Our First Week Home

1 week in the books! Might seem like a little milestone, but let me tell you, 1 week has been an accomplishment for us. Adeline has been amazing and considering the circumstances she is handling all this with such grace and most of the day she is smiling. Me on the other hand, lets just say, I am getting a lesson on patience every minute of every day. We are getting creative with our days, and since she has about a 5 minute attention span, things change rather quickly around our house. One minute we are throwing balloons in the air, the other we are blowing bubbles and shaking rattles to make music. We are reading lots and singing often. But the beautiful weather we have been having in Atlanta has been the best blessing. We have clocked likely around 15 miles this week in her wagon, with multiple walks a day to get out of the house and score some fresh air and sunshine. She perks up when it is time to go for a ride outside and the cool breeze helps air out her cast too because she does get pretty sweaty.

We have 1 more week of keeping her flat, so we plan to keep things as interesting as possible for her. Although we would normally avoid screen time, we have turned on “Clifford” (remember that show?!) a time or two and I won’t admit or deny the fact that Greg and I now have the theme song playing in our heads on repeat and we could likely sing it to you. Unfortunately (or fortunately in every other case but right now), Adeline isn’t big on the TV. She will watch about 1 minute and she is ready for something else. She loves to read so I have a feeling her little library will grow these next several weeks, which is ok in my book (pun intended)! And in another week when she can start sitting up again, things will begin to get a much easier.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Adeline as we tackle treatment on the road to healthy hips!

An Update: Our Brave Little Princess

Today marks day 3 of life in the spica cast and our second full day at home. What a whirlwind of a weekend! Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of us the last few days.

Friday was one of the absolute hardest days of our lives, but Adeline handled it like a champ and we couldn’t have felt more thankful for how smooth everything went. Our day started around 1:45 AM and I feel like it never ended. Adeline was not able to eat anything after 2 AM so I set the alarm to give her a bottle at 1:45 AM. She didn’t leave a drop…I was so thankful. The alarm went off again that morning at 4:30 AM and all three of us woke up for the day. Surprisingly, Adeline did well not eating and stayed in the happiest mood. We arrived to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite at about 5:50 AM that morning and between the car ride, the bright hospital lights, the bubbles the nurses entertained with and Adeline wondering what in the world was happening, she did so well.

They took her back right at 8 AM. The pass off was the toughest part, but we knew she was in good hands. The surgery lasted about 2.5 hours (thankfully it was shorter than we had expected) from the time they took her to the time they finished and she was transported to the recovery room. We were in countdown mode the entire time, couldn’t wait to see her, and around 11 AM as she was waking up from the anesthesia we received the call to come in.

We also received periodic calls from the operating room keeping us up to date during the operation and after the surgery we met with Adeline’s surgeon. We know God has had His hands in this no matter the outcome but the report following the surgery was a testament to God’s faithfulness. During the operation, Adeline’s surgeon performed an arthrogram on her right hip which confirmed what the x-ray had told us. Her right hip was perfectly positioned and needed no work (which also meant she wouldn’t need a full leg cast on her right side either). The news about her left hip was very positive too. Her doctor tried to perform a closed reduction on that side to see if there was a way to avoid opening her up, and although it didn’t work and he needed to perform the open reduction, the left hip had improved since November! It wasn’t as stable as it needed to be though, so they opened her up and cleaned out her socket and placed the left hip back in place. According to her previous x-rays it looked as if the left hip socket was very shallow, but in fact, during the operation they realized it was not as shallow as originally thought (another huge praise!) and her hip is relatively stable now.

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Adeline was pretty in and out of it the remainder of Friday on medicines for pain and for muscle spasms. Up until yesterday, she had pretty frequent muscle spasms and seemed to be uncomfortable, but that is to be expected after a major operation and her new cast. Thankfully very minimal swelling though. It was extremely difficult seeing our baby go through this, but it is amazing how resilient children are. Over the weekend, and even more so today, she has been her playful, happy self and she is no doubt bouncing back. I will add, much to my surprise, we have all slept amazing the last two nights. I think it may have been the best sleep in her 8.5 months of life!

What’s next?
For the next two weeks we are going to be doing a lot of resting and napping, reading books and walks in the little red wagon to keep Adeline in a flat position.

