SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Welcoming a new baby is an exciting time for parents, but if there are complications, that excitement can quickly turn to worry.
Amber and Blake Schumacher were looking forward to the birth of their second child, Benjamin.
But the challenges that lay ahead of them are more than just the typical care for a newborn
“He is keeping us up at night like the normal newborn would do, and he just seems perfectly fine. It’s why it’s kind of hard to believe and understand that there was an issue deep in his brain,” Schumacher said.
Benjamin was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 39 weeks, which is the buildup of fluid in the brain.
Sanford Health Dr. Eric Trumble says hydrocephalus is one of the most common health issues pediatric neurosurgeon’s see.
“It was not picked up until later, and sometimes it’s not picked up until after they deliver. It is an important thing to try to pick up though because what happens is if the fluid builds up in the head, the head gets larger. You’re basically blowing up that balloon. The head is still soft and infants,” Trumble said.
Unfortunately he says hydrocephalus occurs randomly, and there’s nothing that can be done to prevent it.
“We always recommend that the children are born at a hospital that has a pediatric neurosurgeon. And that’s one hospital in South Dakota that’s Sanford Children’s Hospital here in Sioux Falls,” Trumble said.
Soon after being born, Benjamin had a shunt placed, allowing the spinal fluid to drain out of the head and be absorbed, just as fluids would be.
“He’s doing awesome. You wouldn’t, you wouldn’t know that he had brain surgery at three days old. He acts just like a normal baby,” Schumacher said.
His parents’ advice to others is to trust their instincts and try to remain positive- adding that having a great team of care matters.
“We just want to thank everybody from there as well, because they made the experience, if it can be something beautiful, it made it, it made it really special because, because of them,” Schumacher said.
For more information on hydrocephalus, click here.