Friday, 22 July 2011

The Kindness of Friends

We were somewhat shocked that we went in to the Children's Hospital with a free kicking little girl and left a few hours later with a baby restrained by a harness to keep the top of her femur correctly positioned in the hip socket to try to correct her DDH.  Talk about a whirlwind.  A million thoughts were running through my mind, including "What are we going to dress her in now?"  The bulk of the harness meant that BabyB-B would no longer fit into her newborn clothes and required clothes one to two sizes bigger.  All in ones were recommended. 

I know this sounds supperficial, but the idea of BabyB-B spending all day every day in pyjamas really upset me.  It's the middle of Winter so I accepted that dresses were out of the question (as there was no way tights were going over the harness); but what about pants and tops? 

Our friend, Mrs L, came over to visit on harness Monday with her son, BabyL.  She sat listening to my fears and comforting me through my tears.  She handed over a bag of clothes in bigger sizes that BabyL was not going to wear and we workshopped possible clothing options and what kind of pants would work.  Mrs L left saying she wanted to try something out.

A few hours later, at about 7.30pm, our intercom rang.  It was Mrs L holding a brand new pair of pants with slits cut down the front to allow the harness through and buttons at the waist to do up under the harness.  They were the brand new pants she had bought for her little boy that weekend.  I couldn't believe the generousity of our dear friend. 

The next morning as I dressed BabyB-B in her new pants I cried tears of gratitude for a friend who understood that sometimes a new mum just wants her baby to look "normal" and fit in.  BabyB-B looked quizzically at her crazy mother crying over a pair of pants. 

BabyB-B in her Pavlik Harness and special pants.

The Clicky Hip

It seems so long ago that our DDH adventure began.  It started with a routine examination by the paediatrician of BabyB-B two days after her birth.  He said he could feel a slight "click" in our perfect daughter's hip, but not to worry as it almost always sorts itself out.  We quickly dimissed the "clicky hip" from our minds. 

Over the following weeks BabyB-B's hips were examined by our home visit nurse, our GP and our early childhood centre nurse.  On each occasion I mentioned that the paediatrician had felt a click and ordered an ultrasound at eight weeks.  At each of these examinations I was told that no click could be felt but to go for the ultrasound anyway.  Again, I quickly dismissed the "clicky hip" from my mind.

The day of the ultrasound arrived and up to the Children's Hospital I went.  It was BabyB-B's eight week birthday.  BabyB-B, typical to form, smiled and cooed at the technician as she was put down on a bed made for someone much larger than she.  During the ultrasound she continued to coo, smile and take in her surroundings.  As the technician got to the "clicky hip" our little BabyB-B started to get cross and I got a feeling in my gut that something wasn't quite right.  The technician said nothing.

The following week we had result day with the paediatrician at the Royal Hospital for Women.  We had already had a busy day at mother's group, which we left following one of BabyB-B's now infamous poonamis.  I raced home from Centennial Park to change my smiling poo monster before packing her into the Ergo carrier and walking up to the hospital.  BabyB-B fell asleep on the walk and was oblivious to my anxiety sitting in the outpatients' waiting room. 

Our name was finally called and in we went for the results: 50% on the left and 42% on the right.  What does that mean?  My question exactly.  The paediatrician said 50% is good but less than 50% they have to do something but he had to call his boss.  In the meantime he examined a now wide awake and smiling BabyB-B.  She proceeded to tell him all about her day in a delightful series of cooes and gahs.  Apart from the 42% she scored an A+.  The plus being that she interacts and responds to people much like a four month old baby would.  "The boss" then came in and in a massive whirlwind I was left holding a referral for the following Monday to the orthopaedic surgeon at the Children's Hospital.  The boss said they would probably put her in a harness.  My heart sank.  I called DaddyB-B and told him the news.  We reassured ourselves that it would only be for a few weeks and then it would be over.

All three of us trooped up to the Children's Hospital for our appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon.  We thought he would be telling us about treatment options and what would be happening.  Instead he put our smiling little girl on a bed, ignored her cooes and smiles and proceeded to examine BabyB-B like she wasn't there.  His boss came in to examine our smiling angel. acknowledging her presence with his own cooes and click.  He told us we had to go up to orthotics to have a Pavlik Harness fitted.  Now.  My heart broke.

We left with instructions for our next appointment and ultrasound and headed to the orthotics department.  Again our smiling BabyB-B was put on to a large bed.  Her clothes stripped and her chest measured.  She was the fitted with her Pavlik Harness.  As the first strap was done up she screamed.  My heart shattered.  What had I done wrong to cause this?  Was she too crammed inside me?  Was my labour too long?  I did not like to accept the logical answer, the genetic predisposition on DaddyB-B's side.  It was my fault. 

