I am so thankful Dr. Stewart wrote a pass for me to leave Akron General for as long as I wanted while I was still admitted.
On Thursday, June 16, we made it over in time to attempt one last breastfeed before Jordan’s shunt placement. It was still a little challenging due to him having to be placed on his stomach from his back closure. My Aunt Donna and mom made it up to sit with us during the shunt surgery.
Jordan’s head had increased in size from 38 cm when he was born to 40 cm since his back closure. We could visibly tell in his forehead the increase in size. Dr. Hudgins, his neurosurgeon at Akron Children’s, took the time to demonstrate how to detect an increase in hydrocephalus (abnormal fluid in the brain) by feeling Jordan’s Fontanelle (soft spot). Before the shunt placement, there was a slight bubble. Afterwards, it dipped down.
The entire shunt procedure took a little more than an hour, from the time Jordan was wheeled away to the time Dr. Hudgins spoke to us in the waiting room. I was a little taken back that there were staples placed in both Jordan’s skull and stomach. I’m not sure how I thought the incision would be closed, but sure enough he had 6 in his head and 6 in his abdomen, accounting for a total of 31 staples in my little man’s body. We are so thankful for Dr. Hudgins for saving our little Peanut’s life.
Our transport back and forth to Akron Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from Akron General went well. We were so thankful for security from both hospitals for providing the transportation. I was really concerned that Jordan needed to have the best start possible by consuming breast milk. Both hospitals provided pumps. Randy would set everything up, I would pump, then Randy would clean the supplies and have them ready for the next scheduled time. The nurses would place the containers in the refrigerator so they would be ready for Jordan’s feeding.
One evening when we were getting ready to go back to Akron General, our nurse said they were going to need to use formula for Jordan’s feedings throughout the night because they didn’t have enough of my milk to make it. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea because I wanted to supply him with what he needed, but understood the logic. That night my milk decided to come in. Randy, being the super hero dad that he is, took the container over to the NICU for our little man to have one feeding with mom’s milk. He told the security guard who drove him over it gave a whole new meaning to the definition of milk man.
Friday, June 17, we were pleased with how the shunt seemed to be working. We could tell by the decrease in swelling of Jordan’s forehead. Dr. Protain, one of Akron Children’s neonatologists, said that we would be able to breastfeed that day without Jordan being on his stomach. We had to be careful not to place Peanut in a position with his head upright so the shunt wouldn’t drain the fluid too quickly. He spent most of the day in my lap lying on a pillow. I treasured every moment we were able to spend with our little man.
Read more about Megs and Randy’s journey through her blog, Labor of Love.