Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hip Gear

Have you heard?!
There's awesome gear for sale that benefits the International Hip Dysplasia Institute!

Hope the Hip Hippo is a book written by two wonderful moms who have been on the DDH journey for a long time with their little girls.  Hope has some really cute T-shirts for sale.  I got one for Lucy and one for Lily.

There are also some blue shirts that you can customize with your child's name.  Example: TEAM LUCY!  Then on the back, you can put 'Mommy' or 'Auntie' or whatever you want!  Of course, mine says Mommy. :-)  Another momma in Texas with a hip kid created the design and her family wears the shirts to every doctor's appointment. :)

We also got a wristlet keychain, which makes me smile every time I go to get my keys.  Why, you ask?   Because I remember sitting in the ortho surgeon's room over a year ago, shaking so bad with fear and bawling like a baby.  Now, I feel like I can take on the world!  I am proud of my Lucy and of my whole family for kicking DDH in the tushie!

So, even if you don't have a 'hip kid,' please consider a purchase anyways!  If you don't want a shirt, do   a direct donation...

June is Hip Awareness Month, and for that reason-
I am doing another giveaway!

I am going to give away 2 shirts, including shipping (USA and Canada only please)

Please leave a comment on the blog, and on July 4th (In honor of Independence Day) I will draw two random names.


If you aren't one of the lucky winners, no fear!
Here is the link to purchase these awesome items.  HOPE THE HIPPO STORE

My beautiful HIP GIRL, Lucy!

This babe is supporting her sissy

It was 120 degrees here in AZ today!  Pink cheeks for the babies

You will also get a Healthy Hips for Life Bracelet!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my keychain!

Proud mommy


for bringing HOPE to us all!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Final x-ray!

We are home from the dreaded x-ray! 
We got to PCH children's center early, and Grandma and Grandpa Farrish met us there.  I was doing okay until we pulled in the parking lot.  Right when we pulled up I felt my heart racing and a sick feeling.  There was a little voice in my ear saying, 'what if this doesn't work?'  
We got in fairly quickly, and Aaron took Lucy in for the x-ray.  (She always wants daddy to take her in.)  We get in to a room, and in walks Dr. Segal. 
Lucy's face lights up when she sees him.  She loves him all of a sudden. :-)
He bends down to her wheelchair, takes her pillow off, and shoves it in the trash!  I mean SHOVES it! He looked at me and smiled, and I knew all was perfect!  BEST FEELING EVER!  
He did a full exam, leg length check, knee height check, had Lucy bend her knees... He then picked her up, put her on the ground and said, 'walk to mommy.'
I looked at him and said, 'are you serious??'  He said, 'yah, of course I am.'  (He really isn't the joking kind...) 
Lucy got the biggest smile on her face, and took 3 steps and landed in my arms.  I can't even explain the look of joy on her face.  I got tears in my eyes, and almost felt frozen in time.  I did not expect her to walk for weeks, let alone same day... 
Dr. Segal said that her angles are still a little high, but he is hoping that when her cartilage turns to bone, that will lower the angles of the hip.  (The AI angles are measured from the bone, and surrounding the bone is the cartilage, so it doesn't count in the angle measurement.)  
Anyways... we don't have to go back in for another 6 months!  I asked him if she has any restrictions, and he said NOPE!  Let her do what she wants, and LOTS of swimming.  
It was so busy in there today.  We had to wait for a room to see Dr. Segal.  I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the x-ray... darn it!  Sorry!  All I needed to hear is that 'the bone is healed.'  
Thank you God!

We got home and Lucy said, 'Lucy WALK!'  She walked in the house and ran straight to the fridge and played with all the magnets, then went and tore the play room upside down.  I am currently sitting in a tornado of a mess!  Toys EVERYWHERE!  I am loving it.  SO happy my little lady is back. :-) 
(I am also so happy that both girls are napping.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh)
Tomorrow we are going to Grandma's house to swim, then my husband and I are going on a date!  My sister is going to come over and watch the girls.  We need a break.  It's been a heck of a month!

Again, thank you to our wonderful friends and family!  We love you all!

Here are 2 videos of my perfect angel a few minutes after pillow removal!  ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last night!

