Umbilical Cords

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I’m very thankful for umbilical cords.  They provided nourishment to me when I was inside my mother.  It provided for both of my boys while they are inside me.  However, once the baby is on the outside and the cord is clamped (after the blood has been allowed to drain into the baby of course), it just becomes kind of gross.  The way the cord shrivels up, and how it moves around and oozy maroon stuff is stuck around it.


Nicholas’ cord was getting close to falling off today.  I was excited that it wasn’t smelling really weird, like it was the day before.  We had been keeping it pretty clean and it looked like the remaining stump was just hanging on by a bit.  We had a full day planned of going to the zoo, visiting my midwife to have Nicholas weighed and checked out and then on to drop off some produce to my friend who just had her baby this weekend.  We went to the zoo and Nicholas was a bit fussy at first being in my didy wrap.  After nursing him on a bench, I got him settled in and Damon, Liam and I were able to enjoy the animals.

We went to visit my midwife.  I went in with Nicholas.  We weighed him and then I went to show her his cord stump.  I was horrified.  The stump was pulled to the side and it looked slightly herniated.  I started to cry because I thought that having him in the wrap today caused it to get pulled and herniated.  She reassured me that it wasn’t my fault.  Damon came in with Liam and looked at it too.  I was so grossed out by it.  We decided to head over to a new pediatrician that was near my midwife’s house.

I went in there with Nicholas while Damon stayed out in the car with Liam.  They asked me to get Nicholas undressed so that they could weigh him.  I had him wrapped up in a receiving blanket while waiting for them to weigh him.  He ended up weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz, almost his birth weight.  When I got back to the exam room, I looked down and the stump was gone.  I said so and the nurse asked where it went.  I found it in the blanket.  Now, of course, the stump falls off while we are there.  The doctor came in and examined it.  She said it was slightly herniated, but nothing to worry about.  She went on to cauterize it with silver nitrate (I think).  I asked her while she was doing it, was it hurting Nicholas because he was screaming his head off.  She said it probably burned a bit.  I was mad that she didn’t warn me of what she was doing.  We found out after Damon went into the office to complain about the procedure that this is a standard procedure for this practice.  Our other pediatrician never did anything like this for Liam, and the doctor apologized to Damon because she thought I knew what she was doing.  The belly button is all gray looking now.  I felt really bad for Nicholas, but he seems to being doing okay.  He is sound asleep right now.  At least the stump is gone now and it isn’t all gooky anymore.

Another note about the visit, I wasn’t pleased with the doctor when it appeared that she was about to try and retract his foreskin.  She asked if we planned to circumcize and I said no, she left the skin alone.  Maybe she wasn’t about to retract it, but I was about to jump on her if she did.

At least we are at home now and we can all just rest around the house.  I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring. I hope it does not involve doctors.  🙂


6 thoughts on “Umbilical Cords

    Heather said:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Ugh! The same thing happened to me with Ilana. I went in to have her cord checked and the dr. used the silver nitrate to “make it heal faster.” I didn’t know at the time what he was doing but once I got home and put all the pieces together I was pissed. And don’t believe it doesn’t hurt, it is horribly painful (I know from personal experience). Needless to say I never went back to that pediatrician. I hope you can find a dr. that’s a good fit for your family. Hugs to Nicholas!

      lahancock responded:
      April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      I don’t know if I will use that doctor again. Apparently the silver nitrate things is standard for this practice. I didn’t see the doctor I wanted to because she was off today and we wanted the belly button to get looked at. The pediatrician that we were seeing for Liam won’t deviate from the standard vaccine schedule in any way so we have to find a new pediatrician. This practice will deviate. I don’t really want to get any vaccines right now, (and no desire for debates, 🙂 ) It is hard to find a good pediatrician in Chattanooga because of the vaccine issue. I’ve heard there are a couple of good ones and we really liked our old pediatrician, but I guess the practice has changed it’s policies. And Heather, I agree with you, I think that it was horribly painful for Nicholas. Damon did go back in and talked to the pediatrician. She apologized for not explaining what she was about to do, she thought that is what we came in for. I just wanted them to look at the cord and tell me what we needed to do with the hernia. Apparently, nothing was needed to care for it, just time. Uggh!!!

    tfrogge said:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Are you still planning on using this doctor in the future? Doesn’t sound like she is a good fit for you.

    Lisa said:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    We left our pedi in Chattanooga/Ft. O because we were not comfortable with his partner and about 50% of the time that’s the doctor we got when we went. We loved the other doctor, but so does everyone else so we always had to wait FOREVER to see him. I hope you find someone that’s a good fit for you soon. I wonder if Carolyn could suggest a good one for you?

    Kristen said:
    April 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Viv had that done at her ped too…I don’t remember her crying. We were doing everything to keep it clean and dry but it was taking forever so they used the silver nitrate. It dried up the rest fast and it fell off within a day or two. Sorry it hurt the little guy though!

    thevfamily said:
    April 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I am so confused as to why the nitrate was used. I mean, why was it needed or expected to be needed…..all she should not have done it without asking me about it aside (which is a completely different deal!).

    I have never had that happen or heard of it happening!

    And my pediatricians have not even attempted retraction on my boys at that young of an age. Yikes!

    I would run away fast.

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