We’re having belly button issues around here, or at least the females are. This is a gross subject, so if you want, turn away. I won’t be hurt.
About 2-3 weeks ago, I reached the ultimate “outie” phase of pregnancy in which my navel ceased to be concave. I had a really hard time with this last time as well. It’s gross. I don’t even care so much about the appearance. It’s the sensation of it. Although I have to say that this time the appearance is worse: I’ve grown some f’ing skin tags on my outie. Talk about insult to injury. 2 things I hate all rolled up into one grotesque part. Skin tags are bad enough, and I have a few areas that are practically furry with them. But to have 2-3 growing on my belly button? I’m waiting on the villagers to come to my door with pitchforks and torches. It’s beyond nasty. In all seriousness, someone from some public health agency (CDC? Planned Parenthood?) ought to come and take a picture of my belly button to take to middle and high school presentations on sex ed. I’ll bet my belly button alone could cut teenage pregnancy rates by half! This is your belly button. This is your belly button on baby. Any questions?
Anyway, most of my belly button stuff is totally mental. I don’t even know if I can articulate this properly. In my mind, the skin of my belly button area is tissue thin. Any pressure on this area will cause a rupture. Now that the belly button has inverted, I have left my abdomen open to potential rupturing-types of injuries. For the record, I’m not crazy enough to think that there is any medical basis for this. This is just the way it feels. Any time BY’s feet or elbows sweep my navel, I cringe, waiting for it to break through the surface. When Stella cuddles up to me for a nap and brings her little knees up, I’m waiting for one of them to sink into my abdominal cavity like a hot knife through butter. When I had my ultrasound the other week, I swear the tech kept that wand mashed in my belly button on purpose. I wanted to cry. I just hate it. I am seriously considering buying some big band aids to reinforce this area. It might psychologically make me feel better.
Now on to Stella’s, which is ultimately worse. Her belly button, or “be bum” as it’s called around here, has always been a bit ugly. I can say that. I’m her mother. I always attributed it to the fact that we nearly had to seek medical help to get her stump off. It took 32 days for it to drop. Her pediatrician had said that if we made it to a month without stump loss, we’d have to bring her in for some sort of intervention; I don’t even want to know what that means. That anniversary came on a Friday. Her stump disappeared on a Sunday. Anyway, her be bum just wasn’t the prettiest. It was an innie, which is good, but just wasn’t otherwise so cute. I wasn’t worried. If that’s the biggest thing she has to contend with growing up, we’re laughing, and you really really have to be looking closely at it to notice. And hey: it might keep her out of bikinis when she’s a teenager. Bonus points!
Anyway, there was always a little extra fleshy bit in her innie. I never thought much of it until recently when it began to grow and look a bit blue-purple sometimes. I finally reached the point where I had to admit something was going on. I allowed myself to Google “toddler hernia,” and lo and behold the search box populated “belly button” for me. Seems this is common. Stella’s is a bit unusual in these things most commonly present before a kid turns 1. If you’re lucky, they repair themselves. If not, the kid may need some minor surgical correction around the age of 5. Regardless, they are usually not dangerous and don’t cause pain. As totally grossed and freaked out as I am about this, I’m relieved that it’s not something we need to deal with now, other than the usual watch and wait approach. I honestly don’t know how we’d keep this kid sedate enough for healing from something like that at this point without keeping her doped constantly. Just this morning, she moved the heavy wooden rocking chair 6’ across the living room – after moving the coffee table which was in the way – so she could watch cartoons. She doesn’t understand the concept of “sit quietly.”
Now before you all start mentally chastising me, I will indeed let her doctor look at it the next time we see him. I feel confident enough in the validity of the sources I saw online (and the number of them with the same information) to feel as if this isn’t an emergency. It’s just gross. Poor me. Poor Stella. Matching ugly be bums.