Monday, April 23, 2012

Cast change day

That's all I can say!
This day is the day I have been dreading/stressing/losing sleep over for the last 7 weeks.  Today was Lucy's cast change.  I called it 'D-Day' since this is the day that her old, ugly, stinky purple cast was removed, and the surgeon checked her hip for stability.  BIG day.  There was absolutely a chance of the cast coming off, and the hip going WHOOOOP and slipping right back up.  Yep, it was possible.  With hip dislocations, anything is possible, so just because there is a cast on, doesn't mean a thing.  It's not like a broken bone... A dislocation is much more complicated since the head of the femur and the hip socket have to 'meet' for the first time and then 'marry!'  They have to grow together, the tendons, cartilage, everything. It's a process.  So, if all of it isn't coming together, WHOOOOOOP... there goes the hip again.
Thank you LORD that this wasn't the case today.
So, we show up at 8:30 for check in at Phoenix Children's Hospital.  How crazy that check in is 8:30, when our procedure wasn't scheduled until 10:30.  
We get there, and the dang panic sets in.  No xanax on hand (dang it, I forgot it at home!) so I just sat there... quietly, waiting for us to be called to the pre-op area.  (You know I am stressed when I am quiet...haha)
We get to pre-op, and the nurse informs us that Dr. Segal is running behind, since he was teaching this morning.  Great.  Lucy hasn't eaten since 9 last night, or had a single thing to drink.  She was so tired, so hungry... Aaron and I kept her busy by reading books, playing with the iPad, and taking trips to the little play area at the hospital.  
Finally... 11 am rolls around, and there is Dr. Segal in the hall reviewing our chart before coming in.  I joked with Aaron and said he is probably like, 'dang, the Farrish family again.' haha!
He comes in and explains what he is going to do, and then asks if I have questions.  DUH!!! Of course I do! :-)  I whip out my iPhone where I have stored all of my notes/questions.  He just takes a seat.  He said 'how did I know you would have a ton of questions?!?!'  He knows me by now.  As he leaves he said 'so, the last 6 weeks haven't been that bad, right?!'  and I said, 'well, if you are comparing it to getting stabbed repeatedly, no... I guess not that bad...'  Ummm, hello, it's hotter than hell here with a non-toddling toddler. YES, it sucks.  And it's been SEVEN weeks, not 6!
Anyway, he leaves and then the anesthesiologist comes in.  YIKES.  A different guy than the last 2 times.  I asked about his entire job history and he said he has been doing this for 20 years, so I felt better.  
I swear, this DOESN'T get any easier.  Lucy has been under now 3 times since Feb, and each time feels like the first.  The anticipation, and the demons in your head saying 'what if they can't wake her up??!'  It's awful.  So of course, I give my sweet girl the biggest squeeze and about a million kisses on her little soft cheek.  I hand her off to the nurse and it felt like my whole world was being ripped from my arms.  Awful. These strangers have my baby's life in their hands!  Lucy, again, waves bye bye to momma and I hear her crying down the hall.  
Honestly, for those of you with kids... If you haven't ever been through a surgery with your child, THANK GOD every night.  Seriously.  Get on your knees and thank God for that because it's the most horrible thing for any parent to face.  
So, fast forward through the longest hour of our lives, and there comes Dr. Segal.  His first words when he sees my face are 'I am not sure what to do walking up to you, because I don't know if I should smile, dance or give thumbs up.'  haha... I requested all three. :)
All in all, her x-ray was awesome!  Hip is in socket!  He said he manipulated her leg straight, and the hip stayed, which shows great stability.  YAY!  I literally felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.  Thank you GOD for answering my bazillions of prayers.
One of my concerns are that since the cast is new, should we do a precautionary x-ray?  Dr. Segal said, 'I already told my staff that I know mom, and she will want an x-ray, so it's already scheduled.'  Good Dr. :) 
Dang right, I want to see this with my own 2 blood shot eyes! 
