It looks like Joshua will need surgery to repair his hernia. 🙁
Joshua was all smiles and the doctor had a hard time finding the hernia as it usually pops out when he’s upset or tense. But she confirmed that it did feel like something was out of place and that we definitely need to consult with a pediatric general surgeon. She said he will need surgery. This kind of hernia needs to be fixed, it won’t go away on its own. According to her, the surgeons usually like to wait until babies are about 6 months. However, Joshua has been increasingly irritable lately – acting as if something is bothering him – and she thinks that’s because of the hernia and therefore, the surgeon may want to do it sooner.
She put in a referral and now we wait for the surgeon’s office to call me and schedule an appointment. And we’ll go from there.
Joshua’s case is a little more complicated because of the potential bleeding disorder – Von Willebrands – that he may have. I have a mild version of Von Willebrands and because it’s inherited, each of my children has a 50% chance of getting it. Nathan does have it (although he has never shown any symptoms) and we don’t know about Emily, as we haven’t had her tested.
To put it simply – having Von Willebrands means, at times, that I lack the normal amount of clotting factor in my blood, which puts me at increased risk for excessive bleeding. I have some clotting factors, just not as many as is “normal.” We only learned I had it because I lost a tremendous amount of blood during my c-section when Nathan was born and later continued to bleed abnormally. I would still be bleeding a couple of hours after I nicked my leg while shaving. Not normal. My doctor ordered blood tests and diagnosed me.
I have the mildest version and aside from being aware in case of surgery or trauma where the doctors would need to know, I don’t need to do anything special. I still bruise a little more than “normal” and sometimes bleed a little longer, but that’s about it. I take extra vitamins – alfalfa, vitamin C, etc. and that really helps too. Oddly enough, I had a perfectly normal childhood with no evidence of Von Willebrands. Something about my pregnancy with Nathan must have triggered something to lower my body’s clotting levels.
There is no cure. However there are methods to increase clotting factors when necessary and thus, decrease the risk of bleeding. Before surgery, I am given a dose of extra clotting factors through a blood product to boost my own supply.
For this reason, they need to know if Joshua has Von Willebrands before fixing his hernia. We have to get him tested. It requires a LOT of blood. You may remember we had an issue with this when he was born and they wouldn’t do his circumcision without testing. We didn’t want our newborn to have that much blood taken (something like 4-6 large vials) so we didn’t get him circumcised.
Now Joshua is a little older and bigger, so he’s better able to handle a large blood draw. Not that I don’t hate the thought of it though. 🙁
Our doctor told me to take him to the hospital lab where she thoughtfully requested on the paperwork that someone from the NICU come down and do Joshua’s blood draw. I was concerned about repeated sticks with a regular lab tech, as babies can be a hard stick, so having someone from the NICU should hopefully make it less traumatic for Joshua (and me.)
I think we’ll try to do that on Friday. The doctor said it was fine to wait until then as Nate should be home to help me. I am dreading that. And, I don’t even want to think about surgery.
I know that hernia surgery is very routine and common and pretty minor. But Joshua’s my baby and I hate to think about him needing surgery.
I’m doing my best to not worry (too much anyways) and to give this to the Lord.
Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks…