Like most parents of kids with craniosynostosis, we didn't know about Julian's condition until he was born. Looking back at his ultrasound, you can kind of see it:
Then again, if you don't know what you're looking for, what does it matter what you see in a silly ultrasound, right?
On December 5th, 2007, when he was born, however, there were some pretty clear indicators that something was a little different about his head. We just chalked them up to molding from the birth and went home, exhausted and happy.
Still, he was really very cute, so we didn't think that much of anything could be wrong with him. So, at five days we blithely took him in for his first pediatric check up, where I was concerned about his jaundice, and joked happily about how I couldn't see the pulsing heartbeat in his softspot. Then the hammer fell.
Craniosynostosis. And not just one affected suture, but four. He was going to require surgery, and soon. We decided to use our six weeks between diagnosis and surgery to snuggle:
We also took him down to the family church and got him christened:
We tried to pretend life was normal and even took Christmas pictures:
We had lots and lots of doctor's appointments, CT scans and MRIs, in preparation for the surgery. Eventually we even got to see what Julian's skull looked like:
It was obvious why the boy was going to need the surgery, but we were dreading it. And then, the big day came.