Friday, January 11, 2008


Once upon a time there was born a babe. This baby wasn't your average, everyday, run of the mill kid. No indeed, this boy was a special boy, for this boy was born with an abnormality. Some would refer to this abnormality as a nubbin, others as a freakin' huge belly button, others as an umbilical hernia (these would be medical professional types of people) and still others (namely his parents) as a snout. It began innocently enough. Baby is born. Baby has regular looking gross slimy umbilical cord that withers into equally gross looking dried umbilical cord that one day flops off and, "Glory be! We can finally give him a bath!" Baby looks completely "normal" for approximately two days before his bellybuttonal area begins to look, well, enlarged. Button continues to enlarge until parents are quite concerned. Parents take baby to the doctor who hides a smirk behind his clipboard and informs parents that baby has an umbilical hernia that will, more than likely, close on its own by the time baby is four or five. If it does not, surgery will be performed on said baby before he scurries off to kindergarten and is forced to endure the ridicule and evil taunting of fellow classmates. Parents become accustomed to informing nursery workers that, "The baby is not dying." And, "Yes, we have seen it." And, "Yes, we know it doesn't look like a normal bellybutton." Parents also become accustomed to buying a lot of onesies and rompers, so that their baby does not begin to pick up on the negative attention. Baby gets bigger and becomes best friends with his constant companion, much like most baby boys become best friends with another constant companion. This particular baby rarely noticed his other constant companion because the snouter was twice as large and made funny sounds when squished inward. Around fifteen months baby begins vomiting excessively and, after some time it is determined that intestine is becoming trapped inside Snouter. This is not good. Eventually, and to make a long story short, surgery is scheduled for January 11.

Last night, I took this picture of my son's best friend, Snouter. I used to see his herniated bellybutton and think, "If this is my son's physical imperfection, praise God!"But that was exactly it, I saw it as a flaw, something that made my child different from all the other babies crawling around. I realized last night, as I sat only hours away from bidding Sir Snouter farewell, that I have come to love the bump. Since Garrett began walking he would proudly shove the fluid back into his abdominal wall thus making a giant slurping sound. This would delight him and he would squeal. I know he'll miss it for a couple of nanoseconds. But I'm sure that when he is sixteen he'll be thrilled that his friends don't know him as Snout Boy. Mom, on the other hand, well, she would have been okay with it for a while longer.

Below is another shot of the wondrous button, the bellyknob, if you will. In all of its glory.
We got up this morning and our little cherub went to Primary Children's Medical Center up at the University of Utah. He got all decked out in hospital jammies, complete with no-slip socks.

And then he took some medicine that made him, well, drunk. At least, he appeared to be drunk. They told us that it would make him drowsy and that he wouldn't have separation anxiety when they took him from us. They said it was medicine. If, by medicine, they meant bourbon, than I'm sure that's exactly what it was. I've never been drunk but I imagine it is much like he was behaving, plus taking off your clothes, dancing on a table and then promptly puking your guts out--or something. Below is a short video of the drunken fiasco. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to rotate it so that you can see him in an upright position. That's okay though because this kind of shows it like it was, an acid trip. If you really must see it upright, I suggest turning your computer monitor on its side.

Just before the toddler was given this mind altering drug, Allison showed up with her youngest to keep us company. Troy, Garrett and Snout were playing in a toy area and I was putting some things in my purse. She walked in and I almost said, "Hi, is Tim having surgery, too?" Because, like, I wouldn't have heard about it until then if he was? Of course she was there to chat the hour of waiting away, which was very nice and meant that I didn't even have to break out my book or revert to my childhood by watching the mullets take over an episode of Full House. In any case, she and Tim witnessed the hilarity, the drooling, the cracking up at nothing in particular, the loss of neck control. They thought it would make a funny story around the dinner table tonight.
Leaving your baby with an anesthesiologist is hard. Even when it's a routine surgery that's only supposed to take a half hour. But I did not cry when I walked away from my tiny patient, which is more than I can say for some of the mommies.
It seemed like no time at all when the doctor came out to tell us that the surgery had gone perfectly. He'd responded very well to the anesthesia and the hernia had been repaired. I would be allowed to see him once he started waking up and Troy could join us about fifteen minutes later. Well, actually, one of us could go to him once he woke up and the other could join fifteen minutes later. I pulled the birth card. You know the one, "I went through 25 hours of labor and therefore earned the right to be the one to go to him AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!" Husbands rarely argue against this point. I guess that when he woke up they gave him a bottle with apple juice in it. Garrett, not having had a bottle since his first birthday, looked at it like it was the plague. They switched to a sippy cup and he happily guzzled. "Duh. I'm a big boy. I've had surgery and everything. I'm so over the bottle." When I got to him they had just given him morphine and were rocking him. He was very angry about this:

"Get this green thing off of my ankle. I hate it and also, please remove the tape that is on my foot and make my toe stop glowing. My toe is not supposed to glow. And hey, also GET THIS IV OUT OF MY ARM RIGHT THIS FREAKING SECOND BECAUSE I HATE IT!"

Once I was holding him he would raise his arm to my face, look at me and groggily scream while waving it in front of my eyes. When I told him that we couldn't take it off yet he would yank at it. When he finally felt his eyes rolling back into his head he would take a sedentary break for about three minutes before angrily repeating the process. This went on for a good half hour. Scream, yank, comatose, repeat. Here he is during one of those comatose moments.

I notice that, in the picture, it kind of looks like he is wearing a diaper that is thirty sizes too big. Really, his large bandage blends in to his diaper. I promise. I also notice that he looks huge. When did my baby turn in to the jolly giant? Or, in this case, the not so jolly giant? He's asleep now, in his crib, which is good because when he's awake he causes self-induced pain. He's so used to poking his bellybutton in and out all day long and when he does it now, well, it hurts. Considerably.
We can't take the bandage off until Monday but I'll post a picture of the post-surgery nubbin sometime next week. I'm sure that it will just be a large flap of skin, like a stubby elephant trunk, where Snouter used to be.
Farewell Snouter, we'll miss you.


  1. Glad to hear it went well. I, too, shall miss Snouter. I was getting sorta used to him being around. Just a suggestion: hide your booze from the kid. Seriously. That was classic, though. *Disclaimer: The blogger does not actually provide her infant with alcohol. She, in fact, does not even provide herself with alcohol, and she is of legal drinking age by quite a few years.*

  2. i am glad he did so well and is recovering. i can see how the "snout" kinda grew on you though :) he's such a cute kiddo.

  3. Oh, my gosh, too funny! Glad it went well.

  4. The video is hilarious. He won't be able to pull anything over on you when he is a teenager since you already know how he will act drunk. Hilarious! Give my baby a kiss for me.

  5. Lori,
    I'm so glad to hear that he is okay. good luck with the recovery, i hope he doesn't poke his belly too much...

  6. Priceless video...hilarious story and well reported as was to be expected.

    As for the Jolly Green-ness? Tell him to cut it out.

  7. oh my goodness, too hilarious. so glad it went well. bye-bye snouter.

  8. awww, such a cute picture of the back of him in those hospital jammies. you look very stoic. i, on the other hand would have wept uncontrollably. lets hope, for garrett's sake, that he soon discovers his OTHER constant companion so that he won't miss snouter too much :)