It has taken me a while to come up with this post. I have been trying to find the right words to explain what we have gone through but no words can quite describe it so I will just have to try my best.
My daughter has hip dysplasia. She was diagnosed when she was 2 months old and I was heartbroken. Apparently, it is in our family and I had no idea. Infant hip dysplasia is developmental and is also called a dislocated hip. Her hip did not develop completely so it was more prone to dislocation. She did not display any signs of pain and I was in shock. I blamed myself, I went over every single thing I did or did not do. Did I cause this? Eventually, I came to terms with it and I know it wasn’t my fault.
She had to wear a full body brace 24/7 for 14 weeks. It might not seem that long but it was the longest 14 weeks of my life. When we went into the doctor’s office to put it on her, I was sobbing. She screamed the entire time and I felt horrible that she had to wear this thing that looked so uncomfortable. Although, after a few days, she got used it it. She felt no pain and was still her happy self. I on the other hand took a lot longer to get used to it.
Nursing was difficult as I could only position her one way. She could not have a bath, the one thing that she loved before bedtime, and I had to sponge bathe her. Sponge bathing her took about 30mins every day. Everytime she spit up or it something got on her outfit, it would take another 30min to change her. It was a very tedious and arduous process and I was mentally and physically tired but I knew it had to be done.
It was one of the happiest days of my life when they told us we could remove the brace 14 weeks later. The funny thing was, she didn’t even notice that it was off. When I finally put her in the bathtub, she screamed the whole time. She had forgotten what a bath felt like I was afraid she would never like it. I can admit when I am a worry wort and I know I am. It took her about a week to get used to the bath but now she absolutely love it and the sound of her kicking the water, making a huge mess makes my heart swell.
I did take pictures of her in the brace and I took some photos of her after they were off. I know that while it was a traumatizing thing for me to go through, it did not faze her at all and in the long run, it was the best thing that could have happened. We are so happy that our pediatrician caught it when he did. If he hadn’t, it would have taken even longer to fix it and it would have been even more difficult to fix. Now, we have to monitor her hip with X-rays until she is 8 years old and it scares me so much that she might dislocate it again but I know I cannot live in fear. I know that I need to just live in the moment, and love her, and enjoy her. I have to have faith that everything will work out the way it was meant to and not worry too much. Words to live by…..
Please click through to the next blog post in our This Is Us Blog circle to see Terri Collins Photography’s blog post.