The cast is way different.  I don't like it at all.  It's PINK thank goodness... (the purple was awful) BUT... it has a bar!  WTF!  When the Dr. told me that I looked at him and said 'are you joking me right now?!'  Reason being is that this cast is fiberglass, the last one was plaster.  SO, fiberglass is lighter and cooler for her, but not as stable and bulky as plaster.  Dang it.  He then tells me 'the bar is blue.'  Ummm, WHAT in the world possessed him to put a blue bar on a pink cast?!  Why not just match em?!  Whatever.  The hip is stable and we will deal, but men just don't think like us ladies do. :)  I think I am going to wrap it in zebra print duct tape.
I told the Dr. 'you have to have seen/dealt with crazier moms than me, right?!'  and he said, 'well... no but I do appreciate that you care.'  HA!  In 25 plus years, I take the cake for the most over protective, crazy mother.  Awesome.  He then told us that 'so many parents LEAVE their children in the hospital and think of it as a little vacation for themselves.'  Are you kidding me?!  They should be SHOT!  What A-holes.
Anyways...We go back to recovery and again my heart stops.  There she is.  Like a sleeping beauty.  My EVERYTHING!  Perfect little angel baby, with a mask on her face breathing in strawberry scented oxygen.  Her mouth was open so I could see all of her new teeth.  Pure perfection in every way.  The bar, the cast, nothing else mattered right then.  She was safe.  :)  The rest of the world could have blown up at that point and I would have still been sitting there by her side, staring at this perfect little girl I created. 
We were able to go home right away after she woke up, so bye bye!  Last time she needed a CT scan, but the Dr. didn't want to this time due to the radiation exposure, so we grabbed the babe and left. 
She was perfect all the way home.  She is fascinated by the bar on her cast, and keeps hitting it like it's some sort of musical instrument...She had some juice and crackers while mommy put the waterproof tape around her diaper area, and is currently in dream land... 
So next Wed we will go in for what I am hoping is one of the final x-rays for awhile, and we will then set up her REMOVAL date! :-)  YAY!  I think just having that day to look forward to will help.  
I am such a happy momma right now.  I feel so proud of my little girl and my whole family.  We have been through SO much in 2012 already, and I am ready to get back to life.
Of course, her recovery is going to be a long one.  The cast will come off, and she will most likely have a foam brace around her thighs for awhile to wean her off the cast.  She won't walk right away.  She won't even be able to sit up or crawl for awhile... BUT... it will come in time.  It all will come in time.
What is upsetting to know is that this is probably not the end of our hip journey.  The Dr. said when children approach 3 years old, they have a growth spurt, so there is another surgery that he will most likely do then... 
I can't focus on that now.  I am only focusing on getting through these next 5 weeks with my sanity still in tact... well, somewhat at least.
One thing I have promised myself is that when Lucy is running around like a wild woman, when she is climbing on things she shouldn't, when she is making a mess all over, I will remember the pain and stress of this cast, and just ENJOY her.  Screw it.  She can run and run and run and make a mess all over.  I will treasure every moment.  The things I hear parents complain about just drives me nuts.  It's like 'get over it princess, you have no idea what it's like to have a child that can't move!'  My tolerance for these nosey, know it all parents is gone.  I can't take em.  They have no experience with anything in their lives and don't appreciate the little things that they should.
The biggest thing I can't wait for is to walk with her holding my hand.  I could cry thinking about it.  I haven't gotten that yet.  Don't EVER take that for granted with your babies!  I would give the world right now to walk with her holding her sticky little hand... :)
Anyway... today is over.  And it went wall.  All I can ask for at this point. 
Thank you to everyone who e-mailed, texted and wished us luck and sent prayers.  We really truly appreciate it!  

