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About my hippy boy {part 2}…

Before I knew it, we were being transferred to the care of the nicest doctor I’ve ever met at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. While the wait to get in for an appointment seemed like eternity, we received so much peace from him when we met his smiling face. He pulled his chair over with copies of the x-ray and he truly, sincerely, wanted to make sure that we knew every step that was coming and welcomed questions. I quickly realized that pediatric doctors do not have just one patient on a case…they have two; the first is the child and the second is the parent(s).

Our push to get surgery done fast was so important because we were in the middle of selling our home, moving to New York and I was 20 weeks pregnant. Being that our care started in Nashville, my husband ended up moving to New York without us and we’d move upon the cast removal…12 long weeks later.

Before I proceed, I’m a praying mama and so is the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances. We could not have made it through this time without the power of prayer and the answered/unanswered prayers, I’ll go into detail more on this a little later.

On the morning of the surgery in May 2019, we had some anxiousness over the surgery itself and passing our child off to go through the double doors without you…but as a whole, we were filled with so much peace. I give that to prayer but also being 100% confident with our doctor. If you question your doctor a little bit…you’re with the wrong one.

Being that Levi had bilateral hip dysplasia, we had both hips to work on. For the left, he received an open reduction. For the right hip, it went right in under anesthesia, so a closed reduction was completed on this side. He was in a Spica cast for 6 weeks and a Petrie cast for 5.5 weeks. After the cast removal, he took 21 days to regain his muscles to walk again and before we knew it, he was back to running away from me at stores.

In this post, I sped thru over 5 months of ‘stuff’. Two reasons why…1) I plan to break it down a little more on topics in the future and 2) Because shortly after, we realized our closed reduction failed…

About my hippy boy {part 1}…

Levi was born past due in Tennessee. We didn’t have any complications during my entire pregnancy, and he wasn’t breeched. I was induced at 40w1d pregnant because I was rear-ended and pushed into a guard rail. After 40 hours in the hospital, Levi was delivered via cesarean after the failed induction at a healthy weight of 8lbs 5oz. He is the light of my life and was perfect from the beginning.

As a new parent, I did EVERY wellness visit and suggestion from the pediatrician. Anytime he was sick, I was sure to help him and got care from his providers. Over 2 years of life, he crossed the hands of three pediatricians due to jobs changing and other than his slow weight gain and little eczema, there were never any concerns for my son from the doctors pertaining to his hips.

When my son began walking around 13-14 months old, I noticed a waddle that I couldn’t compare to any other toddler he played with. Every time we went into the doctor’s office and filled out the questionnaire, when the question asked “Do you have any concerns about your child?” I wrote ‘his waddle’ in cursive each time. My concerns were quieted, and I was told that ‘toddlers toddle’. Additionally, any time I mentioned it to a friend or family member, everyone shrugged that he was fine. We even googled and it stated that the gait can change up to 3 years old.

At his 2-year wellness checkup, I mentioned it one more time before we were moving away from the area. There was agreement that he did have a waddle. It was suggested to get an x-ray done at the hospital for review or to go to an orthopedic surgeon. Due to the length of time with my concerns, I elected an orthopedic surgeon. Another week went by before we were headed down to Nashville to go to Levi’s first appointment.

When arriving to the orthopedics’ office, we filled out paperwork and answered basic questions. I remember being asked why we were there by the nurse as we walked back and I said “my son waddles not comparable to other toddlers”, her response “All kids are different and waddles are normal.” I quickly questioned myself “Why am I here? I’ve totally blown this out of proportion.”

As Levi munched on his snacks, the doctor laid him down in my lap and played with his hips. He instructed we’d be doing an x-ray which I assumed this was just normal. Because I was pregnant, my mom went into the x-ray room with him and scans were completed. Within 15 minutes the doctor was walking into the room with us.

“I have some unfortunate news.” He proceeds to explain that Levi’s hips were dislocated. I was shocked, but I said, “Okay, so will you just pop it back in then today?” Boy was I wrong. He informed me how this would be a surgery, explained the process and that he wouldn’t be the guy for the job as he was nearing retirement within the year.

Tears. Lots and lots of tears.

I was handed the x-ray and sent on my way. I collected my mom from the waiting room where I eagerly tried to get on the elevator and outside before I mentally lost it.

I couldn’t breathe. While my mom repeatedly asked for news, I begged to just get outside and fast. I sat down on the nearest bench and just cried uncontrollably. Everything was going through my mind about how I waited too long. How I was told by someone I respected that I was blowing this out of proportion, and he was fine. But what I realized so quickly is I was right, not that I wanted to be right, but I was. I knew something was wrong for a while and our adventure was just about to get started…

Hello.

Nothing you do for your children is ever wasted.

— garrison keillor

Hi! Thanks for coming to my blog. First, I’d like to point out, I’m not a writer, I’m the type of person who envisions a whole journal in my head and then when my fingers get moving I can compose two sentences. My punctuation will be off and my spelling may be too. Sometimes I think I’m funnier than I am, but I think humor is a way to navigating something uncomfortable. I have a lot to say on the topic of hip dysplasia on the emotional side of things, more than what doctors can help with. I hope that my blog can bring peace and comfort that you’re not alone in the chaos of caring for a child with hip dysplasia.

I’ve been a ‘hip dysplasia mom’ for a little over 6 months, while I’m not a professional, I’ve learned more than I wanted on Hip Dysplasia. We just passed the 6-month mark of my son’s first surgery and the first day of a 12-week journey in a Spica cast. By the grace of God (yes he’ll be mentioned in this blog), we navigated those 12 weeks like rock stars.

I’ll talk about our journey, how we managed our time in a Spica cast, future diagnosis, and finding my new purpose which is advocating and educating on hip dysplasia. The mountains we face doesn’t determine who we become, it determines how strong we’ll become. I want to help people navigate a Spica cast, how to ask for help and how to be your child’s advocate. Our journey was chaotic as we sold our first home, I was pregnant, moving across country and my husband was starting a master’s degree in a different state than where we stayed for surgery and cast time. A diagnosis doesn’t come at the best time, because really, is there a good time?

The mountains we face doesn’t determine who we become, it determines how strong we’ll become.

If you’re not here for advice and just here to go thru this adventure with us, thank you! If you’re here because you’re on the same boat as us, you’re going to get thru this. My inbox is open to questions and I look forward to hearing about your journey too! Subscribe and join our hippy adventure!