Our Hippy Journey – The Diagnosis

As I mentioned in Adeline’s birth story post, she was a breech baby, frank breech specifically, and likely had been for quite a while during my pregnancy. That means her head and feet were basically touching and she was folded in half in my tummy. When babies are born, no matter their positioning, the doctors do a top to bottom evaluation to make sure everything is ok and the baby is healthy. As was routine, they checked Adeline out after her birth, bathed her and placed her in my arms in the recovery room. That was about the time the pediatrician came in to talk to us about her hips. I was still pretty out of it, at this point it is after midnight and I was still coming off of the medicine. But what I did hear in this conversation was a doctor telling me my baby was not perfect, and no mommy (or daddy) wants to hear that, ever. Obviously I was concerned, but did not have time to process what exactly they meant and the doctor was not able to tell us much.

The next day, the pediatricians do morning rotations to each patient’s room after checking the babies. That Monday morning the pediatrician came by our room. My husband had just run to grab some breakfast for us so it was only Adeline and I in the room. Everything looked great and Adeline was healthy, she told me. Except for her hips. What I will always remember about this conversation was the pediatrician telling me she had never seen a case this bad in 6 years – why on earth she stated it that way is anyone’s guess, but I was crushed inside. I did not know what all of this meant, what was in store for us, and if my precious baby would be ok. And then the mom guilt hits – this was all my fault. What did I do wrong? Is there something I could have done different to avoid this? Why does my baby have this? There are so many days I still have these thoughts and some nights while rocking Adeline to sleep I still have tears stream down my face worried about her and feeling like somehow I could have changed this.

Following our discharge from the hospital Thursday of that week, we scheduled Adeline’s first pediatric appointment the next day. We did not want to waste any time. Our pediatrician, whom we absolutely adore and has been such support, checked her hips that Friday. Sure enough there was clicking and popping coming from the right side and we believed that was the side to worry about. She talked to us about Infant Hip Dysplasia, something neither Greg nor I had ever heard of. She advised us to schedule time with a Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist, and sooner the better. Since babies are born with a good amount of the hormone relaxin passed on from the mother, which keeps the baby’s ligaments and joints flexible in order to move through the birth canal, picking up on and treating hip dysplasia early has a much better success rate to avoid further complications and procedures such as surgery.

After leaving the doctor’s office that day, we did not waste time. We called from the doctor’s office parking to sat up an appointment for the following Monday to meet with the orthopedic doctor in hopes of learning more and praying it would be a quick-fix.

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