Love from sunny Arizona...

Trying to keep her occupied while waiting... and waiting....
I hate this bar already... this was L in recovery after the change
I love kissing her!
There it is.  Beautiful hip!
Haha, the Dr. did that with a happy face and his initials so they remember to cast the LEFT leg and not the right!  How pissed would I be?!?!?!?
On the way home with my princess
Can't wait to start filling this up with 'days til removal!'
Thank you Lord for her iPad!
Still waiting... playing in the children's play area
Pretty much the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top six picks

Tonight's post is all about my top 'must haves' for my spica baby.
My spica baby that hopefully will only be a spica baby for 5 1/2 more weeks! :-)

Before Lucy was casted, I bought everything and anything that people said to buy, hoping to make our lives in a spica cast easier.  Well, I have narrowed my faves down to six items that we use almost daily.  These are Lucy's 'must haves!'
Again, I hope someday these posts will help someone who is freaking out facing a spica cast.  Lord knows I was... Now I am getting worried/scared/paranoid for her cast change which will happen this Monday. I hope her hip is stable and the cast is easy for us to maneuver.  Yep, I have heard the second cast is usually shaped different... grrrrreat.... anyway, I hope my top 6 spica picks work for you!
Have a happy night!

IVY ROSE SPICA CHAIR.  I can't say enough awesome things about this!  Of course, we had it painted with bulldogs on it, since Lucy's brothers are bulldogs!  This is where Lucy's eats and plays, and ROCKS and ROCKS!

SMART TRIKE!  I have found that Lucy hates being in her stroller.  She wants to feel like a big kid now, and leaning back in her stroller just ain't cuttin' it.  This trike is how we do our walks now.  My husband cut the sides down so it holds her in perfectly! (As you can tell, she is super happy in it!)
Anything to distract her from this sucky cast!

CAST COOLER.  I was skeptical at first, but even on her plaster cast I feel a breeze with this thing!  You hook it up to a vacuum and wooooooo!!!!!!!!  Cold air blowing... We live in Arizona so cold air blowing anywhere, anytime is welcomed. :-)  It also helps to dry the cast out.

Red Wagon!  She can still have her friends ride with her!  She loves it!

Brica fold n go travel chair.  LOVE IT.  It folds flat and it's portable.  We take this to restaurants and people's houses to visit since she hates leaning back all the time.  This way she feels part of the group!  This is awesome!!!  There is no sides on the chair either, so it's perfect for a casted babe.

MUST HAVE.  Video game bean bag chair.  When she does have to lean back, it's not so bad in this.  We tried a regular bean bag and to me, there wasn't enough room!  She got so hot and sweaty on it, and I hated having to re-position the beans in it all the dang time.  This one is a bit more $$, but stays a perfect shape, supports her legs, and wipes clean.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Crazy over clothes

I decided to do kind of a 'fun' post today.
Since our half way mark is here (YAHHH!) I am getting so anxious to get this over with.  I am beginning to think that counting down days isn't a good thing.  I have a 'ticker' on my phone and I swear I check that darn thing like 4 times a day.  Yes, I know it won't change til the NEXT day, but still... I am obsessed with it!  I need to chill out and let the time fly by like it usually does when I don't want it to.
Anyway... for those who know me well, you know that any cute outfit I see for Lucy, I buy.  I can't help myself.  My husband has stopped making comments when I buy more clothes for her.  He knows that I would eat Ramen noodles before I stop shopping for Lucy.  It's not normal, I know it's crazy, but I love her in cute clothes!  :-)  By cute, I don't mean expensive.  I have found that Wal-Mart has some of the cutest clothes for kids!
Before Lucy was casted, we wondered what the heck we are going to put her in during the day.  Her leg is casted so darn high that it makes it hard.  I also try to get something long enough to cover her diaper, but that's not easy when it's HOT in Arizona!
Right now she is pretty much living in Carters Nightgowns.  They are so cute, they look like a dress, and they are comfy.  Lucy normally right now would be wearing a 24 month size, but I buy a 3T in these gowns and they work just great.  Most other things I have bought for her tend to be too big and slip off her shoulder.
Yesterday (with all my excitement for the half way mark) I decided to clear out her closet.  I haven't really spent that much time in her room since we don't change her in there, and really, she wears the same gowns all the time now.  I figured when she is out of her cast she will still be a size 24 month or a 2T.  This kid is tall!  I bagged up all of her 18 month sizes and it literally PAINS me to think of these beautiful clothes she hasn't had a chance to wear!  Luckily, our friend and her little girl is coming over to take some of the clothes off our hands.  YES, of course, I will donate them IF and WHEN we decide not to have another.  Haven't gotten that far yet.
My mom is almost worse than I am with buying clothes.  She literally calls every day saying 'OH MY GOSH I got a few new dresses for Lucy and then I saw a bathing suit, blah blah blah...'  
The other night I was looking through old pictures and it inspired me to get on and search out for some new things for the babe.  Once the box arrived, I had to wash everything and organize her closet.  I can't WAIT for her to be able to wear clothes again!!!!!!!!!!!  My little fashionista will have to wait about 6 more weeks to jump into her new threads.  
Carters clothes, which are at most places, seem to fit the best.  Their dresses for her while in her cast are perfect.  I have actually bought the 2T in dresses, and they are perfect.  Not too expensive and look so cute!
If your baby is going into a cast, don't waste your time and money on anything else.  The annoyance with clothes that fall off the shoulder ALL DAY long, will lead to shredded cheese and applesauce down the cast.  Been there, done that.
If anyone out there is facing a cast after May and would like the gowns, let me know!  I would be happy to share the love. <3  (I have 7 of em.)
I promised myself NO MORE buying clothes.  BUT... Just as I was searching for the link to the Carters store, I looked over to Aaron and said, 'I HAVE to buy this navy dress right now for Lucy.' :-)  It's not right... Don't judge. :)  
Have a happy weekend everyone!  