We are here...
I have the same giddy feeling tonight as I did a year ago- the day before cast removal.
It's like Christmas time.
The thought of seeing my Lucy walk again, be able to stand, crawl, run, jump... everything... makes me so frickin' happy!
5 weeks and 2 days... Tomorrow at 10:15 am is the x-ray, and pillow off!  (It better be off!)
Looking back on this, I am so fortunate for so many things.
1st off, my friends and family.  They have all been so amazing.  My sister has been over every Sunday to help me.  My parents have been over every Saturday.  My mom has come over a few times when the girls are asleep so my husband and I can go for dinner.  My in-laws have come over a few times a week to entertain Lucy. My friends (near and far) have come to visit, mailed us goodies, and sent e-mails and texts with so much support and love.
We are so blessed.
The second thing I feel so fortunate is Lucy. (OF COURSE!)  Honestly.  If you told me to name all of the qualities to make a perfect child, the child would come out to be her.  She has once again blown us away with her tolerance, her patience, her adaptability and her strength.  So many people say to us, 'I could never keep my kid still for 5 weeks,' or 'I don't know how you do it.'  Well, again, Lucy is perfect.  I have grown to love her even more through all of this, if that's even possible.
Like I have said before, this time around has been a lot easier, because there was no cast.  The spica cast is awful.  Lucy was a lot more pleasant and happy with a little movement, and the ability to take baths.  Tonight, I put her in bed and said, 'baby, tomorrow is your pillow off day.'  She answered, 'no, pillow on. Guppie pillow.'  (I told her that Bubble Guppies wear pillows, too.)  She actually might miss this big ol' pillow.
I shake my head at this whole experience.  I expected a living hell.  It hasn't been easy, but I truly believe that God has been here for us even more than I expected!  I am so thankful.
After going in her room like 3 times, putting the pillow back on, putting her shorts back on, and putting her diaper back on- I thought, WOW!  I can start potty training soon!  YAY!  I am so ready to be done with the millions of diapers that I change all day long. Big diapers, little diapers... you name it.  I change it.
I am excited to see Lucy walk.  To see her eyes light up when she doesn't have to sit anymore!  I can't wait to see her hair fly away as she throws her head back and dances.  I love it.  Most parents who haven't been through this won't understand.  You don't if you haven't been through this.  I hear so many parents complain about their kids... complain complain complain... I honestly feel like at this very moment, I have nothing to complain about.  Yes, we are busy.  Yes, we have our work cut out for us... but you know what?!  BRING IT ON.
Lucy.  Lily.  Mommy.  Daddy.  Against the world!
See you on the other side, DDH.  Perfect x-ray coming up tomorrow.

Thank you to all of the wonderful people in our lives.  You have made this journey so much easier for Lucy and her parents.   We love you!

Here is a VIDEO of Lucy tearing down her countdown chain!

No more countdown chain!  There are chunks out of it since she asks to have a guppie to hold every night now.  So, we rip one right off the wall... whatever gets her to sleep. :-)

Pretending she is sleeping on the hammock at Bass Pro Shops the other day

Words can't describe. <3

Sitting on top of her sister's excersaucer

Gorgeous babes

Her scar as of tonight.  Yikes.  It's big.  I bought some Mederma for kids scar treatment and apply it 3 times daily and massage the area... Poor kid.  I hope it starts to fade as she gets older.  Excuse the huge bloody gash on my finger!  I sliced my finger really bad on Sunday!

LOVE from Arizona!  :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hair Care

By popular request, I am doing a post on hair care for your child while in a cast.
Well, your child will be on his/her back for a few months... usually kiddos can't roll over in a cast, so their hair in the back turns in to a total rat's nest!  (For those who have been through this, you are shaking your head YES right now!)
Some of you may know, but for those who don't- I am a hair stylist of almost 13 years!  I quit my job at a salon that I LOVE, with clients that I adore- to take care of Lucy post surgery.  I am so glad I did, because Lucy needed me... some days I miss it a lot, but wouldn't trade being home with them for anything!

Anyway... OK, back to hair.
Kid's hair is super duper fine and can tangle so easily.  When they sleep on their backs all night, their hair gets tangled and frizzy.  They sweat.  It's inevitable.  They are in a hot cast, stuck in one position.  Combine all of these things together, and it's a recipe for hair disaster.  We all know how fun it is to comb out a kid's hair with tangles.  NOT!

