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The Head Critique

I knew there was a reason that I spent all that time and money on art school. I just knew it would pay off.


Somehow or other.

In very small yet very significant ways?

Well regardless of practicality or not, having an artistically trained eye isn't such a bad thing. Like when you try to formulate and understand things like the sizes of body parts. Take for example proportions: the classical proportion head to toe ratio calls for at least seven heads to make up a body, or depending on which time period perhaps even nine or ten. Heck, in barbie's freakishly abnormal body you can measure at least twelve heads! (If not more, but who really has the time to sit around and figure out barbie's proportions? Not me!) Ahem..
As you can imagine, a baby's proportions is very different from an adult. In addition to having spindly little arms like a t-rex, they are born with huge heads. At least in comparison to an adult ratio. So you can only imagine what the ratio was when our little lion man was born. His whole body, measuring from the neck down to his little toesies, probably was the same if not smaller size, then his ginormous head. Freaky barbie has got nothing on my little dude...

So when I brought him in to see the plastic surgery wonder-worker last week, and witnessed his rapture over the "totally amazing shape of his head," you really know just how much that means.

Even though his surgery this summer was one of the most intense, terrifying and wretched experiences of our life, I thank God for it every single day. It has made such a huge difference in little man, that words can't even describe. Every frazzled nerve was totally, and absolutely worth it.

And no, I am not just talking aesthetics. His development has kicked into a totally different gear (super-fast?) and we are racing just to keep up with him. We now know, post-fact, how much the weight and the extra fluid was keeping him grounded and helpless. And aesthetically? He doesn't wear hats so much anymore. Only when I am feeling a little extra insecure.

Today we decided with his very knowledgeable orthodic doctor to bypass the helmet. He just doesn't fit into any of the helmet needing categories. This is where, unlike in art, symmetry IS cool. And Leo has plenty of it. His head is symmetrical all around, and even though it's a little flat on the back, this is something he says will go away on his own as his head grows now that he is off his back. His head is still a little tall on the back, but the helmet can't fix that anyway, because it requires counter pressure to work, and unless you stick him in a full head and shoulders thing, there really isn't anyway to provide that opposite pressure. And as seen on the MRI, he just has a tall brain.

However, we have decided to give the go-ahead for the next surgery. This one will be aimed specifically on bringing his forehead out and providing a ridge for his eyebrows to protect his eyes more. Although not as super intense and risky as the last one, this one will still involve cutting and moving bone around his eyes. They will probably use the same incision from last time, and the biggest factor would be, as always, his shunt. They don't want to fiddle with it, but are nervous about it being uncovered for any amount of time because of infection. I'll get back to you with that info when I, and they, know more about the plan for dealing with that.

Either this will happen sooner, like next month, or in the beginning of the new year. I told em that there was no way where were going to spend the holidays sitting in the hospital. Even though that we are becoming old hands at the hospital/surgery thing, my blood still runs cold at the thought of what we have to go through. Again. There is no choice however. We promised Leo when he was born that we would do whatever it takes to give him the best chance at life.

Here are some shots of his sweet, and fairly littleish towhead from a couple angles.

All the extra skin follows his cowlick back there. Although he might have kinda curly hair too. The doc said he trimmed 15cm of skin. At the most he has EVER trimmed 5. Looks like there is still some left to spare!

Can't even see his scars really, and that line going behind his ear is his shunt tubing.

You can see here how flat his forehead and eyebrow ridge is. This is what they will change in the next surgery.


  1. Wow! What a difference. He looks great, Anna; thanks so much for keeping us posted.

  2. Well that's good news about Leo not having to wear the helmet...I see him just wanting to take it off! :-) Maybe the surgery will also add proportionately as well. Love his new head shape and pics, jumping video? :-)


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