So the surgery will be Tuesday at Children’s Hospital/Yale New Haven. The Dr I met with today for the consult felt strongly that we needed to do the surgery in the next two weeks. Oscar is in the highest risk group for having the hernia incarcerate, which is the last thing we want.
Here is some information:
The most common hernia is called an inguinal hernia. This condition occurs most often in males and usually presents as a bulge in the groin, especially after crying or straining during a bowel movement. Sometimes girls get inguinal hernias, which cause a bulge, or swelling, above or along the labia. Usually a boy’s testicles stay in the inguinal canal (high in the groin, not down in the scrotal sac) until about 32 weeks’ gestation. At that time, the testicles descend into the scrotum. But in preterm babies, part of the intestine may push through a remaining gap in the muscle wall into the scrotum. This may affect one or both sides and appears as a swelling above or in the scrotum. As long as the hernia is reducible (the intestine can be easily and gently pushed back through the opening), immediate surgical correction is not necessary. Surgery to repair the hernia may occur before discharge or around the time your baby weighs around 2 kilograms (or 4½ pounds). Surgery can also be postponed until the child is older or requires other surgery. If the hernia becomes incarcerated (trapped in the scrotum), the scrotum will become blue and painful, and immediate surgery is necessary.
So for Oscar, he will need to be intubated for the anesthesia, need to spend the night in the hospital to be watched for apnea, and we need to hold his feeds for 6 hours prior to surgery. So that’s excellent. It took all my strength to not start crying in the Dr’s office. I can’t explain these feelings to a mother who hasn’t been in my shoes. The idea of re-hospitalizing Oscar is so repellent to me, it makes me feel sick to think about seeing him in that setting again. I know this type of surgery is commonplace. But nothing is a breeze with a sub 30 weeker. Nothing. There are so many risks for him. Breathing risks, reproductive risks, infection risks. We will stay with him in his room of course, but I just hate that he has to stay over. I hate all of this really.
And then I have to say that spending any amount of time in Yale’s Pediatric Speciality Center is not recommended. I pray I never have to go back, and that none of you ever know what I am talking about. It made me feel lucky as hell. The blood curdling screams coming through the walls did not help my nerves, and I held Oscar even tighter than normal. I wanted out of there. STAT.
Surgery Tuesday. Four days from now. When will this all be over?