First off, NEVER grab a fine toothed comb or a brush to comb wet hair.  Use a very wide toothed comb.  Start from the BOTTOm of the hair, the ends... and work your way up.  It gives me chills to see people starting at the root of their hair and wrestling with all the tangles on the way down.  YIKES!  That's going to cause tons of breakage!  Grab a section of hair, work the tangles out at the bottom (ends), then slowly work your way up.
Second... sure- companies make products for kid's hair... you can buy a lot of them at your local grocery store.  Personally, not my favorite... The kid's tangle stuff doesn't do a whole lot but smell good and make their hair a bit greasy.  I have made a list of my favorite hair products that are not too expensive, and are PERFECT to tame a messy mane...
Make sure when you apply any product to hair, you do the same and start at the ENDS, then work your way up. Never use a glob of product and put it anywhere near your roots.  Grab the hair as if you are putting it in a ponytail, and do just the ponytail part.  Then work your way up.
With good products, a little goes a long way- so usually a dime size of any product is a lot to use...

Don't think I am insane.  BUT- this is THE BEST STUFF EVER.  I once had a client come in that looked like a Playboy bunny.  LONG blonde extensions to her back.  When it came time to comb her hair out, she pulled this stuff out of her purse and let me in on the greatest secret.  HORSE mane detangler and shine!  It's used on horses to repel dust and dirt,a and to keep away tangles and add shine... She put it in her hair, and I combed it out right away.  NO grease, no mess... Just a dime size drop from ends to mid-shaft and you are good to go.
AMAZING.  You can order online or usually buy this at your local feed store!
Once I used this, we ordered it and sold it in our salon and still do.  It's to die for~

Another favorite.  Always will be!  It's a spray leave in conditioner by It's a 10.  Only 1 spray on the tangled part of kid's hair is enough to comb through their entire head of hair.  

Only use a wide toothed comb to avoid breakage

Satin pillow case is a must.  A cotton one gets so sweaty and allows the hair to get ratty

Only use rubber bands wrapped in fabric, not just plain rubber bands.  Those tear the hair

Lucy and I are both using this right now!  Same as the other products, a little goes a long way!  It's super moisturizing and smells amazing.  Sure, little kid's stuff is readily available, but for the long term, good products are worth the investment.

The problem with most kid and adult stuff from the grocery store is this:  It does create shine..... temporarily.  After a while that 'shine' aka WAX, builds up and dulls your hair.... it also causes tangles. Professional products are much better for your hair and do not use any sort of wax. They rinse clean away.

I hope this post helps~  Thanks for letting me be a hairdresser today!  :-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Abduction pillow

Short post tonight, but wanted to share with you guys a little bit about this pillow!
I made a video of how it goes off and on, and how Lucy is able to move around in it.

I can't say it enough.  WAY better than a spica cast!  Lucy can actually move!


CLICK HERE to see our totally homemade video of the big, blue pillow!

She can even ride Rudy the donkey...

..... or play catch with her feet....

Can you tell Lily is thrilled to be a part of Lucy's band?!

In a spica cast, there is no way she would be able to sit up like this.  Core muscles are so important!
It took her so long to build those up after the last cast... this time she's using them even more...

MORAL OF THIS STORY:  The pillow sucks.  BUT, it's a ba-jillion times better than the cast!  


Monday, June 17, 2013

Wild Child

I have never thought of Lucy as a 'wild child.'  She is honestly the best 2 year old I have ever seen.
BIAS?!  Maybe a tad... but really.  This kid is pure perfection.
She listens.  I would tell her, 'Luc, don't move, mommy will be right back.'  She will put both of her hands on her lap and say, 'right back mama.'  I have to just look at her most of the time when she is acting up and she stops... she never EVER wants to make her mommy upset.  So many friends of mine do 'time outs' with their 2 year old.  Never once have I done that with Lucy.  She is very sensitive.  Very sweet.  A 'pleaser' type personality...

Until the pillow.

Dun dun dun... the big, blue pillow.

