Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Self Soother

I could hear Wyatt on the monitor at 4 in the morning...so I stumbled outta bed and went down stairs to make him a bottle. When I came back up, there was nothing but silence...and this would be why...

Monday, September 28, 2009


Honestly, I can't believe how time flies! I couldn't tell you how many people told me, WARNED ME, to enjoy every moment I can with my little baby because they grow so FAST! My little Wy guy is almost 3 months old! I can say that with astonishment AND a smile on my face because not even a month ago, I was barely staying above water!

I had this image in my head of what the moment I saw my baby for the first time would be like, and what he'd be like when I took him home. However, nowhere in those images did I imagine the crappy scenario that would unfold before me the day of his birth...or how I would be crying far more than my newborn would be. Everyone told me that it was normal...that the hormones make you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster...except, this roller coaster never seemed to pull up...it was just in this never ending dive and I was holding my breath, making it through every day praying it would get better. It was interesting to me when my doc diagnosed me with PPD. That's one thing that wasn't really talked about by anyone I knew...until I started telling people that I was diagnosed with it and suddenly, more people than I ever thought possible were telling me of their experience with it! It was a scary darkness that I never want to visit again. I am so thankful for the love and support that I received from family and friends. I know I wouldn't be where I am right now without them!

I'm so happy that I can spend each day with this amazing little person! He has the most friggin' adorable personality! (I suppose I'm biased, but I think he's the cutest kid in the WHOLE world!!) I really am surprised at how quickly he is GrOwInG! During his last pediatrician appointment, (at 11 weeks) his doc said he's the size of a 4 - 5 month old! All of the sudden he doesn't fit in most of the 0-3 month old clothes. His onsies have this tight "off the shoulder" look...which is a pair of tights and a tutu shy of an identity complex!

He's getting soooo much better at going down for naps and bed at night too (thank goodness!) I purchased this SnuggleMe (a.k.a. baby straight jacket) from Babies R Us, cuz he's such an escape artist! If you don't wrap the kid up tight, his spaz hands wake him up! He's at the low end of the size chart for the SnuggleMe, so it's a wee big on him. The first night I used it, he slept 5.5 hours! The funny part is, I can't give the SnuggleMe all the credit...apparently the kid LOVES to have his face covered! This is how we found him the first night we used it...

He seems to like to have a fan blowing on him too. So I took the front part of his bumper and moved it out of the way so that the air could pass from the floor fan, through the crib bars to him, but not be blowing directly on him. He sleeps on a slightly elevated wedge (as seen in the picture above). Well, one night he was having the hardest time going to sleep, so I attempted to give him a bath. He was NOT HAVING IT, so I put a diaper on him and wrapped him up in the blanket without any other clothes on. Somehow, during the night, he wiggled his way out of the blankets...kicked them to the foot of the crib, dug his heals into the mattress and pushed his way to the head of the crib...directly in front of the fan....in nothing but his diaper...and there he slept, content as can be...sucking his thumb! :) OH YEAH, he sucks his thumb now...which I think is completely adorable! (yes, I understand it can jack up his teeth or be a hard habit to break...but whatever folks...HE'S SO DARN CUTE DOING IT!!) I tell ya, he's one talented little escape artist!

And now on to my "dilema". As you all know, our little guy went through a double hernia surgery. You are also very well aware of the horrible experience that we had with the circumcision that was performed at that time. Well...it only gets worse...(WARNING: graphic descriptions below)

The doctor that performed the surgery is a children's surgeon. He was gracious enough to squeeze us in two days from the initial consultation so that the surgery could be performed under my employers health plan, as the new health plan that we obtained to replace my employee plan has a $2,500 deductible...OUCH! That on top of all the other fees would have KILLED us financially.

Originally, when Wyatt's pediatrician examined him, she said that she would wait until Wyatt was at least 6 months of age to have the circumcision completed as he didn't have enough foreskin to easily remove. A month later, when she realized that he needed hernia surgery, she recommended that the surgeon perform the circumcision at the same time, which the surgeon did.

Well, after the ordeal with the plastibell procedure, I didn't think that the end result looked right. There was slight jagged scaring where the plastibell had been torn away from the penis by his diaper...and not only that, it didn't look like enough foreskin had been removed. Also, the foreskin that remained cannot be retracted to show the "mushroom" part of the head of the penis

During his 11 week appointment with the pediatrician, I asked if it looked right to her. She attempted to pull the remaining foreskin back but realized, as I had, that the head of the penis could not be seen. She told us that he would need to be circumcised again...AGAIN!!! After all that!!! She recommended that we wait until he is 6 months and at that time she would refer us to a urologist to complete the procedure.

Well, you see...Steve and I, we aren't made of money...shocking, no??! Wyatt's medical bill tallied up to 15 grand. Of that, we are responsible for about 2 grand. That, plus the hits that we took from my hospital stay, and the ER visit shortly thereafter took a pretty significant hit to our savings. The savings that was to get us through this tough economical time while we chose for me to stay at home and raise our child. So you can understand why we are worried about how we are going to pay for a urologist to finish the job that the gracious surgeon should have done the first time around.

I don't know what to do from here. I'm sooo grateful that the surgeon fit us in and did what he could to help us keep costs low...BUT, I'm frustrated that he didn't make any kind of mention that maybe the procedure wasn't enough...that there was a possibility that he couldn't remove enough foreskin and the procedure would need to be repeated. At no point during the consultation or even after the surgery did he tell us that we might be doing this again, or that Wyatt wasn't developed enough to have the procedure performed successfully in the first place. Instead, he told me during the consultation that it was "No problem", he could easily perform the circumcision while he was at the hernia repair. Even after the surgery, when he came to give the results to Steve and I in the waiting room, he said, "Everything went wonderfully".

