What the Pediatrician Told Us the Day After (a. k. a. Why Changing a Snickerdoodle Diaper Requires a Degree in Engineering.)

I know this is more than a week late. See, I have this newborn . . . 🙂

Last Wednesday morning I was cleared by my doctor to go home, and given my discharge papers. I told Jonathan that he could come with the children to pick me up as soon as the snickerdoodle was discharged by the pediatrician and I began to pack up my few things.

When the pediatrician arrived she started with “congratulations, she’s beautiful . . .” and I sort of put my brain on auto pilot. I’ve been through this a couple of times before. They tell me the baby is fine, but their bilirubin count is a little high and we go home. She said, “My only concern is. . . ” and then she pulled up a chair.

My brain jumped from autopilot to full alert mode in .2 seconds. I was immediately thinking, “What’s wrong with my baby. And why didn’t I notice?” That’s what motherhood does for you: worry and guilt in one fell swoop and it meant that for the entire conversation I felt a step behind. She was giving me facts while I was jumping ahead to horrible possibilities, then I was dragging myself back to her facts while she was giving me details.

My brain was able to catch “hips” . . . “clicking sound” . . . “orthopedic consult” . . . “ultrasound” . . . “today.”

And it was telling me “hips aren’t internal organs . . . this isn’t life threatening . . . one more day in the hospital.”

At 1:00 she was taken for an ultrasound of her hips, and that evening, at almost 5, the orthopedic team arrived and gave me the details I had either missed or weren’t available in that first pediatric assessment. Here’s the scoop as it was explained to me:

My snickerdoodle has Hip dysplasia, which means that her hip sockets are too shallow. She’s wearing a Pavlik Harness to hold her hips in place encouraging the socket to re-shape itself around the ball of the joint. There is a 90% success/recovery rate with the average child wearing the harness for 6 – 8 weeks, followed by a 4 – 6 week “weaning” process of removing it for longer periods each day.

Because I nursed my other two children lying down, the nursing adjustment hasn’t been too difficult. Ironically, she’s my only child who has wanted to be swaddled, and we can’t swaddle her legs, but we’ve purchased a swaddle sack and just leave her legs out of the sack end.

The biggest inconvenience is changing diapers. All of the documentation says that diapers can be changed around the harness, and while that’s technically true, it requires pushing the tabs up between to sets of straps.

It is possible.

It is not easy.

Especially at two in the morning.

As we’ve been told to give her an hour break each day, I have taken to giving her a 45 minute break in the evening, and then removing just the foot booties throughout the day just to change diapers. I’m pretty sure that all of the diaper changes in a day don’t add up to 15 minutes, so I think I’m okay.

We will have 2 week evaluations and hip ultrasounds to measure the depth of the socket and to re-position the harness as she grows.

We appreciate all the prayers and will keep everyone updated on her condition, and we’re really thankful that if we had to have anything wrong with our beloved baby daughter, it is something so easily corrected and so generally easy to live with during correction.


About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

3 responses to “What the Pediatrician Told Us the Day After (a. k. a. Why Changing a Snickerdoodle Diaper Requires a Degree in Engineering.)

  • Marianne

    I so hope that little miss is doing well. AND, I really hope you’re adjusting to life with three. You’ve been in my prayers, beautiful lady.

  • Lollie

    I am so glad they caught it right away. I have a girlfriend whose little girl had the same thing, only the Drs didn’t notice until she was 1yr! She spent a long time in a brace. Then she had regular check ups. At age 4 she had to have surgery, which ended up being a horrible process. Now she is Almost 5 and doing much better. If it had been caught at birth there would have been no need for all of this.
    Praying it all works out and the brace does it’s job and she will have great results!!! 🙂

  • Hips. Another Thing That’s Cuter on Babies Than Their Mamas. « Life More Abundantly

    […] Babies Than Their Mamas. 17 May We had the first snickerdoodle hip ultrasound to evaluate her hip dysplasia on Monday morning. A healthy hip has a socket angle of at least 60 degrees. Our snickerdoodle was […]

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