How cute is this from Gymboree?  Perfect for a casted babe too.

Here is her CLEANED OUT closet.  Post- cast gear.  I know, I know, I know.  It's insane.  
The bags at the bottom are her clothes from the last few months that she couldn't wear.  
:-(  Some day, some little girl is going to be so happy to get these!  Whether it's a sissy for Lucy or a recipient of our donation... 
(May I point out that these are her 'going out' clothes! Her hang out clothes reside in her dresser.)

Where am I going to put all of these bags?!

YAY I got a new sunhat for our San Diego trip!

Here's my beauty in one of her nighties! 

YES. There she is.  My beautiful, perfect, lovely, amazing baby.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bite your tongue...

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile... 
I am absolutely not trying to complain... Well, maybe a little.... :-)
Over the last few months I have really learned a lot.  A lot about love, people, life and everything in between.  Having your baby (no matter what age) go through 2 surgeries in 2 weeks and be confined to a body cast is enough to make anyone gasp.  Well, we have done it, and we are almost half way through. :)
Seeing or hearing about any child having to go through something like this is hard.  People want to know 'what happened' and most of the time they will stop at nothing to run over to you and stick their nose where it doesn't belong.
Of course, education and early intervention are KEY in hip dislocations.  When people ask 'what happened?' I take the time to explain to them about DDH, and the early warning signs that our pediatrician missed.  Yep, I said it.  She MISSED IT!  (Yes, we are finding a new one and will not go back to her again.)
First off, can I just say that I would NEVER EVER in a million years go up to a total stranger and ask them about any issues with their child.  Frankly, it's just not my business.  I would never stare at anyone, let alone a child, point from across the room, or say 'aw, poor thing' as I walk by.  Yep, people do it.  They do it ALL the time.  They grab the person that they are with on the arm, whisper, point and then give me a sad face or cover their mouths gasping as they walk by.
For those who know me, you know this S%$# doesn't fly.  I sure do say something.  Usually I try to be nice and say 'she had a dislocated hip since birth,' or for the really 'special' people, I remind them of how unpolite it is to stare.  I know, I know 'they aren't worth my time' yadi yada yada... I can't help it... I am who I am, and no one... Hear it, NO ONE is going to stare and point at my beautiful daughter and get away with it.  
I almost feel sad for these people in a way.  GOD FORBID they ever have to deal with anything other than their perfect little lives.  Well guess what... Life happens whether we want it to or not.  There are so many people in this world hurting for so many reasons.  It breaks my heart to think of children with deformities or any kind of disability.  I wouldn't blame their parents for carrying a slingshot with them at all times and flailing rocks at people's heads who are so darn rude.  (I hope I don't give anyone any crazy ideas...)  haha.
The other day we went to pick up a sandwich for my hubby to bring to him at work.  A big ol' tattooed dude came over and kindly said, 'did she have a dislocated hip?'  I said 'yes, how did you know?'  His answer was 'been there, done that with my 18 month old daughter.'  His eyes welled up in tears as he told me her story, and it warmed my heart to hear that she is all better now and on the road to recovery.
Of course, most people just don't know.  The cast is total body armor, and it does look weird.  I can't lie.  
I wanted to share a few things that I have heard over the last few months, since some of you reading this will have your children casted soon, so be prepared.  