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In two weeks we will have a follow up appointment with her surgeon and at that time another x-ray will be done of her hips. We want to make sure everything stayed in place like it should and nothing moved. The two-week follow up appointment is, in my opinion, a big milestone if we get the report that things look good. We are hoping for positive results for her left hip so that we can continue treatment in the cast as is and not have to encounter more operations. It will be nice to be able to allow Adeline to finally start sitting up a little more too! Oh how I can’t wait for that day!

Again, we thank you for all the notes and calls. We have a very special little girl and we know God has big plans for her life.

Hugs!
Anna

Friday, Here We Come

This week has felt so slow, just crawling to Friday, but at the same time, I don’t know where the days have gone! Has anyone else ever felt that way? I have been building up this week so much in my head for the last several months since Adeline’s previous operation last November. Tomorrow morning we go in for her second surgery. Similar to the last operation, the end goal is to get her hip back in the right place! But this surgery will be much different.

We went in about two weeks ago for her pre-op appointment and an x-ray was taken of her hips. Before the upcoming procedure our doctor wanted to make sure her hips were still indeed dysplastic. As we expected her left hip is completely dislocated, basically floating pretty high up above the socket which is causing her left leg to be an inch or two shorter than the right leg, and the hip socket is very shallow (meaning there isn’t really a socket right now and the bone is pretty much flat as to not be able to hold the ball of her hip in place). However, the x-ray showed very positive news for her right hip – it is in perfect position and there is bone growth happening to form her socket as it would in any normal child! We were so pleased with the news about her right side and can now focus on getting the left one back into position and healthy.

With Adeline’s surgery tomorrow, she will be put under anesthesia and instead of just manipulating her hip back into place, our surgeon will be making an incision and cleaning out her hip socket with whatever has grown in it’s place. This could take around 4 hours. The reason the first operation did not work was because of this growth blocking the ball of the hip from going into the socket and staying stable. Her surgery tomorrow is what they called an open reduction (opening her up vs. a closed reduction like she had in November where she stays closed up and all they do is clip the tendon) and with this procedure the doctor will be able to place the hip back where it should go and cast her up. Adeline will be casted her entire left side and halfway down her right leg in order to hold the hip in place and promote the bone growth around the socket as is happening on her right side. With the last operation we were unsure if it would work and Adeline would be in a cast, but we can be sure this time around she will be rocking what they call a spica cast for at least 8 weeks.

We are hopeful and pray for a smooth operation and swift recovery. She will be in the spica cast for a minimum of 8 weeks and at that time we will go in for a cast change. Her doctor will perform an arthrogram on her hips and wiggle them like crazy to check the progress and stability. If necessary, she will be placed into another cast for 8 additional weeks then followed by a brace for 3 months after the cast removal. We have a long road ahead of us, but we are so thankful for the ability to be able to treat this for the long term. We are also thankful that as tough as it is on us as parents, she will have no recollection or memory of this except a tiny little scar that will serve as a reminder of our brave little girl’s journey to healthy hips.

We ask that you please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and in the weeks following this. For the next two weeks Adeline is required to stay in a flat position laying down in an effort to keep her left hip in the correct position and not move. We will have to get creative on activities to keep our wiggle worm entertained, so send them our way if you have ideas!

I know we have said it many times, but we can’t thank you all enough for the support and thoughts. We feel so blessed with the best and we are ready to take on tomorrow!

Much Love,
Anna, Greg & Adeline

Sips for Hips Atlanta

When Adeline was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at birth I had no idea about the journey to healthy hips that we had ahead of us. When I heard this term DDH/hip dysplasia I started reading up on it immediately. I am the type of person that loves researching and finding everything I can, almost to fault, so I feel I have a better understanding of what is facing me or the whatever it is I am trying to tackle. This was no different and throughout my hunt for information about Adeline’s condition, I stumbled upon the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and reached out to get connected. What we have gone through up until this point has consumed my mind and I knew I needed to try and turn it into something positive. I entertained the idea of an event or fundraiser with Greg. I came up with all these ideas in my head about what it could be and turn into and how exciting to be able to help a cause we were now so close to. An idea turned into a reality within a few months and Sips for Hips Atlanta was born.

