a rather serious issue that could cause permanent damage if not handled quickly and that they wanted to do Jack’s surgery next week- oh, and the kicker? He would need to stay overnight. I gasped for air at first, then gulped my tears down and urged my chest to loosen back up. I’m not sure how much time actually passed before I spoke but it was long enough that the doctor felt awkward and you could tell he was questioning my stability.
Luckily, I got it together and began to formulate sentences and pepper him with 1000 questions. Dr. Pitt is a wonderful man who talked me through each and every detail, told me about the risks and the reasons why this was a must, explained the in’s and out’s of it all, and by the time we were done, I was very grateful that he would be handling the surgery. There will be a cut over an inch long, with stitches, and although the thought of full anesthesia on my teeny tiny baby makes me VERY nervous, he did explain that whole process as well. We will stay overnight because of the risk of apnea (because of Jack’s prematurity at birth and young age now) and except for the 15 minutes that Jack is in prep, the hour long surgery, and the 15 minutes that he’s in recovery, I will be able to be with him. I can also feed him too, and as long as nothing goes wrong, there will be no need for a feeding tube, etc. And he will be monitored for 24 hours. Because babies heal so quickly, after the anesthesia wears off, he will probably only need infant tylenol after that.
All of the things are good news- doable- not so much a big deal. So naturally I got to the car and called Chad who is in Florida and cried. Once I finished talking to him, I had to pull over because I thought I was going to throw up. I do realize that there are parents that would love to be going through this with their child instead of their reality, but for me, this is a big deal. Someone is putting my baby to sleep and cutting on him. And although he won’t remember it, I will, and that hour long wait will feel like years. For the majority of my drive home, satan was winning. Fear took over my whole body, my every thought, and I couldn’t think straight.
Luckily I had talked to Danielle on the way to the appointment about other things and in the course of our conversation she reminded me that it is my job to be the best possible mom, and to read and research and make wise choices and the rest was of it was out my control. And before I got home, I was calm again- we have a great doctor, we have lots of people who loves us and will pray over his surgery and we have an even greater, bigger, capable God. Fear still creeps in from time to time (it hasn’t even been 24hrs since I got the news), and honestly, I’m still processing it all- still in shock that it’s opposite of everything I was told it would be (by people and google- not doctors) and that it’s going to happen in just a few days, but God is bigger than all that too.
I will get a call later today with the exact date/ time of the surgery and I will be sure to add that information to this post. We would love it if you would pray with us about this- pray for the surgeon to have perfect hands, for a super quick and painless recovery for our little man, for my fear not to give Satan any leverage, and for God to get glory.
**UPDATE: Jack’s surgery will be Monday morning at 7:30am at Scottish Rite.