We have hit a big milestone This week – the last of the scab over Isabelle’s omphalocele has fallen off. Although still pretty red looking, we officially have skin closure!
It has has taken 4 months to get to this point, which means give or take I have done about 100 + dressing changes. Now, all her energy can go towards growing bigger instead of also fixing a wound. We also have no concerns about going into a pool or tub. We had our first fully submursed bath together yesterday and until I started scrubbing her head a little too aggressively to get rid of cradle cap, she seemed to enjoy it.
The one thing that I have learned from this skin closure business is to not judge progress based on other people’s progress. I know you are all thinking how is that I have a toddler and a newborn and haven’t yet learned this lesson? But I have always been one to succumb to tracking progress in relation to the general population. With the progress of an omphalocele and skin closure, it is completely impossible. Each baby born with an omphalocele has different amount of skin and different sized omphaloceles. Once they are born, there are a miriad of ways to treat it: surgery, paint and wait, vaccum. If painting and waiting, there are many different solutions to paint with, and different combination of bandaging to do. When to start compression is another option, as is what type of compression to use. When we first started on this journey I would look at other babies on the omphalocele support group and wonder if Isabelle was healing slower than other babies. But through these four months I have really learned to throw away all expectations and just celebrate every milestone.