Mommy and Daddy walked in carrying you all snuggled up in your car seat. The brick building was grand and beautiful on the outside. Cornerstones marked the birth of the original building and there was a hint of datedness about it. Inside, the lobby was shaped like a carousel. Light, primary colored carousel horses were displayed sporadically inside the white wood moldings around the top. And there was a window. Translucent and large enough to fill the entire center of this carousel-shaped room, it brought in the perfect amount of light. We were greeted by a warm smile from a volunteer and a gift for you. A pink fleece blanket and a teething ring new in the package. How nice, I thought.
As Mommy and Daddy sat down I couldn't help but notice the sign: Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children. Crippled seemed like a strong word, but the more Mommy looked around it was evident that this was a place that was built well before political correctness was a concern. It's engraved plaques on the wall were proof of that. Crippled.
As we sat there waiting to be called back, Mommy noticed family after family come in. Each had a child who had some type of physical need. Wheel chairs, crutches, walkers, braces, casts. As Mommy sat there looking at you asleep in your carseat I couldn't help but think how lucky we were that our situation was temporary.
|Your first Easter in your Easter dress with your harness underneath.|
During our appointment Dr. Talawalker stretched and rotated your little chubby legs up and down and all around. An ultrasound was done to see the full scope of your hips and sockets. At the end of his exam he explained that most likely you would grow and develop fine without any treatment, but when you were older you may begin to develop problems with your hips. His recommended treatment option, a hip harness for six weeks.
Six weeks. When he left the room Mommy and Daddy talked about what would be best. It was easy to come to a consensus. Whatever we needed to do to help you live a full life...even if it wouldn't even make a difference until you were in your late thirties! A hip-harness it would be!
The decision would be easy, but reality was a little harder to take in. The nurse brought in the white felt and velcro contraption. Straps, belts, booties - it all seemed so complicated. She showed how the straps fit like overalls and the velcro helped to keep your legs drawn up like a frog. Her instructions included the requirement that you wear it day and night, only taking it off for baths and for no more than one hour per day.
Seeing you with it on made it really sink in. How could you be comfortable wearing that every day? How would we change your diaper, hold you, feed you, strap you in your carseat? Would you sleep well at night having to wear this? Mommy even worried, Would this change the person you are meant to be? Tears began to well up in Mommy's eyes. Was this the right decision?
|You did not mind your hip harness at all! |
We were surprised how much you could still
sleep in it!
That six weeks seemed to take forever at the time.
Just a few weeks ago Mommy found myself reliving all these memories with you. The memories were brought back when Mommy had to take Layne in for a follow-up with Dr. Walker.
|Layne at Shriner's just before getting casts.|
So we were there. Sitting in the same lobby Mommy had sat in with you. Mommy sat watching numerous other moms and dads check-in their children. That sign reminded me of my first visit with you. It reminded me, once again, how thankful I felt that our situation with Layne was minor in comparison to some of the other children who were waiting to be seen.
When we went back, the nurses and doctors did the same things as before. Mommy went in thinking we would just continue to "watch" how she was doing. Never did Mommy expect to hear the word casts.
Dr. Walker explained that since Layne can walk on her flat feet but chooses not to, her issue is purely idiopathic - a habit. To help break her habit,
Dr. Walker's recommendation was casts on both feet for six weeks.
|Layne was beyond excited to get to ride in|
this wheel chair that day!
That day Mommy walked in holding her hand and walked out carrying her like we had to carry you with your harness. Awkward, unsure. A little worried, yet thankful that this was temporary.
|Layne has been a good sport about her casts and|
loved that friends and family signed them.
Mommy may never understand why things happened as they did. What I do know is my experience with you and this one with Layne have taught me the importance of leaning in a little more to faith.
Love you, miss you, sweet baby girl...