Now, as much as I complain about this pillow, it's 5 billion times better than the spica cast.  Actually, there is no comparison at all since the spica cast wouldn't allow her to sit up on her own.  It would go up to her armpits, making it to where she would have to lay down most of the 6 weeks.  The pillow allows for a lot more movement, a lot more core use, and a lot more worry for mama!
After hearing Dr. Segal say 'it could be 4 weeks, but I would feel better if she did the extra week,' in my mind, I know her hip is healed.  I think that's why I didn't fall on floor with a heart attack yesterday.  What happened you ask?

My sister was over visiting and helping with the girls... Lucy wasn't napping, so I went in her room and gave her some juice and the Ipad to have some quiet time.  (She usually plays for a little bit after waking up... she likes to do puzzles and watch Leap Frog)  We have the toddler bed barrier thing up after taking off the front side of her crib.  We did that because there was no way to lift her in and out of the crib.  You have to lift her like a baby, so with her being 32 lbs, it's tough!

The baby monitor is on, and I hear her laughing and playing... Until she says, 'MAMMA!  MAMMA!' That's pretty normal for her to yell when she is ready to come out... The sound echoed down the hallway and sounded like she was VERY close.  I run and turn the corner, and there she is.  The little booger was sitting on her bottom, just her shirt and diaper, scooting on her bum down the hallway.


My sister came running behind me and it was just this moment of silence where we didn't know what to say.
Lucy broke the silence by raising her arms up victoriously saying, 'YESSSSSSSSS!'
I just looked at my sister and said, 'I am at a loss for words for once in my life.'

I picked Lucy up and put her back in her bed.  I said, 'show mommy how you got out.'  She put her head down because she knew she shouldn't have done that.  What does she do?  She puts her hands on the side of the crib and pulls to a stand and says, 'TADA!'
I quickly said, 'NO Lucy!  You can't stand yet, not til Dr. Segal says you can.'  She said, 'OK mama' and then did it again.
(That night when my husband got home, the crib front went back on.  My back will just have to deal with leaning over with a 32 lb kid for the next week.)

My once perfect listener is over it.  Over the pillow.  Over sitting down for the last month.  Over restrictions.  Over surgeries.  Over doctors.  Over everything to do with DDH!
I don't blame her because I am over it, too!

Good news is that she was finally able to have a real bath.  That was pretty awesome.  We have even done 2 baths in one day just to kill some time...

Somehow through this surgery, I have managed to really try to stay positive.  Lucy understands things now, so she feeds off me.  I try NEVER to blame the pillow for anything.  Like, for example.  She will say EVERY DAY to me, 'gymnastics?'  (breaks my heart) but I say, 'no baby, it's not open today, pretty soon,' instead of saying, 'not til your pillow is off for good,' or 'we can't because of your pillow.'
It's a whole new ball game with a kid that understands...
I also say to her almost daily, 'do you want to go with mommy to the store and show everyone your pillow?  It's so awesome!'  She will say, 'yah! Lucy's pillow awesome!' and then she pets her pillow. :)
It's really sweet... if she would have been closer to 3, she wouldn't buy what I'm selling... but she's at the perfect age right now...

My husband was saying he thinks she's going to miss her 'Guppie stroller' aka the wheelchair.  We see people in the mall in a wheelchair, and I tell her, 'look baby!  They have a guppie stroller too!'  She gets so excited...

The BEST piece of advice I have heard through this journey is:

'Don't make her hate this as much as you do.'

It's true.  It's the advice I will pass on to new parents dealing with DDH.  A lady on our group's little girl had surgery last week.  Before her surgery I spoke to her mom on the phone... Mom told me how the 4 year old girl is actually excited to get a cool colored cast!  My answer was, 'GO WITH IT! Tell her how special she is, and tell her all of the fun things you can do together while she's casted.'  As a parent, that's rough since you know it's so much more than this... but a child's mind is so simple and innocent.  So that's it:  'don't make her hate this.'

And she hasn't, because I haven't let her.  We have pulled together as a family.  We have wonderful friends... we haven't let this get the best of us...

Just as things are coming to a close (8 more days!)... I now have a new way to describe Lucy other than perfect, amazing, wonderful, joy, love..... WILD!

