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On Saturday night, Rick looked at 1-month-old Cash and said, “What is that?”

“It’s a baby. He’s new here,” I explained.

But Rick apparently already knew about the baby. Instead, he had noticed a protrusion on Cash that turned out to be an inguinal hernia. Which required surgery.  We consulted with a very reputable pediatric surgeon who looked about 107 years old.

He told us that prior to the surgery, Cash would have to go eight hours without breast milk.

“Great!” I said. “I’ll drop him at your house and you can explain to him for eight hours why he can’t eat.”

Turns out this surgeon was super conservative and old school (the 107 years of experience was apparently the tip off) because protocol for a newborn is four hours without breast milk before a surgery.  Our surgeon ok’d the shorter time.

Four hours we could handle. Cash was still super pissed off and Rick did his best to keep him calm.

Rick and Cash at hospital

I think Rick is promising to take him out for a Philly’s cheesesteak once the surgery is over.

Then it came time to take him to the operating room. And that’s when I decided I’d rather fix the hernia myself rather than give him over for an hour and a half to the 107 year old surgeon and his crew. But as you can imagine, as a writer, my medical training is enormously limited and I finally decided to let the professionals take care of him.  But handing him over left me very weepy and anxious.

Turns out Cash had a double hernia! Which is not as cool as a double salchow but still impressive. The doctor repaired both hernias and then I finally got to hold that sweet boy in my arms again.

cash after surgery

I was exhausted and emotionally drained and so enormously relieved.

mama bird notes:

Thank you to our friend Adam who provided much needed guidance during this ordeal and prevented me from having an epic nervous breakdown. I will repay you in unwanted parental advice. You’re welcome!

In other news, I had the chance to watch the new Lifetime original movie, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.   OMG. Jodi scares me!  Click here to read my take on this riveting case.

25 Responses to you want my baby to go how long without eating?! (how a baby’s hernia can cause extreme maternal distress)

  • Penny says:

    I’m so glad he’s okay and I’m so glad it’s over. It’s so scary, your mind goes to the worst places. I hope his recovery is totally uneventful!

  • Elisa says:

    So glad you guys spotted it and got it handled while it was still a simple procedure. Sarah was operated of inguinal hernia as a baby as well, and I know that while it’s a simple procedure when done quickly after it occurs, it’s still scary as hell to have your baby in the operating room!!

    On the plus side, this only ever happens once, and the scar is really really tiny and virtually disappears once they grow up.

    Cash is sooooo cute!

  • Portia says:

    OMG Kelcey I’ve been out of the loop for awhile due to work and Grad school so I didn’t know you had another baby! Congratulations on having little Cash, he is adorable! Here’s to Philly cheesesteaks and milkshakes for your post-op little man!!

  • Ann says:

    At 2 months old one of my premie twins (only 5lbs at the time) had to have this same surgery. Only his surgery time kept getting pushed back. So 4 hours without breast milk turned into 13 hours. I was convinced he was going to starve to death. As mad as my son and I were over the torture, it all turned out fine. Darn doctors.

  • Kate says:

    Oh my, you are a very strong Momma. Sending prayers of thanks that it all went well, and that he continues to recover. Cash is absolutely beautiful! And very lucky to have been born into such a loving and fun family.

  • Isn’t it always a little shocking the new things that keep showing up with kids? You think you’ve seen everything and can be super-chill…and then number five goes and gets an inguinal hernia and worries you to death. Someone needs to remind that precious boy he’s the baby of the family and he’s not supposed to be doing crazy things like having surgery just weeks after birth…

  • Alex says:

    So glad that Cash is hernia-free and feeling good!! Wishing him a speedy recovery and lots of breast milk on demand. Love to all you guys. xo Alex

  • daphne says:

    So glad to hear it’s over and he’s okay. Handing my 9-pounder over to a surgeon is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Hoping it’s all snuggles from here.

  • Marley C. says:

    I’m so sorry about the stress you guys went through.

    I need to tell you I’m not a baby person. They have to earn it with me. But Cash is super cute. I’m really not just saying that. I’ll call an ugly baby “ugly” to its little face with a clear conscience. He is truly adorable and it isn’t just you looking at him with Mommy goggles.

  • Snarky Mommy says:

    Emmie had the EXACT same surgery at 8 weeks old. It was horrific when she was screaming for the boob. She’s now 5 and you truly can’t see the scars at all. Except for the emotional scars I still have of handing my 8-week-old into a nurse’s arms and watching her walk away.

  • Steph says:

    Oh, wow, I’m so sorry you and your adorable little guy had to go through starvation and surgery but am very glad it turned out well. The “he’s new here” line cracked me up. As always, wishing you peace and rest.

  • Mary Clare says:

    Eight hours with a starving baby – what WAS that surgeon thinking!?!

    You made my ovaries chirp a little with that last photo of Chase. Glad you got that baby back in your arms safely.

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kelcey kintner