Friday, September 11, 2009
My daughter spent some time fighting monsters in the NICU. Most days she hung out in just her diaper so we had a good day-to-day view of her umbilical cord stump. I let the nurses know right away that if she should lose it when I wasn’t there, they were to bag it for me to keep.
(Enough with the eeewing... I had no idea it was gross and uncommon until the NICU nurses gave me the funny look and pointed out that usually they just throw them away.)
The average umbilical cord stump falls off within eight to 21 days, with most gone by two weeks. When my daughter hit four weeks old, the staff started commenting that it was a little weird that hers was holding out. Her NICU pictures remind me that sometime between day 35 and 38, a pediatric surgeon played with it until it came off. I’ll bet he was one of those kids that had a loose tooth out within days.
“Could it be the Down syndrome?” I heard the doctors wondering during rounds one evening. No one knew. I forgot all about it until I read out here in our blog community that someone else’s baby hung on to their cord stump for a long time as well. My curiosity got the best of me and I started looking into it.
Who knew the umbilical cord could be so interesting... there are umbilical hernias (20% of general population), two vessel cords (1 in 100-500 general pregnancies), late cord stump loss, and short umbilical cords.
Are babies with Down syndrome prone to umbilical code idiosyncrasies? Let’s find out. Take the poll <--- left column 5 blocks down. Please comment and let us know anything interesting that comes to mind concerning your child’s cord or umbilical cords in general.