I had the best time pulling this event together and as the weeks passed, we garnered more and more support and sponsorships. It was inspiring and encouraging. The inaugural Sips for Hips Atlanta event took place on February 23rd at SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta. It was so much fun and Sips for Hips Atlanta raised over $25,000! As with any first time event, we learned a lot and figured out what worked and what needed more work, but I think overall it was well received and we succeeded in our goal to raise awareness. I look forward to making this an annual event. THANK YOU to everyone who supported us, donated, attended, and reached out. It is because of your support that it was a success!

With all the hype of the event and focus and attention on making it come together, it kind of took my mind off and eased my anxiety and worry about Adeline’s next operation. But, here we are, less than a week out of what will be her second surgery and much more invasive operation and I have to try and keep that positive energy going. It is hard to face this reality though, to know the surgery date is approaching, our little girl has no clue, and we will have some challenges in finding our new “normal” facing us. But, one thing is true, we have a fighter on our hands and Adeline will handle all of this like a champ. Children are amazing and bounce back so fast and she will be back to her happy self in no time at all.

More to come on our upcoming procedure in another post soon. Stay tuned!

A Trip Across the Pond

February was a non-stop month for our family. We left for Europe on the 3rd for trip to London, Prague and Vienna. Our plans quickly changed when we arrived to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport with all of our bags and a baby that was not in the mood to sleep on our overnight flight. We ended up staying in London for the two-weeks we were abroad and that couldn’t have been a better decision. There is so much to see, and truth be told, we have not ever really spent that much time in one city when traveling abroad so it was a very nice change. Being able to take our time, relax and spread out our agenda instead of tackling London in a matter of a few days was a treat. We have found when traveling with a baby it is so much easier to get around on foot, so Adeline spent lots of time riding in her stroller while we walked (63 miles!) and explored historic sites, galleries, gardens and more.

I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy London until being there. With more time on our side in one city we were able to spread out our plans and visit one big attraction each day we were there. One day it was the National Gallery which amazing and full of so many beautiful pieces by artists from all parts of Europe spanning centuries. The National Gallery is close to Covent Garden as well, so we were able to walk around, shop a little and explore that part of town. Another day was spent at the Churchill War Rooms. This exhibit was one of our favorites and gave us a chance to learn more about Winston Churchill’s legacy and see the bunkers-turned-museum where he ran World War II.

Throughout our time there we also visited Kensington Palace by way of Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, parts of Canary Wharf, saw the London Eye and the London Bridge (aka Tower Bridge) and toured Westminster Abbey. I know I am forgetting some of our other adventures during the trip, but these were some of my favorite days.

Since we were expecting to travel around Europe we only booked our hotel for part of the time and switched from The Intercontinental to The JW MarriottĀ Grosvenor House, and stayed there the remaining of our trip. The hotel has a fascinating history spanning nearly 350 years and is in an ideal location overlooking Hyde Park and situated in a area of town called Mayfair. When booking the hotel, we knew the reviews were good but we weren’t familiar with all the areas of London. We were pleased with the hotel but especially with its placement – close to many cafes, restaurants, shopping and Hyde Park, it was a great spot for staying with a baby and getting around town. One of the coolest parts of the hotel though, was the Great Room and all the functions that have been hosted from royal affairs to parties, balls and awards ceremonies. During our stay was the BAFTA festivities. Leaving our hotel one morning on the day of the awards ceremony we ran into piles of paparazzi in lines getting ready for what we learned was the “official” after party. The Grosvenor House hosts the after party of the BAFTA Film Awards each year and it was fun to see the red carpet and think about all the celebrities that would be attending our hotel. Adeline ended up staying up past her bedtime that night to see all the stars arrive. šŸ˜‰

We were sad when the time came to leave and head home, but we made some wonderful memories as a family, took lots of pictures to share with Adeline when she’s a little older and booked another trip back for later this year (we just couldn’t get enough!). We are hoping that later this fall when we head back we can explore other parts of the country like Oxford and the countryside in addition to a trip over to Scotland too.

Although we hated for our trip to end, upon arriving in Atlanta you realize how true the saying, “there is no place like home.” Adeline perked up when we walked in our door and she saw her room and all of her toys. We all adjusted pretty well to the time difference and Adeline only had a few early mornings in the days following. We were so glad because the inaugural Sips for Hips Atlanta was about a week away! We got busy in the days following our arrival home and looked forward to the upcoming event. Planning to post a separate post just for that soon.

Ciao for now!