Posted by: emjb | January 19, 2007

Poor little mutant

My baby is going to have two operations in his near future.

One is “minor”, for a blocked tear duct, but anything that involves full anesthetic doesn’t feel minor. He needs it fixed, but I hate that he has to.

Much bigger and scarier is the fact that he has a mild case of craniosynostosis, meaning two of the sutures that mark the spots between the plates of his skull, which are supposed to still be open so his head can grow, are prematurely fused.

Fixing it means a neurosurgeon and a cosmetic surgeon operating on his head to free the bone and reshape his head so it can grow normally. Before his CT scan (and that was a super fun experience) we thought it was just the metopic suture, the one in front in the middle of his forehead, that was fused. He has a little ridge there. But the scan revealed he had another fused suture (I’m not sure where, we forgot to ask), so leaving it alone would endanger his brain as he grew.

We haven’t met with the neurosurgeon yet, but from what I can tell, he’ll be in the hospital a few days. They’ll shave off his lovely hair, and he’ll have stitches on his little head, and it’s not something I like to think about. And the surgery itself is certainly scary enough, though I feel less worried than I expected to.

What’s weird, if you go to that link, is that it’s more common in first born boys, and boys in general. Why the heck would that be? It’s not considered inherited, but a random mutation. My poor little mutant.

In the meantime, he has no idea there’s any problem. He walks, but only if we’re not looking at him directly. Does it embarrass him? It’s very mysterious.

He says Mama now, which I love, because for a while it was Dada and Not Dada around here, and I was starting to feel like the substitute parent.

Sometimes* I’ll look up and he’ll be sitting quietly looking through his well-chewed picture book, turning it upside down and back and forth, trying to figure out how to see the backs of the people in the pictures.

During the week we only see each other about 3 hours a day, and I am not liking that at all. I miss him, and his grubby little face (forget superglue, use baby sweet potatoes–that stuff will stick forever). His daddy gets too much of him and I get not enough, because we don’t have sensible work / life arrangements in this culture, and it’s stupid. Anyway.

I’m taking the days of his surgeries off whenever they are, because I have to be there waiting when he wakes up, even though I don’t want to see him stuck with needles or drugged and confused or scared or hurting. All of which he will have to go through.

I hate hospitals, and I never used to. If you read here much, you know I have my reasons. But we have to do this, so we will.

*Not often.



  1. Gah! I’m thinking about you and Nathan! Stay strong mama… karma says that your next hospital experience MUST GO WELL.

  2. Whew, I hope it works that way Sara! At least neurosurgery is something most hospitals don’t suck at….far as I know.

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