Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First 3 weeks with Marli's cast... 1/4 way there!

I do intend to blog about Christmas / New Years, however we did not have the most magical Christmas I was hoping for. Our Christmas involved helping Avery hit the bucket and make it to the toilet on time. We did however have a nice Christmas, but all the pictures we have from Christmas are on my parents camera (since our hands were full with other things.)
I would however like to fill you in on Marli’s Hip Dysplasia. As I explained in my previous post, our Orthopedic Surgeon had informed us that most likely the brace would not cure Marli’s hip because of the angle that her hip is at. We had decided to try it out in the mean time since surgery time was not expected to be available until January.
Well a week after she had the brace on Dr. Dulai’s (that is our Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons name) office phoned. They were given some unexpected OR time before Christmas and wanted to get Marli in as soon as possible. The Closed Reduction surgery that she needed is only effective before  6 months old. At this point she was 4.5 months old. After 6 months she would have to have an Open Reduction which is much more invasive and basically an open hip surgery. The Closed Reduction is only a die injection and then re-set the hip and then cast her. Sometimes they have to do a small incision where they cut a tendon in her inner thigh to allow for the hip to stay in the socket (Marli did not because thankfully wearing the brace a week prior helped stretch her out and make her more flexible.)
First we had to make sure Marli’s cold had cleared up enough for her to be put under. I got in the next morning for our family doctor, and she cleared Marli with a clean bill of health! I told our doctor that that was great… but like 20% of me was hoping she wasn’t healthy enough, haha! The reality of my little baby having to go under for surgery (even a minor surgery) was hitting me, and the change in our life of caring for a baby in a Spica cast!

Dr. Dulai’s office got us in first thing the next morning; the first surgery of the day. We showed up at 6am, Marli was pretty tired and hungry before her surgery. She was not allowed to eat for 4 hours before surgery. But it was sort of nice because I just rocked her to sleep, it was the last time for a little while that I would be able to snuggle my baby not in a cast or brace!

Then the nurse came and took her from us to be put under for her surgery. That definitely made the water works turn on! But we went to get some breakfast and to find the ward that we would be staying overnight, but waiting to see her was so hard! We just waiting in the waiting area outside our ward and finally we saw the porter take her by. We ran after her, and even though we had been looking at pictures on the internet of this cast, it was still such a shock seeing her! First her IV was hooked to the vein in her head, and all the other monitors hooked up to her little body. And then of course this big cast that consumes most of her body. She was a little groggy but when she came too, she looked up at us and smiled!

Keeping her warm while watching treehouse :)

The whole day and night in the hospital was did amazing! All the nurses just adored her, we would hear them talk about how cute and sweet she was to eachother in the halls. Each nurse would tell us how she was the happiest baby in a Spica cast they had ever seen! She slept lots and watched some Treehouse TV, haha. I was so nervous that nursing her wouldn’t work out because of the cast. She is such a great nurser (and Avery was not, so it has been a breath of fresh air) but we worked it out! She basically lays flat on her back on my lap and turns her head. Not too bad.

In the morning right at 7:30 they took us downstairs for an MRI. Sometimes after the Closed Reduction the hip doesn’t stay in the socket. That would have really sucked, because then they take the cast off, we have to come back at 6 months for the Open Reduction and go through the cast again! Thankfully the MRI came back good and her hip stayed in! Dr.Dulai had told us the night before that the surgery went perfectly and she expected it to stay in. So then we were able to go home. Not before a visit from Santa who gave Marli and Avery a very nice present! Avery had been at my parents and sisters house the whole time, but the nurses had told him Marli had a 3 year old sister. It was very sweet. Everyone at the Stollery was just amazing… (aside from a very unfriendly, unhelpful Occupational Therapist that was supposed to give us tips… but did not and when I asked her for tips about nursing with the cast she laughed and said no one had ever asked her that… okay…)

We have been home with our sweetie pie for just about 3 weeks now. She has to wear this cast for 12 weeks total. They changed it half way at 6 weeks because they grow so fast and it gets dirty… which we’ve already experienced. In 3 weeks we have had 2 poops leak out, I think not too bad, but man it’s a process! You have to make sure you get it as clean as possible and most importantly dry! Its almost impossible, but we’ve come up with some processes. Jordan is very good at making sure its as clean as possible and dry.

