Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wearing a Froggie - Ergobaby

     Before my daughter got her harness she liked to be worn in a carrier. I had a Moby Wrap and sling from my son and she loved the Moby instantly when I pulled it out when she was a few weeks old. It was nice to have use of both hands while she was content and knowing that her hips were being evaluated we decided to splurge on an Ergobaby carrier. This carrier looks kind of like a padded piece of fabric with backpack type straps and it holds the baby in a position which keeps their body's positioned properly with little effort.
     I Love my Moby Wrap but I can't ever seem to get it on quickly or without getting it dirty and it's just A LOT of fabric to carry around and maneuver when you first put it on. I never seemed to master tying it so that I could just leave it on and take baby in and out. I'm sure if I could get her in properly the Moby would be great for keeping Froggie in the right position but I typically do a lot of wiggling and bending to get she or my son into the wrap and the harness makes that difficult.
     Enter the Ergobaby. I decided to try it today because I had 45 minutes to waste before meeting my husband and decided to take the kids to the zoo. (I might add that the zoo was also only open for 45 minutes when we got there.) It was quick to grab the carrier and let my 2 year old walk so that's what we did. I didn't have to wiggle her or jostle her I simply got her out of her car seat, held her against my belly and put on the shoulder straps. I'm not even sure she woke up through the process. 

My kids and I at the zoo

     The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recommends that harness' and slings support baby's thigh and keep the hip stable with baby's legs spread. See the info here. I've heard mixed information about which products are recommended and it seems to be a matter of preference as long as the wrap/sling/carrier supports the baby the same way they are positioned by the harness.

Froggie in our Ergobaby while wearing her harness.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Transformation Day

     It was an early morning appointment. My husband had taken my son to day care early so that I wouldn't have to find something to do with him during our daughter's X-ray's. Once again she and I went at it alone.
     We pulled in to the parking lot and we were the only car there aside from those in the staff spots. The building was quiet and there were only a few ladies at the desks I walked past to go sign in. Then we waited in the quiet since the staff must have still been trickling in for their shifts. My daughter was weighed and measured and checked out at 11lbs 7oz and about 24 1/8" long.
     Our nurse helped us make the short trip to radiology and I laid my baby girl on the X-ray table expecting the image they were about to take to be the start of the last appointment we would have at Shriners EVER.
     I was wrong... 
     She did wonderfully through the quick X-ray and we got her dressed and headed back to our favorite exam room. The nurse came in shortly after we got settled to inform me that our doctor hadn't yet walked in the door but as soon as he arrived my daughter's X-ray was ready for him to view.

Waiting on the doctor with her Taggie's blankie

     While we waited I entertained my daughter with the few random toys in the diaper bag and played peek-a-boo with her using her precious Taggies blankie. I took her picture, looking back on it now I must have known somewhere deep down that I wanted to document this process since I had taken her picture at every appointment. I was getting bored. I decided if we were going to be waiting I would have her do some tummy time. She stunned me by rolling herself over! (I swear she really did! She even did it 2 more times that night for my husband while I was teaching him how to use her harness.)
     He finally had come in with the nurse. Most of what he said before I saw her X-ray was a blur but it amounted to she needed a brace.
     I was taken down the hall to look at Froggie's X-ray on the computer. It looked like a normal pelvic X-ray to me, though the extent of my medical training is a 10 year old EMT certification and more recent first aid certifications - nothing that would qualify me to say that my daughter's X-ray was fine. In his thick accent our doctor elaborated that my daughter's hips were at 34 degree (right) and 43 degree  (left) angles when they were supposed to be at 30 degrees or less. He showed me where the shadow of her hip sockets was not deep enough which made the angle too high. He opened up a computer program to check the angles even though he had identified correctly without the program that both hips were not at the proper angle.
     While I talked with the doctor and stared back and forth from him to the screen showing the X-ray the nurse had slipped Froggie into a harness. She hated it. We returned and the doctor requested a larger harness simply because my daughter would quickly outgrow the small meant for children up to 3 months and she was put into a medium harness. I was given the run down of where to place all of the Velcro straps (there is SO much Velcro!) and marked off their placement with a pen.
     Per doctor's orders Froggie has to be in her harness whenever she sleeps (at least). If you have a child you may recall that infants sleep A LOT. We discussed whether it was worth removing the harness in between and was informed that the more she wears the harness the better it will work. Due to this conversation my husband and I have made the decision to leave her in it all day with the exception of bath time and some tummy time so that she can continue to work on her rolling skills.
     We arrived with our little tadpole and left Shriners approximately 2 hours as a Froggie with some new gear, a beanie baby kitty (that my daughter is equally as attached to as her Taggies blankie) and the start of a temporary new life style.

