We welcomed our third child, Max, in to the world on Friday, July 22, 2011. From the moment Max was born we knew he was going to be a very pleasant baby. Even though he was a full-term baby, he was a little guy weighing in at only 6 lbs, 5 oz. and was 17 inches long.
I will never forget the news I received the next morning. This very kind pediatrician was making his rounds through the newborn unit of the hospital, and then stopped in my room early in the morning to talk to me. I was still very tired from the day before, so it was a little hard to focus on what he was saying – but the doctor went on to tell me about how he thought Max was
born with a fused skull and explained all the next steps we should take. He also told us that Max would need to have surgery sometime before his first birthday to correct the problem. Immediately, I started to cry and actually thought I was dreaming. I kept looking at a note the doctor left for me… it said “Metopic Craniosynostosis”.
Over the next 6 months, we took Max to various x-rays, CT scans, and appointments with eye doctors, neurosurgeons, and plastic surgeons. Max was so great through it all. I will never forget how still he was during his CT scan… better than most adults would have been. We were given a surgery date of March 27, 2012 for his craniofacial surgery.
Even though Max stayed healthy through most of the winter, he came down with a bad case of RSV and bronchitis just a few days before his scheduled surgery. We were very upset that the surgery had to be postponed since we had been preparing for this for so long. Luckily, Max quickly recovered and the surgery was done on May 11, 2012 by both a neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon at
Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The surgery lasted about 6 hours and we did receive updates and spoke to the surgeons throughout the surgery. Max was bandaged up and sent to the PICU after the surgery, and that is when we got to see him for the first time. We barely recognized our son with his puffy face and eyes swollen shut. But, he still looked like a precious angel to us. Since Max had his metopic (forehead) area reconstructed, his eyes were swollen shut for almost a week! After Max spent one night in the PICU, he was transferred into a regular room where he spent another 3 nights. His bandage was removed after two days, and even though I had seen pictures and knew what the incision was going to look like, it was difficult to see for the first time.
My husband and I were amazed at how good it looked considering the surgery was just a couple days before. We were thankful for the surgeons who performed the surgery, and we are thankful for the wonderful care package & support we received from CranioCareBears.org! Max is now on his road to recovery and we are hopeful that in a year, this will all be a distant memory.