Later in the day there was another shock
as we were told that they also thought he may have Downs Syndrome;
exomphalos can sometimes result from chromosome abnormalities.
After blood tests this was confirmed. The drama didn't end
there as after surgery, he went into bladder retention, which
led to kidney failure. Over the next few weeks we witnessed
the amazing resilience of small humans as our baby overcame
one hurdle after another.
He was drip fed for
the first week, then moved onto a g-tube. I was encouraged
to use the "cow" (milking machine) in SCBU to keep
my milk going as everyone assured me that he should be able
to breast feed normally. He was first introduced to the breast
after 3 weeks and took to it immediately. Four weeks later
on Christmas Eve, he was discharged from hospital with very
little to show for his adventures.
For the first year
he had an impressive umbilical hernia, which has now shrunk
to the size of a small marble. He also has a large gap in
his stomach muscles and a bit of a potbelly. Otherwise he
is doing brilliantly getting on with all the normal 3 year
old things like playgroup. We have had no ongoing problems
with his exomphalos or digestive system at all.