Marli is such a happy, easy going, resilient kid! She is coping so well! She was a little fussy last week because I believe she was going through a growth spurt. Growing pains alone can be painful, but can you imagine growing pains in a cast??? Her cast is a little more snug this week! Thank goodness for that change half way.

We have lots of foam pieces all over the house to try and make her more comfortable. Jordan is great at cutting up pieces to suit the needs that she has. It is definitely hard going out, but this week we’ve been out the same amount as normal and its gone really well! I even went grocery shopping with the 2 of them yesterday; Avery in the cart and Marli in the baby bijorn and it went great! They give us a loaner car seat from the hospital that apparently is made for the Spica cast. Well its crap… she doesn’t mind it too much. But it is more like a toddler seat, just rear facing. We use a towel to prop her bum up so that her ankles are not digging into the car seat. But most babies at 5 months if they fall sleep in the car or if you are doing quick stops into stores you just keep them buckled in there seat and carry the seat in, or prop it on the stroller. I cannot do this with the cast, I either carry her or put her in the baby bijorn or try and place her in the stroller which is all jimmy rigged with towels and blankets to sit her up high enough. It is interesting that’s for sure…

We have to change her position often to prevent sores on her body. She loves the jolly jumper, and the baby bijorn. Those are great for keeping her off her back for a while. But we for sure cannot wait to get this thing off! It will be so great!

Blow drying the cast out after poop explosion leak - Avery's always good to make her laugh

Diaper changes… we have a hole to work with. We have become quite good at it if I do say so myself! We put a size 2 up the hole (size 3 now) and then a size 5 on the outside in case it leaks. You flip her on her stomach to stuff the back side up. She is getting better and better at enjoying her tummy time. It is kind of a funny looking thing when we change her.

As for baths I can just sponge bath her because you cannot get the cast wet! She still enjoys that but it will be so nice to give her a proper bath after all this!

Getting her diaper changed, she rests on a pillow while we stuff the back side of the diaper up her back
When this cast is off, we will have another ultra sound to see where the hip is at. Most likely she will be in some form of a brace for a while. It may not be as intense as her pink brace, but maybe a diaper splint or something along those lines. Anything will be better than this! I swear my arms are going to be ripped after this (probably not, but oh well)! Haha.
We have already planned out our after cast party to the water park! I took Avery swimming at 4 months once a week with a couple girlfriends and their babies. I feel sad Marli hasn’t experience that yet because she loves water and baths. So that will be our big hoorah when this cast comes off!
Until then we make the best of this and I know when Marli is older this time will seem like such a small moment of her life! But right now… not really! Haha, 9 weeks and counting J


Kamry Low said...

She's so cute! I love all the photos. Such a process but I'm so impressed that ina the photos she's happy. What a good girl

Janel and Travis said...

Breanne, thanks for sharing. Your girls are adorable and I can't believe how strong you are through Marli's adventure. Here's to a speedy recovery!

Kay said...

I love all the pics, especially the one in the jolly jumper, what a trooper Marli is. Your girls are so cute

Jenny Fitzner said...

She is such a beautiful baby!! I loved reading all about it, she's such a trooper, what a happy girl. and I know it's so sad she's in the cast, but she looks so dang cute in it. I couldn't imagine going through this as a mother, you're so strong!

the fellers said...

Oh my gosh, hardest thing ever! I am sorry you had to see your baby go into surgery! You guys seem to have it all figured out though! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Came across your page looking for Dr. Dulai's info. Our little girl went through the same procedure and did have the tendon partially cut as well 4 years ago and I am happy to report that it all went well, she is extremely active and has no ill effect. The hip is perfect so far as we know. We're getting a followup this summer now that she is almost 5 but everything should be good. Best of luck!