- 'how did she break her legs?'
Usually if you are feeling froggy you can answer with 'well, she didn't eat all of her dinner...soooooo....'  That will really freak em out.

- 'Well, at least they found it early.'
WRONG.  This should have been picked up the SECOND Lucy was born.  Most cases can be fixed if caught early without surgery.

- 'Wow, I don't know how you do it, I know I couldn't do it.'
What choice do I have??  This is the LOVE OF MY LIFE, the center of my world.  Do you think that I wouldn't do everything in my power to ensure her health and happiness?  As a mom, every minute, every second of the day I am thinking of Lucy.  If you are the kind of parent who doesn't think you could 'handle this' then there is a problem.  Yes, its hard.  Yes, it will break you down emotionally, but you know what?  You do it, because you LOVE your child.

My personal favorite is when people would literally knock over a person to run over to you and say 'OH MY GOSH what happened?!'  or 'OH POOR BABY GIRL HOW AWFUL!!!"  Yah, let's just all sit around and feel sorry for her, when she obviously isn't feeling sorry for herself.  Complete strangers will stick their nose in your business, which just is mind boggling to me!
Again, people who come up to us and who are polite, fine.  I have had so many people share their stories of 'someone they know' who had hip issues.  
Also, my friends.  I LOVE you all and you know who you are.  I will talk about it with them any time, any place and they can ask anything.  Just strangers are so annoying.
Sorry for the ranting post today, but it needs to be said.  Stare and point at my kid, be prepared to get a slingshot to the forehead. (haha!)
I am lucky to have the best stroller EVER... the City Select Baby Jogger.  It has an option to flip the seat so the baby faces you.  That's what we do now when we go out to prevent people's noses shoved up in Lucy's face.  Much easier.
Weird thing is that I have found that teens... well, ages 15-21 approx are the nicest, most compassionate group of people as a whole!  They are usually so helpful opening doors, and blowing Lucy kisses!  I think this next generation has a sensitivity for people/kids who look 'different.'  Whether it's a special need, color, race, whatever... All of the 'no bullying' stuff that schools teach now.  I am very impressed with the young people I have come across.  Of course, most of them are too busy texting to notice, but when they do, they are very sweet.  :-P
It's funny because doing animal rescue for years, you hear things like this too.  'Oh, I never could do that because I love animals SOOOO much.'  Really?!  Well, that's why I DO IT!  Because I love animals enough to deal with the 'icky stuff' and help them get back on their feet and find a home.  Again, I don't think that anyone means harm, but I do think that people should stop and think before opening their mouths.  
Thanks for listening, and Lucy is almost HALF WAY DONE!  Yep, I said it.  We are in week SIX of this smelly, sweaty cast and two weeks from today we will have her cast changed.  Hip Hip Hooray!  
What color should we get?!
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  Here are some pics of the cutest bunny that this momma has ever seen...

Over and out from sunny AZ...

At the AZ Youth Museum playing with a huge light bright!

How we roll now, baby facing momma

On her new trike, she even has a cell phone handy just in case!

WOOHOO!  Thanks Grandma for my awesome trike!

Her new stuffed toy.  One of like twenty she got...

Grandma's house is always fun!

Our new thing. The cast cooler that vacuums her cast dry!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Diapering and other tricks

Good morning all of my friends, family, and whoever else reads this! :-)
It seems like yesterday when I first found out that Lucy needed surgery and a cast.  I searched the internet like a mad woman trying to figure things out.  I kept thinking, 'OH MY GOSH how are we going to do this.'  The diapering scared me the most.  
Lucy is a child who has NEVER... yep, I said, NEVER had diaper rash!  She also has never gone more than 2 days without a bath, and that is very rare!  Bath, hair washing, baby lotion... I love my kid being super clean and smelling delish.
I decided to do this post today to help other mommas out there who are just as nervous as I was.  The diapering is by far the worst part of the cast.  That... and keeping them entertained, but that is a post for a whole other day. :-)
We are at the early stages of week 5 in the spica cast, and the surgeon wants this cast to stay on for EIGHT weeks.  So I have my work cut out for me.  My mission is to keep this cast as clean as can be.  So far, so good.
I have read many posts on diapering and cleaning, but I really kinda have my own 'groove' and it's working.  
Last night, Lucy slept almost 12 hours.  HALLELUJAH!  I woke up before she did.  HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!  Yep, the diaper was falling apart, but NO leaks and no redness.  BA-BAM!  I have never been one of those moms to wake their kid up to change them.  If she wakes up on her own, of course, I will change her.  Right now she needs all the rest she can get.  The little armadillo is healing still!  I just rely on my diapering technique and diapers to work!  And it does!  I also try not to over do her liquids an hour before bed.  Of course, we are in HOT Arizona, so I would never restrict her liquids, I just watch.  I do her bottle a bit early, and a few sips of juice before bed. 
Like I have said before, I prefer Pampers Swaddlers Diapers.  SO worth the extra do-re-mi.  There is a built in 'wetness indicator' so you can just open up the top diaper, peek in, and change if necessary.  Trust me.  The amount of time and energy it takes to diaper, you want to make sure you are only doing it when needed. :-)

