Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hope and honor!

Happy November friends!
I wanted to do a special post today about a new, special friend that Lucy has.
Her name is Hope.  Hope the Hip Hippo!
I am truly honored to say that I happen to know the authors of this book... they are 2 beautiful, amazing and strong moms of little girls that are battling DDH.  Both of their beautiful daughters, Mia and Abby, have bilateral DDH, meaning both sides.  They were both picked up on late, therefore treatment has been very difficult and extensive.  (When I say 'late' I mean anytime after a few weeks old is 'late!  I believe their kiddos DDH wasn't found until after they were both 2 years old.) These 2 moms have seen a lot.  They have been through a lot.  They know the tough realities of DDH.  These are 2 women who had a calling to make a difference!

There is such little information available to parents regarding DDH.  I can't tell you how many times someone joins our Facebook group and is totally freaking out, with an older child, wondering how this was never picked up on.  I can't tell you how many times they aren't even aware that the treatments for DDH vary SO much from state to state, country to country.  There is no set 'yes or no' treatment plans.  I truly believe OUR children who are facing DDH now, are the 'research' for the DDH kids of tomorrow. 

I remember when I first found out about my sweet Lucy having DDH. I couldn't even get the words DDH out of my mouth.  It sounded too much like a 'defect' or a 'syndrome' and my daughter appeared 'normal.'  She laughed, she played with toys, she was starting to say words... It was the HARDEST time in my life, and I scrambled to find a resource to help me cope with what was ahead.  When you google DDH and see the pictures of a spica cast, it will seriously scare the pants off any parent.  Especially if your child is mobile.  Not to mention, how are you supposed to explain this to your child??  With Lucy, we couldn't explain anything to her since she was only 13 months old, so we had to have her jump in feet first and face the hard reality of waking up 'stuck' in a body cast.  (Makes me SICK thinking about it.)  There are just some events in your life that you can think about, and you FEEL the exact same way you did that day.  Those feelings and memories never will leave you.  This last year with DDH has been that way.  Even though we are 9 months post surgery, I still think about her in a cast and it brings me right back to that time.  No child should have to face DDH, let alone without any resources helping them to cope.

Parents of DDH babes, look no further.  

Gina and Julie are the authors of 'Hope the Hip Hippo.'  Hope loves to dance... she loves to play... she is a normal toddler.  She is diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia and requires surgery and a cast.  The book is for children, and it takes them on a journey with Hope through the hospital, cast and post surgery... It is so darn adorable... The book was recently released, so we ordered 2 copies.  One is for Lucy, of course.  I am going to write her a very special letter inside of it.  I am tearing up thinking about that, but I want her to know when she is able to read this book herself, that her mommy LOVES her, in a cast, out of a cast, and ANY road we have to take in life.  ANY road.  As long as I am in it with my husband and babes, NOTHING will stop us.  When the books came in the mail, I envisioned Lucy reading it to her kids someday, showing them what she went through as a baby.  The book represents how far we have come personally, but it also is upsetting to know that so many little kids are reading this while they face yet another surgery.  Bittersweet.

The other copy I purchased was for Lucy's surgeon, Dr. Lee Segal.  He has been our 'knight in shining armor.'  I owe my life to that man for being so wonderful to my daughter.  God brought us to him for a reason.  I am going to have Lucy put her handprint in it, and we will write him a short thank you note.  I also want to put in there, 'please Dr. Segal, pass this book on to the next little girl around Lucy's age that you diagnose with DDH.  I know her parents will be as scared as we were, so please, give them some HOPE.'  
What I really think he will like about the book is that his patient, MY Lucy, is mentioned in the dedication.  Yep, you heard it!  She is mentioned in the beginning of the book along with a few other children we know battling DDH.  Are we honored or what?!  One of the authors pointed out how much she appreciates my help to new parents that need it.  I am always here to help someone, since I know how awful it feels... I have a feeling someday- little Lucy will be quite the spokesperson and fundraiser for DDH. :) 
What I am saying is this book is a must have. Period.  If your child is facing surgery, it's a no brainer.  You have to have this book.  
Lucy has requested that we do a fun 'giveaway.'  Leave a comment in the comment section of this post, and tell us why you think HOPE will give your child HOPE.  I am going to 'pay it forward' and give 2 books away, shipped directly from the publisher to you!

If you already have a book, you can't enter the giveaway. (SORRY!)

If you would like to order a book, here is the link:

It costs a bit more to order from the first link, but MORE $ goes to the IHDI.


Daddy reading HOPE to his favorite girl...

Lucy's review after reading the book!

SO CUTE, huh!?

Um, yes. You have read it right. 
2nd line, it says LUCY.  :)
The 2 pictures are the author's daughters... Aren't they sweet??

And in the words of HOPE herself....

Now if you will excuse me........... 

I have to go dance...............

(with Lucy of course!)