This post is my entry into the Tots100/WaterWipes Baby Milestones challenge, where bloggers have been asked to write about their own personal milestones to celebrate how special our families are.
I have to admit that I am naturally a very curious person. I like to know how things work or why, and if they might affect me. Over time this curiosity has led to a natural skill in research, and I now read and research pretty much everything – from what products will best suit our family, to where is best to eat a quiet lunch in Magic Kingdom.
The Internet has obviously played a massive part in this need to read, but social media has also crept in – and often brought with it paranoia and frustration. No time has this been more obvious than during pregnancy and early parenthood. Don’t get me wrong – the Internet can be truly wonderful, but as someone who has suffered from depression in the past, it can also bring back the shaky feeling when everyone else in the world looks like they are having the time of their lives, and you can’t relate.
When our little lady was born, I thankfully realised quite early on that comparisons were damaging my psyche, and that I needed to focus on the life in front of me. I’ve never been the sort of mummy who ‘needed’ to be around other mummies so I could talk about how many nappies I’d changed or how much sleep we’d had. Instead I found happiness in the smaller things – such as a chat with my husband over dinner about our favourite film, or sitting outside listening to the birds tweeting as they flew from garden to garden.
All was going fairly well for the first few weeks as new parents, however we were unprepared for the news given to us at a routine hip scan. Our little lady was 11 weeks old when the scan confirmed that she actually had no hip socket at all on one side – it was totally flat. The consultant put her into a Pavlik harness immediately, and I remember feeling utterly distraught, shocked, and confused. The first thing I did was clutch my baby tight, cry, and tell her how sorry I was. I felt that it was somehow my fault because of the fact she had been breech for so long during my pregnancy, and had to be born by c-section. I began worrying that I might not be able to continue breastfeeding, or that we would have to stop using cloth nappies on her. These might sound like simple things to worry about, but we were first time parents and had only just started to get used to the change in our life after our baby was born, when the Pavlik harness turned everything upside down again.
We left the hospital with what felt like a different baby. We couldn’t hold her in the same way, her clothes didn’t fit, nappy changes were awkward, she didn’t fit in the car seat very easily, and I had to re-learn the best way to breastfeed her. Again, these niggles were a small price to pay to ensure our little girl would one day be able to walk, but they were still challenges to us.
The most frustrating part was how it affected even the most simple things. Before she was fitted with the harness, we were using plain water and cotton wool to clean her at nappy changes. The problem we found was that the cotton wool often stuck to the harness and was difficult to remove. Because we were unable to give our baby her usual baths for the whole time she was being treated, keeping her as clean as possible was paramount. Cotton wool was also useless for scrubbing the straps, so we started using WaterWipes instead. Naturally I’d researched which wipes were the kindest on sensitive skin, and these were definitely the next best thing to plain water.
After six long, hot summer weeks it was time for the harness to come off, and we could finally give her a proper bath – which she absolutely hated!
Getting the Pavlik harness taken off was a very special milestone in itself, but the real test would be when she was old enough to start walking. Of course I’d worried myself sick reading about young ones who had needed surgery to correct hip problems, but thankfully the worst we had to deal with was that she was just a little bit behind her two cousins when it came to crawling and walking.
In June 2013 – one year after the Pavlik harness came off, I managed to catch this very special moment on film using my new phone. Naturally the first time your child walks unaided is extremely precious to every parent, but for Mike and I it came with an enormous relief. The worry about any long-term effects of being born with no hip socket finally lifted, and we were able to focus on the positives again – the hip problems were fixed and our little lady could lead a normal life – walking, running, jumping and dancing to her heart’s content.
~ Here is our very special milestone caught on camera ~
Writing this post has made me realise how nice it is to remember each and every milestone, so I’ve trawled through my digital collection and put together this little movie to celebrate each and every milestone caught on camera. I hope you enjoy it!
~ A compilation of many of our milestones and favourite memories ~