I should have known when she was dancing in the hospital on the 2nd night we were there, that I was in for it this time... (thank God for pain meds!)

Or 4 days post surgery when she is rolling all over the place...

Or a few weeks ago as she is doing her 'Jungle Book' dance...

Actually, I am not going to call her wild.  I am back to calling her...

Perfect. :-)  I wouldn't have this little monkey any other way than what she is.  Everything about her, even scooting down the hallway after breaking free, is perfect.  <3

And there she is... scooting away!

Making a shirt for sister and her that match

Grandpa came over and Lucy was helping feed sister

You know it's love when she shares her pirates treasure

This toy has been so awesome... its colored pieces of paper that slide in a plastic case with cut outs.  You pop the colored buttons to make the picture... pretty cool

This was our second movie!  The LORAX.  It's part of the theater's summer movie program... super fun!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hip Dysplasia: What is it?

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile.
There is so much to say... so much to try to explain about Hip Dysplasia, otherwise known as DDH.  (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip)
It just so happens that JUNE is National Hip Awareness Month, so this is the perfect time to tell my friends and family a little bit more about Lucy's condition.
If you want to forward, re-post, share- whatever you want to do to get the word out there, PLEASE DO!  If I were to have known what these signs are, and what they mean, we may not be where we are today.

If I would have seen a poster like the ones pictured below.

If someone told me what an extra groin crease could be.

If someone told me to check leg lengths.


Now, some of you may wonder, 'isn't this the doctor's responsibility to know what to look for?'  My answer to you is YES.  My other comment is this:  No comment, because I can't/won't go there today.
We have much more to talk about that is going to help spread awareness...

Let's just say that an astounding number of pediatricians have missed DDH.  I know so many people on our group whose child has been walking around with a dislocated hip for YEARS.  YES... years!  It's a very silent disorder.  There isn't much known about it, yet the number of children with DDH is rising.

Most of my info is going to be taken from the IHDI. International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

I want to keep this post simple... I don't want to overwhelm you with too many gory details of what my child has been through.  (You can read through this entire blog and learn that.)  What I DO want is to tell you a few warning signs, and also a few tips on what NOT to do when you have a baby.

What causes Hip Dysplasia?

The exact cause(s) are not known. However it is widely believed that hip dysplasia is developmental. This is because hip dysplasia is known to develop around the time of birth, after birth, or even during childhood. This is also why hip dysplasia is often referred to as developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).
It is currently believed that infants are prone to hip dysplasia for the following reasons:

Hip dysplasia is approximately 30 times more likely when there is a family history.

Genetics plays a role, but is not a direct cause of hip dysplasia.
  • If a child has DDH, the risk of another child having it is 6% ( 1 in 17 )
  • If a parent has DDH, the risk of a child having it is 12% ( 1 in 8 )
  • If a parent and a child have DDH, the risk of a subsequent child having DDH is 36% ( 1 in 3 )
This means that up to 1 out of 10 newborn infants will have some hip instability if a parent or sibling already has hip dysplasia.

The baby’s womb position can increase pressure on the hips

The positioning of the baby in the womb can cause more pressure on the hip joints, stretching the ligaments. It’s thought that babies in a normal position in the womb have more stress on the left hip than on the right hip. This may be why the left hip tends to be more affected.
Babies in the breech position are more likely to have hip instability than babies in a normal womb position.
Normal womb position.  Not normally any risk for hip dysplasia / DDH
Normal womb position.
Breech womb position. A risk factor for hip dysplasia or DDH
Breech womb position.
Babies with fixed foot deformity or stiffness in the neck (torticollis) have slightly increased risk of hip dysplasia. This may partly be due to limited space in the womb from these deformities.
Also, around the time of birth, the mother makes hormones that allow the mother’s ligaments to become lax (stretch easier) so that the baby can pass through the birth canal.
Some infants may be more sensitive to these hormones than others, allowing for excessive ligament laxity in the baby. Girls usually have more ligament laxity than boys and girls are 4-5 times more likely to have hip dysplasia than boys.

