first post-birth meeting with surgery

Baby had her first x-ray and appointment with surgery since she was born two months ago.

We were scheduled for a CT which required baby to fast for four hours beforehand, but ended up getting a chest x-ray instead. Baby was put on her back and her head was put into a Styrofoam block and masking taped together (which was hilarious) to keep it from moving. Her arms were held down by heavy bags, and an image was taken of the front of her chest. She was then placed on her side and her arms were masking taped above her head so she wouldn't move, and a side image was taken. She stopped crying immediately after she was let free, and all in all the process was extremely smooth. We had an hour and a half to burn before our meeting with surgery, so I fit a nursing session in and we had time to relax a little before our next appointment. (Side note: two parents and one small child makes for one ridiculously relaxing morning. I told my friend who carts around her three kids in the clinics by herself that I almost felt guilty being so... free, haha.)

We met with nurses and a medical student who asked us the gamut of questions, and awhile later the surgeon we originally met with prenatally came in. She said that baby appeared to be doing extremely well at birth and now. She's putting on weight, feeding great, and isn't having any breathing problems. The mass is still there, so it will be removed as it can cause cancer in her teens or later on in her life. We are scheduled for a CT in a little over 6 weeks, and then another follow-up with the surgeon afterwards. This CT will give us a better idea to see where exactly the mass is. Right now it appears to be in her left lung on the lower lobe, but there is a chance it could be in her upper lobe as well. They also want to check for the possibility of a sequestration, which basically means that the mass would have blood supply and need a different surgical technique.

Baby would have a small hospital stay (less than a week). The type of surgery she would undergo depends on the nature of the mass. She might be able to undergo a less invasive form of surgery, but may also need a more "old fashioned" version. With either version she is expected to heal well (as babies do). Also, lungs develop to the age of 8, so her upper lobe will help to compensate for the absence of her lower lobe! She is expected to be able to breastfeed, with perhaps a pumped bottle right after surgery to see how she's doing, but otherwise this sounds very manageable.

We are looking at scheduling a surgery near the holidays - either slightly before or after. That mostly depends on our preference. I'm leaning towards before the holidays since we'll have more time. I'm heading back to school in Madison in January, and am not sure how I'll handle a surgery immediately beforehand. Regardless, this takes precedence, and although it's nothing that will require months of rehabilitation, I'm learning I need to give us all time to get back into a groove before making too many commitments!


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