This is a hard post for me to write. The last week has been so wonderful with Parker Penny’s arrival; however, there has been a small gray cloud looming since the day of her birth when the pediatrician announced the news.
“Your daughter has hip dysplasia. She’ll probably be in a body brace for the next year or so.”
He wasn’t my pediatrician, (mine was on vacation) and his bedside manner was terrible. I tried hard to hold back the tears; realizing my child was not in perfect health. The Dr. tried to briefly explain the condition to my husband as I sat there stunned over the news.
My husband comforted me–reassuring me that our daughter was going to be just fine. Our precious daughter who had only been in this world for a few short hours.
I called to make an appointment with the pediatric orthopedic specialist…they couldn’t see her for 4 more days. Within those four days I saw the pediatrician twice more because after her initial visit, the pediatrician was concerned with her bilirubin count and too few wet diapers. (At this point I had seen 4 different pediatricians because mine was still out on vacation–I know I have no right to be upset over that, but I was super frustrated my daughter had yet to see her Dr.). So after a couple of emotional days thinking I was starving my child, her bilirubin stabilized and she is now peeing and pooping like a champ.
Her appointment with the specialist was on Monday. The nurse prepared us telling us that she would likely be going home in a brace. I was able to hold back the tears until they put the brace on her. It’s a scary looking contraption called a Pavlik Harness and it must be worn 24/7. The length of time she has to wear it really just depends on how her body decides to heal–but I think I recall the Dr. saying it ranges from 3-12 months. The Dr. said about 10% of cases require treatment beyond the brace which would include a body cast and/or surgery.
The brace looks much worse than it actually is; it makes my heart hurt to see her in it though. The day we brought her home in it I was inconsolable. Changing diapers is a challenge. Nursing is more difficult. Cuddling is harder. We can’t bathe her until she’s out of the brace.
In the scheme of things, I know this is minor and treatable and I’m grateful they caught it on her first day of life. I’ve had a few daily melt downs followed by moments of perspective as God is giving me strength and teaching me reliance on Him. I trust in God’s plan for her. Although there are lots of tears on my part, I’m so thankful Parker will never even remember this time. The only thing she’ll be lacking is photos with adorable outfits for awhile. It’s a good thing she’s so dang cute.