After Ted was born his umbilical cord did as they all do and hung about for a week or so, getting increasingly crusty, before falling off. Not one for keepsakes, especially of the rotting flesh kind, it quickly went in the bin and we thought no more about it.
Four weeks later I noticed one morning that his belly button we looking slightly ‘sticky out-y’ but thought it must be that Ted was going to have an outie rather than an innie. A few hours later, at bathtime, S commented on it too and that’s when I realised that it must be something as he never notices anything!
So I googled. That was a bad move, It’s never wise to attempt to google anything medical, particularly not if it involves your children because you will self-diagnose the worst possible thing. So instead I did the sensible thing and sent a picture to my Brother In Law who’s a GP who confirm what I really did think. An Umbilical Hernia.
I had never heard of or come across this before but it is apparently a relatively common thing, affecting up to 1 in 10 babies to some extent. They occur when the circle of muscle surrounding the umbilical cord doesn’t close up quite as quickly as they should. At Ted’s 6 week check the GP advised that it causes no pain and that 95% of them sort themselves out by the time that baby is one. The four (4!) student GP’s who where on in his 6 week check all had a good poke at it. None of them had seen an umbilical hernia before. Given the way they undressed Ted with fear and trepidation in their eyes I would hazard a guess that they’d not seen a baby before either!
Apart from me freaking out about being able to feel his milk moving through it, we have had no issues with it. And fast forward 8 weeks and it has suddenly and definitely started to shrink. From Ted’s belly button being stretched to the maximum as it is in the above photo he now has a little crease of skin around it again. Hopefully it will retreat as fast as it appeared and I am definitely hopeful that it will be gone and there will be no surgery required.
In the meantime I just have to avoid touching it so I don’t feel all the inner workings of his digestive system. Weird.