Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Where to begin...

Abby @ Eight Days Old

Abigail was a surprise, but a wanted surprise! Our son had just turned one and surprise number two was on it's way!  October 30, 2009 (Devils night during H1N1 where the hospital had just closed it's doors to visitors) Abby was born o'natural!  My husband still wonders why I had to try it drug free, but I wanted to know what it "felt like!" LoL!  The pregnancy and the first few months post were uneventful. 

However after Abby's care went back to our family Doctor (from the midwifes care) I recall visiting him on her three month check up and mentioning to him that with diaper changes I would hear a random "click" of her left hip.  But I would try to make it happen again and it wouldn't do it. Only randomly.  He checked her hips and said he heard and felt nothing and to not worry about it. 

Three more months pass and still randomly I'd hear "clicks" of her hips. sometimes the right and other times the left.  I remember also thinking that when I hold her with one arm on my hip her hip feels "funny."  The night before her six month check up I rocked her back and forth while I breast feed her thinking that it was the last time I could rub her pretty little knees because I knew that she would have to have a Spica cast with all the random clicking I'd hear.
However the next day at the Dr. apt after I expressed my concerns the FD stated that everything was fine.  I left feeling reassured.  The next few visits were the same. Me expressing the same concerns and him the FD reassuring me that everything was fine. 

My son walked well on his own at ten months and Abby didn't walk.  When she would try to stand and fall she would cry and my husband wondered why she would and I would say, " maybe because she is a girl and is more sensitive."  I didn't know why and thought that it was odd as well but I was reassured that everything was fine so why should I second guess. 

Abby didn't start walking on her own till about 13-14months and when she would it was only short distances and the following day she wouldn't even attempt it.  At about 15 months we were playing outside with the neighbour kids and the one older girl kept encouraging Abby to walk.  Normally Abby was a very content child to sit and watch the other children run around and play.  I thought that I was lucky having a second child so relaxed! The day that the neighbour child encouraged Abby to walk more I watched her gait and thought that something was very off and as the day went on her gait became more laboured.  I new that was not right.  To walk more should not change her gait.

I booked a "gait assessment" with the FD to discuss my findings and concerns with him.  At this apt. he stated that she did have a different gait but it was probable because she is severely flat footed.  But there was nothing we could do at the time because she was so young.  I asked for and x-ray and a peds referral for a second opinion but he stated that "radiation in children was something that they try to avoid. And her flat footedness was something that could be monitored for the time being.  Just buy her very supportive shoes."
I found peace with his remarks for a short time, but then took Abby to see our Chiropodist.   She also said that there was something not right.  Sure she was "flatfooted" but her gait was different.  She took videos of her walking, pictures and a foot impression and Abby was too be her test subject.  She made an arch support that  we could put in any of her shoes and as her feet grew to come back and they would reassess.
Again I felt reassure and at peace that something was being done.  However that was short lived and again I found myself second guessing everything.

Her stance was becoming more angled.  This was not right.  I went to the ED to visit a friend and that day another old friend of mine was there who I had not seen in a few years (who happened to be a pediatrician).  I asked her if she would like to come over to my house for a glass of wine one day and oh by the way check out my daughters gait.   She said that she was busy working a bunch of shift just then, but since she new me and if I had concerns, then something was not right and I should bring Abby to ED the next day to see her.  I didn't like the idea of going to the ED about this as I had been told numerous times before that everything was fine.  But in the end I told her I would come with some coffee!  I wanted to be proven wrong.
Abby and I went the next day. Four hours later my friend the pediatrician came to us and informed us what I knew all along that Abby had bilateral hip dysplasia. I was shocked, but at the same time, "I told you so!"

Less then a week later we meet Abby's pediatric orthopedic surgeon who informed us that the day her initial x-rays were taken that he had seen the x-rays and booked her OR time.   Just over a month later on July 11, 2011 I kissed my baby "good night" on the OR table and left her in the hands of the Orthopod.  Six and a half hours later I got too see her again in a cast from her ankles to her nipples after undergoing a bilateral open reduction.  She then had a CT too make sure that all was ok as her right hip was very unstable.  See/we spent five days in the PCCU(Pediatric critical care unit) as initially she had a hard time keeping her Sp02 up. 

Today marks four weeks and two days of being in the body cast.  We have adjusted, and are still adjusting to it.  My older son is doing okay with this but it is not easy.  Our days are mostly spent indoors.  Nap time for Abby sends my son and I outside to enjoy the hot humid weather and some much needed time in the pool.  To sum it up; the first week was Abby adjusting to the cast.  The second week was adjusting to life at home in the cast. The third week was finding the happy medium.  And now the fourth week I am going stir crazy inside when I want to be outdoors.  But we are making it work.  Re-inventing everything to make Abby's life as normal as can be.  My goal is not have her "hate this."

On Aug 10, 2011 Abby is going back into the OR too see how everything is healing.  She will be measured for her harness and then put back into a Spica cast for two - four weeks depending on what the Orthopod determines from his assessment.  So till then I have her on naturopathic remedies for bone growth and healing along with pushing meats and vegetables.  But time will tell. 

I decided to write this blog as I have read so many other peoples blogs and have retrieved a lot of information in our healing process and well as one particular person I meet from the institute for hip dysplasia web site that we have become great friends voicing our concerns, frustrations and joys over the whole situation our daughters are in.  Without her I would not be typing this!  Thank you.

Too our friends, family, co-workers, BFD Family and our loving church family;  For your kindness our hearts give thanks!

Here are some visual aids...
Ten days Post-OP
(in the Spica)
First Hip X-Ray
This is a video if Abby walking out of the ED the day we got the diagnosis. 

Abby a few hours post-op

Abby's older brother caring for her

Helium balloons are a great toy!


Playing on the train table One week post-op

The ride home from Hospital!


  1. i loooooooooooove this !!!!!! way to go, you 'blogging' mama you !!!! ;) xoxoxooxo

  2. Great summary of your ordeal Julie! Your little girl is so lovely! I hope the next few weeks go smoothly and you can put all of this behind you. You guys sound like you're all coping as best you can and I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing your story! - Margot