The bones of an infants hip joint are much softer than an adult hip joint

It is easier for an infant’s hip to become misaligned (subluxate) or dislocate than an adult hip. This is because an infant hip socket is mostly soft, pliable, cartilage. Whereas an adult’s hip socket is hard bone.
A baby's hip joint is mostly soft cartiledge (grey).
Illustration of an infant hip joint that’s still developing. The brown areas represent dense bone, where the grey areas represent soft, pliable cartiledge.
An adult hip joint is mostly hard bone (brown)
Illustration representing an adult hip joint. Note how the grey areas that were present in the infant joint are now completely replaced by hard bone.

Infant positioning during the first year of life

Cultures that keep infants’ hips extended on a cradleboard or papoose board have high rates of hip dysplasia in their children. Cultures that hold infants with the hips apart have very low rates of hip dysplasia. For this reason, swaddling with the hips extended during the first few months after birth should be avoided, and a hip-safe methodshould be used.
Babies carried in a sling on the back with hips spread is helpful against hip dysplasia.
Picture of a mom carrying her child in a back sling. Her babies hips remain spread (wrapped around her mother’s back) keeping the hips is a safe position.
Cradle boards and tight swaddling may make hip dysplasia worse.
Picture showing how a papoose board (or cradleboard) is used. The child’s legs are kept close together, extended, and tied down tightly by the wrap on the board.

When you are at your baby's well visits, your pediatrician will check the baby for a 'hip click.'  Here is a little more on that:

What is a “hip click”?

A “hip click” refers to an audible “click” or “pop” that occurs when a baby’s hips are being examined.
When an infant has a “hip click” it does not mean that a baby has hip dysplasia. While some infants that have a hip click will be diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are babies with hip clicks that have normal hips.

Why would a baby with normal hips “click”?

There are many ligaments inside an infant’s hip joint that can make snapping or popping noises in certain positions for many different reasons as the baby develops.
A “hip click” is just one sign that hip dislocation may be present in an infant. Further examinations and tests will be needed to know why an infant’s hip is clicking.

So what does a “hip click” mean?

An infant that has a hip click should be monitored for hip dysplasia. It is important for babies to have regular hip examinations during the first year of life. There are documented cases where the hips were normal at birth, but became dislocated in the first few months of life as the baby developed physically.
Even with careful physical examination, hip dysplasia can be difficult to detect in newborn infants. Further tests such as ultrasounds and xrays are normally needed to make a diagnosis for hip dysplasia or to be sure the hip is normal.
Your pediatrician will also check for uneven leg lengths and asymmetrical creases.
Lucy had asymmetrical creases since the day she was born!  

Asymmetrical buttock creases can suggest hip dysplasia in infants but, like a hip click, an ultrasound or x-ray study will need to be done to determine whether the hips are normal or not.
Asymmetrical gluteal creases may be a sign of hip dysplasia in one hip. Thigh folds (seperate from gluteal folds) that are asymmetrical rarely indicate hip dysplasia unless they are associated with uneven gluteal creases.
Asymmetrical Gluteal Creases - Possible Sign of Hip Dysplasia
This baby's gluteal creases are uneven (note yellow lines). The right gluteal crease is lower than the left.

Asymmetrical thigh creases may be a sign of hip dysplasia.
This baby's gluteal creases are even (note the green lines). However this baby's thigh creases are uneven (note the yellow lines). The left thigh is smooth but the right thigh presents with two creases.
When a baby’s hip dislocation is present for several months, the hips gradually lose range of motion and the leg appears shorter because the hip has migrated upward.
Uneven thigh bone length may be a sign of hip dysplasia
This baby's right femur (thigh bone) appears to be lower(shorter) than the right.

If your pediatrician notices anything that could be a sign of DDH, you will be sent in for an ultrasound of the baby's hips.  The reason an ultrasound is done is because a baby under 6 months old hasn't developed bone yet... They are mostly still cartilage, which is not as easily seen on x-ray.  

If the hips are within a normal range for an infant, YAY!  All is well.

If not, you will be referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon.  

