Yesterday morning, Charlie had an outpatient surgical procedure to repair a congenital birth defect called hypospadias. Its a fairly common issue, affecting about 1 out of 200 baby boys - which should give you a hint as to what the problem is. Be careful when googling hypospadias; you're going to get a lot of penis pictures. You've been warned.
A few days before Charlie was discharged from the NICU, we had him scheduled for a circumcision. When the time came, a doctor and nurse wheeled a portable surgical cart into his curtained area and started setting up. I had originally planned to be there for the procedure to hold his hand, but when I saw the baby shaped back board laced with restraints I about lost it and had to leave. I sat outside, like a coward, waiting to hear his tiny little cry, but it never came. The doctor came out, taking off his gloves, and explained that he could not be circumcised because of his condition. Without getting too graphic, during a hypospadias repair the excess foreskin is used to patch things up. Therefore, it couldn't be removed before the repair.
The next step was to find a good urologist in this little mountain town. We were fortunate to find a urologist who came highly recommended and had performed this surgery on numerous other children. After our first consult, he said that Charlie's case was on the milder side and would be easily fixed with one surgery. Good news all around.
On Wednesday, we arrived at the surgery center at 7:30am to get all of the paper work filled out and Charlie prepped for his 8:30am surgery. Poor kid wasn't allowed to eat after midnight, so he was still running on the nursing session he had around 11pm. He made it until about 8am before going into full on melt down mode. We changed him into a tiny peach colored hospital gown, spoke with the doctor and anesthesiologist, and handed him off to one of the nurses. They took him back with a blanket given to him by Project Linus blanketeers. Its amazing - another charity that I have been particularly passionate about found its way into my life.
We headed out to the waiting room to sit out the next few hours.
Around 11:30am, the doctor came out to talk to us. We were surprised - it was supposed to take much longer. He said that once they began everything, he realized things weren't as bad as he'd originally thought and he was able to fix everything up in about half the time. Wonderful news! I was so nervous about Charlie being under general anesthesia, so this was music to my ears.
After about 15 minutes, we were allowed to go back to Charlie's room to see him. Poor little guy had adhesive marks from tape and monitors on his face and chest and a wicked glazed over look. Luckily, he was awake enough to nurse which helped him relax a little. The nurses were able to check his vitals while he and I cuddled and after about an hour, his IV was removed and we were allowed to go home.
As part of his recovery, we have to put two diapers on him (the inner one has a hole in the front to give him room and prevent squishing) and no submersion baths for a week and no straddle toys (bouncer seat, exersaucer, door jumper, etc.) for a month. This kid has better learn how to sit up right quick because playing with toys while laying down is going to get old fast!
The past 24 hours have gone much better than expected. Though Charlie has been sleepier, cuddlier, and crankier than usual, he doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain and has been resting relatively comfortably. We're hoping he continues to do well and bounces back quickly.