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.