Most likely, if the child is under a few months of age, the ortho will suggest a Pavlick Harness.  What the harness does is frog the baby's legs out, which puts the hip in the best position to stimulate correct growth.  Usually this harness is worn for 6-12 weeks, full time.  This can be very hard to accpet for a new parent.  You dream of holding your baby tight.  You dream of seeing your baby kick their legs.  With the harness, that may be hard to do.  BUT... with the harness and early detection, the success rate is ASTOUNDING.  Over 90% of infants that were treated with the pavlick harness will have success and not require surgery.  I can't stress enough how early detection is KEY.  If you know someone who is having a baby... send them this blog.  PLEASE!  

Another way of treating DDH in younger infants is a brace.  Lucy had to wear her brace, but only AFTER a surgery.  You can read more about braces here.


The dreaded surgery... Well, actually- the surgery isn't as dreaded as the SPICA CAST is.  Trust me.  My baby was in a spica cast for 16 weeks.  If I ever see another cast again, I just may go insane.  It's hot.  It's uncomfortable for them.  They can't move.  It smells.  UGH.  Everything about it STINKS!
If you have questions about it, e-mail me!  I feel like I am a spica cast expert.  Unfortunately.

Here are the three types of surgery:

CLOSED REDUCTION  (No incision. Manipulation of the hip joint back into place.  Child is place in spica cast after for 12 weeks)

OPEN REDUCTION  (Incision is made and hip joint is 'cleaned out.'  Spica cast is applied.  Usually this requires an adductor tenotomy, which is where they lengthen/cut the adductor muscle to allow the hip joint to go back into the socket.)

OSTEOTOMY  (Where a bone is cut and reshaped.  This is done to either the femur or the pelvis.)

And whaddaya know.  Lucy's had ALL THREE!

What can you do to help your baby's hips grow and stay healthy??

- Don't swaddle tight!  Allow room for the baby's legs to be able to 'fan out' or frog out to the sides.
Here is a link on hip healthy swaddling

- NO FRONT FACING BABY CARRIERS!  Those are considered 'crotch danglers' and don't support the baby's hips AT ALL.  I get sick to my stomach when I see a baby hanging there.  VERY VERY bad for their hips.
I recommend the BOBA carrier or the ERGO carrier.

- NO SLINGS.  Yah, they may look cute, but they hold the baby's legs straight, just like a tight swaddle.

Here is a link on hip friendly baby car seats and other devices.

I could go on and on and on for days, weeks and months about hips!  Unfortunately, we are living it, every single day of our lives... I thank God that this is all we have to deal with right now, and that this is our cross to bear... little sweet Lucy doesn't really understand yet.

Our first line of defense is knowledge.  PUSH your pediatrician to refer you for an ultrasound if you feel like something isn't right.

Below are some pictures I have collected to show you a little more about DDH.

I hope this post out there helps, if even just ONE person!  I will have done 'my job' if one family doesn't have to go through what we have!

Notice the right hip (left on picture) doesn't have a socket that covers the femur?  That causes the femur to dislocate.

Lucy's knee heights were WAY off!  When our surgeon did this test my jaw dropped!  

I check both girl's knee heights EVERY day!

Lucy had an extra groin crease like this since the day she was born

This is what front facing baby carriers do!  VERY BAD!

RESOURCES and how you can help:

ONE HIP WORLD fundraising for the IHDI
Consider a tax deductible donation today

HOPE THE HIP HIPPO book for children and website

Friday, June 7, 2013

2 week follow up

I am a tad bit behind with my blog update... :)
Man, a toddler that is restricted AND a 4 month old is taking about every second of my day...
they are both asleep, and I have my Trenta Iced Green Tea from Starbucks and I am ready to type away.

As some of you may know, this pillow is... well... it's off just as much as it's on.  Not by my choice... Lucy has taken matters in to her own hands...
The first week or so, things were okay.  She never thought of taking it off.  Then- one morning I walk into her room, there she is.  Naked as a jaybird.  No pillow.  No diaper.  No shirt.  She said, 'Mommy!  I sleeping!'  From that moment on, our pillow friend has been kicked off during every nap and every night.
I have threatened her.  I told her the wolf (long story) is going to come in her room and get mad at her.  I told her the Dr. is going to get mad.  I have done everything in my power.  It doesn't work.  She is two.  She feels great, and she's ready to roll.  YIKES.
(The 'wolf' is actually a fox on the Nick Jr. show Peter Rabbit.  She calls him a wolf and always says 'scary!!'  I figured that might scare her to keep it on.  Nope.)
With our 2 week 2 day appt, I was scared to death that this bone wedge had moved.

