Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eli's Head

When Eli was born there were a few things said multiple times in the operating room. One was that he had a lot of hair. I remember the anesthesiologist saying that they should get a barber in the nursery. Another thing they kept commenting on was how big he was (8 lbs 15 oz), especially for being a week early. They also kept saying he had a big head! Which is partly why the nurse had to lay/push on my stomach for quite awhile along with using the vacuum to get him out (and I thought having c-sections were easier than labor...ha!). When we finally got to hold and love on him we did notice how big he was but we also noticed that his head was a little misshapen. We didn't think much about it at the time because he was a c-section baby that was stuck pretty high up and didn't have a chance to have his head molded in the womb or on the way out.
Fast forward a month...his head was still a little oddly shaped so at his 1 month well check we asked out pediatrician (Dr. O) about it. They measured his head like normal. It was still on the big side but they weren't to concerned about it. Dr. O also thought the shape was due to the c-section and that it would shape out on it's own. He continued to keep an eye on it, even having us come in at 3 months to check the growth. It was still in the 95% but on the curve. Through all this Eli's head continued to grow out in length but not in width creating his head to look like an oval from the top. At 4 months we were prepared to go into the doctors office and ask for a referral for a second opinion. Thankfully we didn't have to ask, Dr. O brought it up first and said he wanted us to get an opinion from a place that treats different forms of Plagiocephaly (abnormal head shape) with DocBand Helmets. We went to Cranial Technologies, Inc in Chicago for a consultation. They took measurements and pictures of his head (that look like baby mugshots) and then after a clinician looked at them she came in to talk to us. She looked at Eli and felt his head. She said that he had symptoms of Scaphocephaly but was concerned about some ridging along his saggital suture. The saggital suture is the suture that goes down the middle of your head. She wanted Dr. O to run some tests to see what was going on inside Eli's head.
A CT Scan was ordered and an appointment with a Neurosurgeon was made. We went for the CT Scan and he did great! They did have to put him under anesthesia, but he came right out of it and didn't have any problems. A couple of days later we met with a Neurosurgeon that showed us the scan and then told us his diagnosis was Saggital Craniosynostosis (Craniosynostosis is a condition present at birth in which one or more of the joints between the bones of your child's skull (sutures) close prematurely, before your child's brain is fully formed.) The treatment for this would be a cranial reshaping procedure (surgery to fix it)! Although we were initially taken back by the diagnosis, in the back of out minds we kind of knew this was coming.

October 11, 2011 Before CT Scan (age: 5 months)

After CT Scan (happy as can be)

We decided to get a second opinion, not because the diagnosis would change but we wanted to make sure whoever did the surgery would be very experienced. So our pediatrician got us in at the Children's Hospital in Madison, WI. We met with a Neurosurgeon/Plastic Surgeon team. They agreed with the diagnosis and told us how they would proceed. We decided to go with this team for a lot of reasons, but mainly because they do this surgery 15-20 times a year, they are pediatric doctors, and they have been working together for 12 years.

November 16, 2011 1 week pre-op (Age: 6 1/2 months)

So this Wednesday (Nov. 23) Eli will be having surgery. It will be a 2-3 hour surgery and he will be in the hospital for 3-5 days. I will be trying to update on this blog throughout our stay at the hospital and the recovery after.
God has continually shown his hand in all this and we have complete faith that He will continue to through the surgery and recovery process. Please lift up the following in your prayers this week: surgeons, surgery team, nurses, Eli, Teagan, Ryan and myself. Pray that we can be a light to the hospital staff and other patients this week also!


  1. Oh Renee' we will most definitely be keeping you all in our prayers. And will be watching for the updates. Praying for peace to you and Ryan. Love you guys. Can't wait to meet your boys next year too.

  2. Renee`, Thank you so much for sharing. Will this be a one time surgery or does it have to be done again as his head continues to grow? We will be praying for you all!

  3. Wow! What a lot you have had to learn. We will be praying!