Part of me wants to go back to the surgeon and show him the results. See what he has to say. But I don't know what we are going to do if he offers to do it again, but for a fee. It's one of those things that I feel should have been done right the first time...and should be reconciled. However, I know that even if he waives his fees...we have the possibility of additional fees from the hospital and/or anesthesiologist (if one is used again).

Reality is, since 2005, only about 56% of infant males have been circumcised. Yes, circumcision has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of HIV acquisition (which I'd hope wouldn't be an issue for Wyatt) and that some believe that circumcision should be performed for hygiene reasons (however, I think any man can be taught good hygiene). So a bigger part of me doesn't want to put him through this again. At 6 months, if he is developed enough and all looks well, I don't really feel that he should have to endure the process yet again. There's just no garuntee that the end result will look the way it's supposed to.

I guess this is one of those wait and see kind of cases...I just wish things could have been easier for him. Seems like nothing thus far has gone as easily as first anticipated. Great part is, he's growing so well and is such a sweet and joyful little guy. I'd give him the world if I could and as his mother, I will strive to do all that I can to protect him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The consultation went well and the doc said he'd schedule our little man for surgery that same week for an inguinal hernia repair and the big "C". He told us that we couldn't feed him after midnight and that he could have pedialite up until 2am (his surgery was scheduled for 5:45am).

It should be a crime to ask new parents to be anywhere that EARLY in the morning! Steve and I were zombies the entire night taking turns getting some shut eye and waking Wyatt for his final feeding. He generally eats every 3 hours (except for the few and far between times when he forgets who he is and slumbers a whopping 4 hours). So needless to say it was nerve wracking...we looked at Wyatt like he was a ticking time bomb. We knew that at any moment he'd realize we were starving him and allowing someone to cut him open, and nip a piece of his lil wee wee off.

Miraculously, he did really REALLY well. He calmly sucked his soothie while Steve and I took turns cuddling and rocking him (we were stunned to find that since his last checkup, AND THE 6+HRS OF NO FOOD...cuz we all know surgeries never start on time...he gained another 1/2 LB! Yep, our little 2 month old is the size of a near 4 month old!! And ooowee is he heavy!!).

The surgery lasted about an hour and they then called us back to be with him while he was coming out of anesthisia. The moment I saw him, I swear my heart broke into a million pieces. I've never heard him cry like that. I held him like a little china doll, so careful not to bump or move him. All the tubes and monitors hooked up to him were a little intimidating and it made my efforts of consoling him ineffective. They ended up giving him a double dose of Demerol which knocked him out for a few hours.
I know they say that it hurts you more than it hurts them. How am I to believe that when every time I shift his body as I'm holding him, he screams? He ended up having TWO inguinal hernias that both needed to be repaired (He can thank his daddy's side of the family for that! Steve, his father and I believe his grandfather, all had hernia surgery as infants) and while the doc was at it, he gave him the big "C". Due to his age, we had to stay in the hospital with him for 23 hours of observation. Three days after surgery and he was back to his cooing and farting self...albeit, a much less farting and more pooping self....lots and LOTS of pooping..I guess having your intestines put back where they belong really helps! He was a total champ!!


I've never seen a circumcision done with a Plastibell and from what I've read, it's pretty old school as the procedure takes longer to complete and longer to heal. I found a video online (which I'll spare you of...it was pretty darn grusome).

Wikipedia says:

The Plastibell Circumcision Device is a clear plastic ring with handle designed for male neonatal circumcision that has a deep groove running circumferentially.

he adhesions between glans and foreskin are divided with a probe. Then the foreskin is cut longitudinally to allow it to be retracted and the glans (the head of penis) to be exposed. The Plastibell comes in 6 sizes. The appropriate one is chosen and applied to the head. The ring is then covered over by the foreskin. A ligature is tied firmly around the foreskin, crushing the skin against the groove in the Plastibell. Then the excess skin protruding beyond the ring is trimmed off. Finally, the handle is broken off at the end of the procedure. The entire procedure takes five to ten minutes, depending on the experience and skill of the surgeon.

The ring falls off in 3 to 7 days leaving a circumferential wound that will heal over the following week. Typically, the glans will appear red or yellow until it has cornified.


Shown below: Two incisions where the inguinal hernias where repaired and the Plastibell is around his wee
Yes, I just posted my sons family jewels on the internet...I warned you!!

I dare say that if, IF, we have any more boys, I will do whatever I can to avoid this procedure. Why? Well, last night I got up with Wyatt to feed. I did the usual ritual, changed his diaper, fed him his bottle, then proceeded to burp him. He tends to get a bit fussy when he can't get a burp out, so I usually stand and bounce while I pat his back. Well, apparently his diaper shifted when I did this and the ointment that was protecting it wasn't as thick due to the shift. The dry part of the diaper ripped the Plastibell almost completely off and Wyatt screamed so hard that his entire body turned purple!! I laid him down to check his diaper (it had been a week since the surgery and circumcision) and found the Plastibell dangling by about a 1/4" of skin...STILL CONNECTED! His poor little wee was bleeding and I was completely beside myself.

We called the surgeon and he advised that we should soak him in a bath and put another diaper on...that it would fall off by the end of the following day. Well, it's almost 9 pm and that piece of skin is hanging on for dear life!! Wyatt is now totally gun shy of diaper changes...seriously don't blame him.

Proud Daddy