When things aren’t like you thought they would be

Our beautiful son graced us with his presence on the 28th of March under much more dramatic circumstances than we would have liked. He was an undiagnosed breech and I had to have an emergency caesarean.

The longest lasting impact was the fact he was born with DDH – developmental dysplasia of the hip. This means his hip sockets were too shallow and the joint would easily become dislocated. This is a common complication of breech babies, but it meant we had to go to the children’s hospital when he was only a week old to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed that his hips were far too shallow and he got a Pavlik harness, which looks like this:

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When they put it on my little boy, I cried. Of course that seems ridiculous in context; after all it’s only some cotton and velcro, he wasn’t in pain and it was only for 12 weeks. But it meant weekly hospital visits, not being able to bathe our baby at home, a lot of his clothes not fitting him, difficult nappy changes and most of all we lost the ability to snuggle skin to skin and hold our soft little squishy boy. I won’t say it wasn’t tough. the staff at the Royal Hospital for Children were amazing though and very supportive and I eventually began looking forward to our weekly visit with these wonderful nurses. We had to shorten our planned holiday in Germany so we’d only miss one appointment, we had to go to hospital once to get a new harness due to a nappy explosion and Frank spent a lot of time being too warm when we had glorious summer days, but on the 21st of June the harness was finally taken off! It took a few nights for him to get used to his new freedom of movement and a few days for us to get to grips (literally!) with how wriggly and soft our little boy now is. We’re thankful we live in a time and a place where a problem like this, which would cause immense suffering if untreated, can be easily and swiftly remedied without surgery. But I’m happy I now have a harness-free child!

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The first and last harness

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