We arrive to Phoenix Children's Hospital and for once, Dr. Segal is on time!  Shocker!
We get the x-ray, and are walked over to our room to wait for Dr. S.  We see him walking by as we turn the corner and what does he do?!  Walks over, sticks his hand in Lucy's bag of gummy bears, takes one, eats it, and says 'That said Dr. Segal on it.'  HA!
He comes in the room and starts talking to Lucy about Houdini.  He tells her that he could escape from any contraption, just like her!
He took her stitches out and said she is healing beautifully!  I said, 'well, I hope her x-ray is as beautiful.'  He said, 'it's fine' under his breath.
He pulls it up on the computer, and WHEW.  Looks awesome!
Thank you GOD.
He explained that her AI angles have decreased already, and will continue to do so as she grows and her cartilage turns to bone.  The AI is acetabular index.  Basically that means the angle of the socket.
Her number was at 34, now post surgery it is 27.  20 is about ideal right now, but he isn't worried about it at all, and says the bone growth will occur.
I told him, 'I have a confession.  Lucy stood up wearing her pillow.  AND she takes it off all the time.'  His answer??  'Do the best you can.  She looks great!'
He then asked how 2 more weeks sounds... Wait- what?!  REALLY!?!?  I was like 'heck yes that means only 4 weeks total!'  He was all on board with it.
Then- he said, 'no, let's wait til the following week.'
I asked him, how did he change his mind that fast?!  He said he would feel better with that extra week.  No, it's not going to kill me- but to shave off that time would have been nice.
OH WELL, not that it's 110 degrees here now or anything... and we are stuck inside...with a baby and toddler... No big deal. What's another week.
So, there ya have it.
June 26 is our magical date of the final x-ray and pillow off.  (Well, pillow off for good)

Ironically- one year ago yesterday marked the day that Lucy got her cast removed last year.  What a year it has been.  Never would I have thought that we would have 3 surgeries under our belt, 3 body casts totaling  16 weeks, 6 weeks of a brace, a pelvic osteotomy and a BIG, ugly, removable pillow.  Wow.  What a year it's been.

One thing I have noticed with this time around, is that people are SO much nicer!  When Lucy had her cast on and was in our stroller, we would have people staring, asking us 'how did you break her legs?' and gasping as we walked by.
This time, I can't even begin to tell you all the free stuff Lucy has gotten!  Managers at stores have given her free chips, hats and candy!  The aquarium that we visit gave us a free buddy pass for next time... a nice man in line at Target bought Lucy Doritos.  At Starbucks they gave her a free vanilla milk.  People walk by and purposely say how cute she is... I guess a child in a wheelchair breaks your heart.  I guess I never thought of her that way- as heartbreaking- just because I know the truth.

I know as she is strolling through the mall, with her new hat, eating a bag of Doritos, sipping on her Starbucks Vanilla Milk... that she could rip this pillow off in about 2 seconds flat, stand up, and be GONE.  It's funny.... It's almost like our little secret.... :)

Until next time folks....

Ashlyn and Kyla. 2 of the sweetest girls in the world hanging out with the other sweetest girl in the world!  They are so excited to come over and play with Lucy and Lily!

Waiting for Dr. Segal

OK, the pic on the left is her before x ray.
Notice on her left hip (right side on pic) the socket doesn't cover the femur?
Now on the right picture- that's the x-ray from her visit.  The bright white area just above the green line- that's the cadaver bone wedge... Notice how the socket now covers her femur?  Yep, that's the point...

Celebration lunch

Makes me sad.  This is her incision after he removed stitches

Lucy and her BFF Hannah at the aquarium

And this little stinker... she wheels herself away from me in about 2 seconds... She is too smart for her own good

AND... dun dun dun... it's almost off!
I have had people tell me- 'oh, just put tape on it.'  That's not the problem.  The velcro isn't what she messes with.  She is so strong... either she uses her good leg to slip out of it, then takes the good leg and pushes it off, or she just uses her hands and pushes down.  
This pillow is getting BURNED.

JUNE 26.

And.... it's almost off...again