First day as a Froggie!

Froggie in Her Tadpole Days

Froggie at her 1st appointment
     Before we left the hospital we had received a letter with our appointment date and time at Shriners Hospital for Children and before my driving restrictions were over we were there. On Valentine's Day we showed up to Shriner's toting our precious bundle and 2 year old son and there we sat in the waiting room.
     We met with a wonderful doctor with a thick accent. (To this day I don't think my husband understood a word that was said during that appointment.) He asked for our daughter's history, which was brief since she was only 2 weeks old, and did the same hip exam our pediatrician had done the week before. So far the pediatrician at the hospital thought her hips were "too lax" and ours felt a "Hip Click" and was glad we were heading to Shriners.
     FYI "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." (http://www.hipdysplasia.org)
     This doctor was now telling me that babies hips are SUPPOSED to be loose at birth and that he didn't feel any glaring abnormalities. He followed this up with telling us he wouldn't let our daughter slip through the cracks in case she did in fact need corrective action.
     We left that appointment with mixed feelings. I was happy to hear that our daughter's hips felt normal but a little worried that he wanted us to return in a month for an ultrasound. We resumed our daily lives adjusting to being a family of four and tried to be mindful of keeping her hips positioned appropriately but gave little thought to her hips until her next appointment neared.

Froggie at her 1st appointment

My sulking Froggie
     This appointment was bitter sweet. My husband had begun a new job and my son had returned to day care in preparation for my return to work the following week. My daughter and I waited for the doctor and made it through this appointment alone.
     We had the same staff at this appointment as our first and our nurse and doctor were wonderful again. They took ultrasound images of both her hips. He explained to me what they were looking for and began to sound frustrated that he could not get the image he was expecting with her left hip. He then switched to her right hip and easily got images he was happy with.
    My Froggie and I were escorted to exam room 1, the same room we always seem to get, that was decked out with a reptile border, sky light cover and a picture of some sort of large cat as a cub. My daughter was mad! She was bothered by the ultrasound and being twisted and moved to get the images needed. She sulked and pouted for the rest of the morning. (I felt so bad that we went straight to Target and I bought her a Taggies blankie which she has been attached to ever since)
     Once the doctor returned from reviewing the images he had just taken he did another hip exam while he explained to me what he had noticed in the ultrasound images. Her right hip seemed to be fine but her left hip socket seemed to be too shallow to hold the ball of her hip properly. We were told to avoid jumper seats, swaddling and anything that would either squish or not support her hips properly but we did not have to take any corrective action yet.
     He stated that as she grew over the next few weeks this may become a non-issue and that he wasn't going to tell us she was in the clear yet. We were scheduled to return for a pelvic X-ray and told that if the images looked good we wouldn't have to come back at all for her hips!
     Once again I left the appointment confident that the next appointment would involve only good news and I thought little about it until appointment #3 got closer.
The awesome sky cover on the lights. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hopping into life with a "Froggied Princess"

     My daughter has become a "Froggied Princess" as of this past Thursday. This of course was the day before she turned 3 months old and the day that she decided to be an over achiever and roll over from belly to back while we were waiting for x-rays to be read. By "Froggied Princess" I mean she was placed into a Wheaton-Pavlik Harness and was told to wear it as much as possible.
     If you don't know what a Wheaton-Pavlik Harness is don't worry. I didn't either! It is a mess of nylon webbing, fleece padding and Velcro that straps over a child's shoulders, around their chest and has little footies that hold their feet while Velcro secures their ankles.
     We've been adjusting to the harness for the last 4 days and I have made the decision to journal our experience. The more I thought about it the more I began to think of detailing our journey here in a blog so that my experiences may be assistance to someone else looking for answers in their own journey.

Day 2 of our life with a "Froggied Princess"