Monday, March 30, 2009

Hip to be Squared

In light of my busted camera, I thought I'd provide the backstory to Amelia's hip situation. . . since there aren't any pictures of her that would make the story more enlightening.

Amelia did not just have problems with reflux and colitis as an infant. In fact, she had a couple probs in utero. The worst of them was that she was transverse inside. That is, she was lying sideways rather than upside down. Her head rested between my ribs (ouch, severe OUCH), her little butt jutted out just below my left rib cage, and her feet were straight down where her head should have been. She was a full-grown baby with her entire upper half going across my tummy from one side to the other. She looked like this, but facing downward with feet towards the cervix. As you can see, this poor baby is folded in half very uncomfortably. Tranverse lying babies share this with breech babies and often are born with hip problems because the hips might form while baby is positioned incorrectly. Because of this, Amelia had to get an ultrasound as a newborn. She must have been 7-8 weeks or so. I remember being very nervous that I had to take her to the hospital and hold her down for the ultrasound, worried that she would launch into a screaming fit, which by that time, often lasted hours. She didn't though and was this perfectly calm, mellow baby the whole time. The tech mentioned that it looked like her hips were a little loose at that time, but nothing major. It would be up to our doctor, he said, to tell us the best treatment.
The most common treatment for babies with loose hips is casting. Casting both hips in the froggy position would keep the baby's joints together while they could grow. At the time, I just hoped for the best and rather pushed it aside. Amelia had other pressing problems that were already encompassing our lives. The thought of adding something else to the list was too much to really consider. When we went to see our pedi at the next appointment, I had on my list of concerns the hip ultrasound. However, we all got wrapped up in discussing Amelia's other problems and forgot. We all forgot, including the doctor. Once home, I remembered about the hips, but figured that no news was good news. That if there was treatment needed, we would have been contacted right away. This is where I messed up.
A little over a week ago, the doc called with bad news---the ultrasound had never been reviewed. It got tossed into the pile with everything else and forgotten. Where I thought it must have meant good news, it actually meant that nobody had looked at it. Upon its discovery, the doc realized that Amelia's hips were indeed loose and may need casting. Now. NOW!
Casting a newborn sounds terrible (see poor baby above), but it's done at that time because they don't move and aren't mobile. Amelia, on the other hand, is among the most mobile babies I know. Everyone has to comment on her movement, "Wow. Her legs never stop moving do they?" they ask. No they don't. She moves in her sleep for crying out loud and NEVER sits still. It's not her thing, immobility.
So that's how we got to last week, needing x-rays and hoping to high heaven that her hips hadn't gotten worse. They had, in fact, gotten better. When the doc called to tell me, she exclaimed, "THANK GOD!" She felt so terrible about the mishap. I am positive she lost sleep over it. I forgive her. We are all people who are too busy. Not to mention that if she had told us at the time, I would have just disintegrated into a puddle of defeat, what with all the other garbage we were going through. But all I could think was "THANK FARKING GOD!" I hadn't even let myself consider it. I couldn't go there.
And that's how Amelia narrowly escaped hip casts.