when Flora was 3 weeks old, our midwife discovered one of her hips was "clicking" during the routine newborn exam. Clicks can be a sign of hip dysplasia which I didn't even know at the time, despite the fact that I actually had hip dysplasia as an infant ( I had never really heard much about it from my parents and my mom also says it's all a blur for her now!) so as it turns out, This is a pretty common and treatable condition - caused most often by breach birth (because of baby's position in the womb) or passed on through genetics. our midwife kinda waved it away saying that normally the clicks normally firm up as the ligaments grow and harden, but that she was going to refer us to the specialist at any rate. We visited the specialist at 4 weeks who confirmed the clicks and then at six weeks old we were told that she'd need treatment.
That was four weeks ago now. we have two more weeks until our first formal assessment to see if she's made any progress. I'd be lying if I said time is going by quickly - it has felt like a long time that she's been stuck in these things and two more weeks feels like an eternity. I mean, time is going by quickly... I don't think there's a universe where time with a new baby goes slowly; somehow their squishy little selves grow and morph so quickly into a giant infant! But at the same time, I just find myself thinking - whhhyyyyy does she still have to wear this brace. And when can we just take it off? The hope is that at the six week appointment all will be good and we can start weaning her out of it. right now she has to have the braces on 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. If all is good she gets to decrease that number slowly over the course of a month and a half. we are crossing all our fingers and our toes and praying that this will be the case for flora and that it won't be terribly drawn out over the next couple of years as can happen. But We have time on our side since they caught the clicks early (so grateful for this fact!) - the earlier the better since their bodies are growing so quickly at this stage. so I'm focusing on that and trying not to let my brain go all "worst case scenario."
If I'm being completely honest, I should let you know I've had my moments. complete meltdown, full on temper tantrum moments. Moments where i feel like life isn't fair and like I just want to rip the darn things off and burn them. I know it's irrational, and entitled and overly privileged to think and behave this way. But in those moments I feel robbed of this precious, short period of time with her. I want to hold my baby next to me and have nothing between us. she's such a happy baby, but the braces obviously make her less happy and at times I can just tell she's over it. And it might sound obvious, but life with a toddler and a newborn isn't exactly a walk in the park; these braces make everything just a bit harder: Diaper changes are harder, holding her is harder, sleeping is harder (isn't it already non-existant as a newborn?!), breastfeeding is harder, getting her in and out of the car seat is harder. and it may seem petty i know, but she can't wear most of the cute outfits I bought for her. It's just that i feel like we're missing out on stuff. and there have been days when she doesn't wear them that full 23 hours and I am just riddled with guilt that I'm not being the best mom I can be for her because I'm literally the only person in the world who puts them on and takes them off right now. There have been times when we both just need to be close and In those moments I weigh our mental health and sanity over brace time but it always comes with a price.
It's all just a bit of a heart breaking change of events for what was supposed to be ... not that. not this. and what's worst of all, I feel like I need to defend my feelings which could completely be of my own doing... but if I mention how I'm feeling the response I'll most often get is: it will be over soon, it's for her own good, and it could be much worse.... well yes. I get its for her own good. We're wearing them aren't we? If i didn't think it was for her own good, we wouldn't be following the doctor's orders. And yes I know it could be much worse. I'm a new mother in the prime of my life and I'm so so happy; I don't want to even start thinking about all the awful what-ifs so yes, I know it "could be worse." (and for the record I don't think that's a healthy thing to tell anyone. None of us need to go down that spiral of thinking and we should all just face the good and the bad of what's in front of us as it comes - anything more is a waste of time in my opinion).
This was a therapeutic to write out so thank-you for reading! mostly because I'm just looking at that gorgeous face up there ^^^ and I still can't believe she's mine, clicky hips and all. and time is ticking by no matter how much I want to pause it so I can make these precious early days last. So yay! it's august! let this be the month of healthy hips! And thank-you for your love and support! a lot of you have already commented and sent me love through social media and I'm so grateful for that.