The Fear of Dysplasia.
At Bob L’s six-week-check, the doctor identified that he did not have the full, normal range of movement in his hip.
She said that it was unlikely to be much to worry about, but it was best that we get it checked out by a specialist at the hospital.
A few weeks later, we were sent a letter to take him along to an appointment. There they scanned his hip, both sides, to see what was going on. That day he was diagnosed with Dysplasia of the left hip. His hip was not fully formed. We were told he would have to wear a Pavlik Harness for the foreseeable future.
The Pavlik Harness is designed to ensure a baby’s hips are positioned properly in the joint. It is considered to be pain free and is usually used as treatment for babies. Both hips had to be secured, unfortunately, as there is no harness available for just the one hip. The harness ensures the hip is aligned and stable, giving the hip a better chance to develop and grow normally.
The harness was a hard thing for me to get my head around. I wasn’t allowed to remove it. Ever. He was not allowed a bath. I was not allowed to baby wear and have him in a sling. I felt like I was missing out hugely on bonding with my baby. Thankfully, looking back on it all now, it has not affected our bond at all. But I didn’t know that at the time.
There are some things in motherhood that you just have to do, for your children’s own good. This was one of those occasions. We were assured this was for the best so there was no debate.
If we had left it, or if this had not been caught until he was a lot older, then it would likely have needed surgery to fix it. That is not something we would have wanted to risk.
So my little boy was all strapped up. He wore the harness for 10 weeks. From what I understand we were lucky, some children have to wear it a lot longer. We were told on my birthday that the harness had been a success and that he could take the harness off. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!
He has still had to go back for scans as he got older to check that everything was progressing the way it should. Everything has been fine with these so far. His last scan will be when he is five. If that is ok he will be discharged for good.
I often wonder if having HELLP syndrome caused this? Did he stop developing in my womb? We know that Bob L, in particular, was a lot smaller than expected. I will never know the answer to this.