OK, so heeeeere we go...  
Hopefully this will help someone, someday out there!  I know how it feels to be panicking, searching online, and worried about everything... Trust me.  SO many of us were there!  
I also have included a few more tricks and products that have worked for us. 

Happy Diapering!

Ok, before I do anything I check her cast for rough edges.  Sorry this pic is blurry.  Its around her waist.  I put some of the 3M micro foam tape on the rough spots then duct tape it down

The BEST BEST BEST product ever.  A must have!  I apply this before she goes to bed every night.

Wait, off diapers for a second.  In her spica chair (Ivy Rose Spica Chair) she always is sliding toys around!
All I do is pick up toys.  UNTIL NOW!  I just got some of the liner you use in shelves, and put her toys on that.  NO SLIP!

Another must have.  The hospital will send you home with some. TAKE as much as you can get.
3M microfoam tape

Couldn't live without it.  After I take off her diaper, I wipe the inside of the cast with this.  Take the stink out and kills germs.

Ok, diapering!  I use a size 2 on the inside.  I have a big girl!  Pull off the velcro tabs.
Then I open up all the elastic FLAT.  From top to bottom.  Elastic has to be facing outwards or you will have leaks.

Make sure you have something to keep em busy!  I prefer the iPad!  She watches little shows and videos while I change her.  I know, spoiled... :-) I change her on the spare bed and she just lays on a pillow

I use a size 6 on the outside.  I lay the size 6 diaper flat,  then put my size 2 on top.  Notice on the smaller diaper, the elastic is even open and flat at the top.  ALL over.  Don't forget this!

Lift up baby and slide the 2 diapers under the bum.  At night, I  put the smaller diaper more towards the back, and in the day it goes a little more to the front.  Her cast isn't even on both sides, so I try to line it up the best I can.

Stuff the little diaper in there smoothly.  I almost try to 'fold' it in, always thinking of the elastic and keeping that as far on the outside as you can.  

I know some people turn their kiddos on their tummy for the next part, but I don't.  One leg up, stuff it in the back.(Notice she doesn't budge from watching the iPad)

....and the other side.  stuff, stuff stuff... smooth smooth smooth... I use my pointer finger and smooth it around the top/back.

Voila!  Notice the little yellow mark in the diaper.  This turns blue when she is wet.  

I always have to re-tape this area around her leg.  Drives me nuts.  Her leg hits it just right and rubs.  UGH.

YAY!  All clean, diapered and ready to party with mom.  I re-use the top diaper all day as well.  The size 6 is a bit snug over the cast, so by the end of the day it's perfect and stretched out.

 So, there ya have it!

It's really not THAT bad, but sure as the world, the minute you change them, they poop.  Never fails!
I have noticed that Lucy gets 'backed up' while in her cast a lot.  I give her PRUNES.  (GASP!!!!!)  Yep, I said it.  PRUNES.  The baby food prunes, the small jar.  She gets half a jar a day to keep things moving.  When they don't move around, they get constipated, so it helps!  We also do apple juice and applesauce as well.  I try to stay away from too much cheese and too much cereal.  If we do baby cereal, then I always add fruit to it.  I haven't had any problems with a blow out except for the first day in her cast.  She was so upset from the hospital adventure that she blew out BIG TIME!
OK, hope this helps!

Have a great day friends...