May 24

Given the all clear

by LifeLoveLaura on May 24, 2013

Being pregnant doesn’t help in the dream department. I had some crazy dreams, one involving Mark Owen sticking his thumb up my bum but the less said about that the better. So, considering I had an extremely over active subconscious, naturally I had nightmares of bearing a child with three horns and five feet and I would worry about it daily. In fact, Big T (minus the freaky dreams) would worry about this too.

When Little T finally arrived we were so relieved to finally see that he was ok. No devil horns! When he was checked over the next day by the paediatrician, he did notice a clicky left hip. “It’ll probably be nothing but we’ll get it checked when he’s six weeks old just to be on the safe side,” the doc said. Being in the new first time parent bubble, within these first few weeks we thought nothing of it and carried on as normal. We never really mentioned it to be honest, it was something that got totally overlooked by us, probably because the doctor didn’t seem too concerned. That is a good thing I suppose, new parents needn’t worry about anything more than they have to. When Little T was given an ultrasound on both of his hips at six weeks old however, he was found to have moderate dysplasia in his left hip (DDH). This is something that I had read about when researching getting a Labrador but we never expected our gorgeous little boy to have it! During Little T’s first ultrasound the radiographer didn’t say a word, she just chatted away to us as normal and asked us to take a seat outside. It was the consultant who gave us the blow – “his hip has not quite formed properly and he’ll need to wear a harness for the next couple of months.” Bang.

We were gutted. Obviously it’s not life threatening and it’s something that can be easily managed but it’s still not nice to be told that not everything’s rosy with your newborn. It’s something that hasn’t run in either side of the family, he wasn’t breech and obviously it wasn’t a multiple birth. All of the things that point towards a baby having DDH didn’t apply to Little T so we had to accept that it’s just ‘one of those things.’ We met with a child physiotherapist straight after the consultant told us and she fitted Little T with his harness. He looked like a little frog with his legs hoisted up.

Poor Little T in his harness

Poor Little T’s first photos in his harness

His first Halloween outfit was very fitting

His first Halloween outfit was very fitting

Taken on my birthday!

Taken on my birthday!

He didn’t protest at all during the eight weeks he had to wear his harness. He even had a trip to Spain and a week at Center Parcs and neither of these were spoilt, although we did have to put off his first time swimming at Center Parcs until his harness came off. During the first four weeks we weren’t allowed to take the harness off him at all, not even for a bath. He pretty much skipped all of his 0-3 month clothes as they wouldn’t fasten around the straps and by the time his harness was off he’d grown out of that size! Thankfully, Little T just didn’t seem bothered about having to wear it, I think he thought it was the norm. After all, a tiny baby boy doesn’t know what’s normal and what’s not does he? We had to attend physiotherapy sessions every week at the hospital so they could check his hip and re-adjust his harness as he was growing. These early morning physio sessions were a killer. Big T had gone back to work at this point so getting up, ready and out on your own for early afternoon with a newborn was bad enough, never mind for a pre-10am hospital appointment!

Another shocker was that our poor baby needed an operation for an inguinal hernia whilst still wearing his harness. The poor kid had everything at once but even still, he didn’t bat an eye lid. He was operated on in November at around 11 weeks old and we were just so glad to get it out of the way as his hernia was pretty big and nasty looking. The three departments – physio, orthopaedics and children’s surgery, worked amazingly together at making sure his brace was off for the shortest time possible during his hernia operation so not to disturb his hip. Straight after his op, whilst still in the operating theatre, his physiotherapist went back to refit a brand new harness so it wasn’t dirty around his incision site.

My poor little boy after his hernia op

My poor little boy after his hernia op

When the day came that he could finally be weaned off it after four weeks we were SO happy! First things first, we jumped at the chance to hop in the bath with Little T. After loving the bath as a teeny tiny baby, he wasn’t sure at first but going weeks without a bath isn’t nice for anybody so he had to have one. I felt like a mean mother even though he had probably forgotten what a bath was but he soon grew to like it again. During the weaning off the harness, it could come off under the following restrictions -

He wasn’t allowed to play in any sort of bouncer, bless him.

More weekly (early, ew!) physio sessions.

First week – harness off for 3 hours a day.

Second week – harness off for 6 hours a day.

Third week – harness off for 9 hours a day.

Fourth week – hip scanned and if all was well the harness could come off altogether.

Guess what? After having another scan on the fourth week all WAS well, yippee!! The biggest relief was that he was going to be out of the horrid harness for his first Christmas. He still wasn’t allowed to play in a Jumperoo or a door bouncer but he certainly made up for it by bouncing away on your leg! We were told that Little T wouldn’t need to be seen until he was eight months old where they would take another look at his hip bones. Cue this week…

On Wednesday morning we went for Little T’s 8 month check up. His appointment was at 9.45am so we turned up dead on time (not late as we tend to be everywhere we go!). The clinic was packed and we were greeted with a message informing us that the consultant was running an hour late. How is that even possible at that time in a morning?! Anyway, we waited and waited as there wasn’t much choice. The TV in the children’s clinic waiting room was kindly stuck on CBeebies and after a short while of Mr Tumble whining in his nasal tones about his “spotty baaaaaag” (I HATE HIM), I was ready to shout at someone quite abruptly – to put it politely.

Waiting for his x-ray, happy chap as usual.

Waiting for his x-ray, happy chap as usual.

Little T was finally called for an x-ray a couple of hours after his appointment time and shortly after we were called in to see the senior registrar. Not the consultant this time. Little T was asleep so we left him in his pram behind the two chairs that were set out in front of the doc. The doctor looked puzzled at us and asked us who’s x-ray it was but then noticed Little T in his pram behind us. Seriously, we trust these people with our lives? Anyway… he pointed out that Little T’s left hip was a little bit smaller than his right, which we could see quite clearly from the x-ray but we were then given the good news – despite the joint being smaller and a little less developed, all is well and it should get stronger once he starts walking. Thankfully, we don’t need to go back for another six months when they will x-ray again to check on its development after he has been walking on it for a short while. Yaaaaaay! We’re so unbelievably glad his hip dysplasia was found as early as it was or things could be a hell of a lot different to how they are now. Thank you NHS, we do love you y’know!

Laura x

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ciara May 24, 2013 at 9:14 am

Yay, that’s fantastic news!


LifeLoveLaura May 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

So happy for our little chap. Thanks Ciara! x


Claire May 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

That’s great news Laura!!


LifeLoveLaura May 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Thanks Claire, ’tis a relief! x


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