Our darling daughter has been in a Pavlik Harness of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) for just over a week now.  She spent the first seven days in it 24 hours a day.  She is now allowed an hour of "free time" each day.  I cried tears of joy during her first hour out.  A week is a long time not to see your beautiful baby's perfect little body and have lovely naked cuddles.  Apart from the initial screaming at having it fitted she does not seem at all bothered by the harness.  DaddyB-B and I are also coming to terms with it.  Her wild kicking during her hour free time lights up my heart.  Her protests at having it put back on are no more than her protests at having to get dressed generally. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mummy Diary - Archives - early entries before the my blog was born

Mummy Diary - Day 1 - "Introducing Elizabeth who arrived at 2.15am this morning. 3.08kg, 53cm long and extremely beautiful."

 
Mummy Diary - Day 11 - "Me: unshowered, mastitis, covered in vomit and completely in love; Elizabeth: putting on weight, eating, sleeping, pooing, vomiting and completely unconcerned by the pathetic state of her mother."

Mummy Diary - Day 13 - "Me: managed to squeeze my rings back onto my finger. Have not managed to squeeze my backside back into my jeans. Questioning whether it is socially acceptable to go for a walk with cabbage leaves in my bra; Elizabeth: thought it would be fun to squirt poo at Mummy during the 3am nappy change. Who knew that was possible?"

Mummy Diary - Day 22 - "Me: sad because my Mummy has gone home. Wondering how something so small can snore like a truck driver and wishing she would do it in her bed. Knowing I've made too many calls/visits to the GP when I tell the receptionist it's the crazy woman with the newborn and she says 'Ah yes, see you on Monday'; Elizabeth: why would I sleep in my bed when I can get cuddles if I protest enough?!"

Mummy Diary - Day 26 - "Me: made it to the Chief's farewell only to spend most of my time sitting outside Banco Court feeding a hungry little monster; Elizabeth: met the Chief and the Governor and put on my best 'I'm an angel' face. Couldn't understand why Mummy took me outside when I started making grunting noises."

Mummy Diary - Day 28 - "Manufacturers clearly have no faith in the brain function of new mums. First instruction in the baby monitor book, 'Never immerse any part of the baby monitor in water or any other liquid.' No sh*t!!"

Mummy Diary - Day 33 - "You can not truly understand what your mother did for you until you have a child of your own. I love you Mum."

Mummy Diary - Day 35 - "Me: Most of you know how much I hate noisy eaters and mouth noises. Elizabeth is the noisiest eater in the world and it is adorable; Elizabeth: I know, it's because I'm gorgeous!!"

Mummy Diary - Day 37 - "I understand cutting off my breast will probably be more painful than the world of hurt I'm in right now, but it still seems like a viable option!"

Mummy Diary - Day 41 - "Watching Elizabeth watch her hand. She's still not quite sure what it is or where it came from."

Mummy Diary - Day 42 - "Not looking forward to taking Elizabeth for her first immunisations this afternoon."

Mummy Diary - Day 43 - "Thank you to my wonderful mother in law for taking Elizabeth for a walk so I could have a nap this afternoon after no sleep last night."

Mummy Diary - Day 44 - "Poonami (n.) = a wave of poo that blasts everything in its path, often without warning and is disproportionally large compared to the infant it is expelled from."

Mummy Diary - Day 51 - "Me: for some reason five minutes spent trying to settle a crying baby feels a lot more like 55; Elizabeth: I think Mummy is a bit crazy. Once she thinks she's settled me she crawls out of my room like a commando. Weirdo!"

Mummy Diary - Day 53 - "Just wants to spend all day snuggled up in bed with my little girl."

Mummy Diary - Day 55 - "Just squeezed my backside into my pre-Elizabeth jeans. They may be a bit tighter than is strictly necessary but I got them on!!"

Mummy Diary - Day 56 - "Can't believe our little girl is eight weeks old today. I'm not sure I remember life before her!"

Mummy Diary - Day 67 - "Trying to come to terms with the Pavlik Harness."

Mummy Diary - Day 69 - "Poonami 1 : Pavlik 0."

Mummy diary - Day 75 - "Me: Our daughter is definitely her father's child. Her greeting to me this morning - an enormous pop and a huge smile; Elizabeth: but it was funny Mummy and it didn't smell!"

Mummy Diary - Day 75 - The day I decided to start a blog

I have flirted with the idea of writing a blog a few times.  There was my "Shiksa in Shtetl" idea, where I was going to write about my conversion to Judaism.  There was my "Baby Lawyer, Big City" idea, where I was going to write about being, well, a baby lawyer.  Most recently, there was my "Mummy Diary" idea, where I was going to write about my adventures in the wonderful world of motherhood.

The Mummy Diary started as the odd entry on my Facebook status and has now grown into this blog.  One of DaddyB-B's distant cousins in the UK suggested that one day BabyB-B might enjoy reading over the Mummy Diary.  In the days where putting pen to paper seems to by a dying artform a blog seemed the best place to preserve it.

I'm not sure what prompted me to start it today.  It could have been reading over various blogs by other parents whose children have DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip) on my iPhone while BabyB-B napped on my chest this afternoon, or it could have been that nothing was on TV while DaddyB-B was at basketball and BabyB-B was asleep for (hopefully) the evening.  In any event here it is:  the Mummy Diary.
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