When The Boy was born, he was two weeks early and a tiny little thing, but he was still considered full term. It was a long labor, but he was deemed a healthy baby boy, who had no problems nursing, and we were sent on our way. Once home, I started to worry about how much he was spitting up, and also by the color of it. We had been assigned a pediatrician through the hospital, and we called with our concerns. We were basically poo-pooed as newbie parents and told not to worry about it. Except that I had done more than a fair share of babysitting in my time, and this was not right. When The Boy projectile vomited across the kitchen (our very large kitchen), we went in. The doctor looked at his bib, with the yellow stain on it, and then all of a sudden she was concerned. She took the bib, walked out of the room, and then came back and told us if it happened again to go to the emergency room. Even as a newbie parent, I was less than satisfied with that response.
We decided to get a second opinion. Same medical system, different doctor. After explaining what had happened in the past two weeks, he asked, very casually, if we had had an “Upper GI”. Umm, nope. The previous doctor told us that would be too invasive. He replied that it wasn’t invasive, the baby drinks some milk-like stuff, and they take an X-ray to track the liquid through his gastrointestinal tract to see if there is a blockage. Made sense, didn’t sound invasive, and one was scheduled ASAP.
We brought The Boy in, fed him the stuff, and then we were met in the waiting room by an intern who told us that our son would be having major intestinal surgery in a matter of four hours.
Words cannot describe the shock and fear we felt, but I appreciated the professionality and care from the staff, and kept thanking the stars, the heavens, God, and whoever else that would listen that we had gotten a second opinion. The Boy had a “malrotation of the intestine” and they told us that if he hadn’t had the surgery within the next 24 hours, he may not have survived.
We went straight to the surgery waiting room and waited. And it was quite possibly the longest and worst day I have ever been through, although we really didn’t have time to be scared, and were still in shock.
He did exceptionally well in the surgery, and was admitted to the hospital where one of us stayed with him round the clock for the next week. He was not allowed to eat or drink anything except sugar water until his system was completely clear, so that they could make sure the surgery was a success. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I look back at the pictures and he looks like a little baby skeleton. My parents hadn’t even met him yet!
I was still healing from childbirth, and taking shifts being there, lack of sleep, worrying… It was a trying time. The surgeon was fantastic, checking up on the little “peanut” as he called him, and pretty soon, we were able to take our baby boy home again for the second time. It was never lost on me how very lucky we were and are that all was well in the end. Except, as the surgeon explained about the scar on his belly, “He’ll never be a Chippendale dancer.” I think we can all live with that.