Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Curve

I've gotten behind on my weekly Allie updates, but I've been thinking about doing them either every two weeks or once a month instead of weekly anyway.  Allie is now about fourteen and a half weeks old.  She moved up to size two diapers, can really hold her head up well now, and is quick to smile and laugh.  I made the mistake of singing "Don't Worry Be Happy" to her one day when putting her in the car seat and she loves it.  Now I have to sing it to her constantly just to see the cute look on her face she gets when her goofball mom is singing it (I also had to look up the lyrics since I only know like two lines).  I am that mom.  She's a lot of fun.

We kind of had some scary stuff happen this week.  About a week ago Greg and I kind of noticed that Allie's spine appeared to be a little bit curved looking (like a C shaped curve), but we didn't get alarmed right away.  I think we weren't sure if it was just the position she seemed to be in when we first noticed or not.  He left for a trip, then came home a few days later, and we were giving Allie a bath and when I leaned her forward to wash her back.  We both felt like the curve looked pretty prominent and decided it was worth calling our pediatrician to have her take a look.  We were able to get in right away and our pediatrician said that she could also see the curve in Allie's spine too and wanted to refer us to a pediatric orthopedic doctor to have him look at it.  Cue me crying hysterically the entire way home in the car and basically for the next two-three hours, while I thought of the worst case scenario and our daughter having major structural skeletal issues.  I was so worried about Allie.

I worried that we had caused Allie's spine to be crooked because I hold her on one side too much or set her in the Boppy lounger where she slouches to one side too much.  Our pediatrician assured me we had done nothing wrong and if she had a curved spine it was something she was born with, but I wasn't sure and started really blaming myself.

The next morning, we got up early and headed to see the pediatric orthopedic doctor.  The funny thing was that once we got there, I swear that Allie's spine did not look as curved. The doctor couldn't really even see it when he examined her.  She had to have an x-ray taken, much to Greg's dismay (he hates x-rays and thinks they cause cancer in the long run), but it was necessary in order to determine whether there was anything structurally wrong with Allie's spine- like vertebrae fused together or anything like that.  The good news is that he didn't see anything wrong on Allie's x-ray, he doesn't think she has scoliosis, and thinks she's just a little asymmetrical in growth right now but believes that she will grow to be straighter once she continues to develop more.

We left the office with a weird mix of emotions over the whole thing.  Of course we're thrilled nothing appears to be wrong, after foreseeing braces and physical therapy in Allie's future, but at the same time we still feel like there is a slight curve and are now really paranoid about making it worse.  We have put away the Boppy pillow and are now over analyzing all of our baby devices and wondering if they are causing her to slouch and encourage the curve in her spine.  The thing is I KNOW that I don't set her in baby holding devices anymore than anyone else.  We are out a lot during the day so she's in a car seat sometimes, but at home, I'm holding her a lot, doing tummy time, playing on the floor, or she's alternating between many different "baby holding devices" if I do have to set her down.  It's not like she's spending hours in any one place.  Still, I can't help but blame myself and wonder if I should have done something different to encourage a straighter spine.

We have a strategy for helping Allie develop straighter.
One, we will try and have her on the floor more.  In the past, this has not been an ideal location because of Clyde being able to get to her.  We don't worry about him hurting her, but he sometimes gets in her face and licks her a lot, which can be scary for her.  I have realized though that Clyde doesn't usually care that much that Allie is on the floor unless we are on the floor too, so I don't think this is as big of a problem as I once did.  Also, we may put a fence around her if we want to have her on the floor for longer stretches to keep Clyde out.
Two, we will try and have her sleep in the crib.  It's time, I know.  I have been hesitant to put her in it because she sleeps SO WELL in the bassinet, but I have finally accepted it's time.  We think the flatter surface of the crib mattress will help her to not slouch to the side.  Another bonus of using Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit, is that it basically puts her body into a straight formation.  We have actually had her sleep in the crib in the sleep suit two nights this past week and so far it's going pretty good.  Her sleep seems about the same as it was in the bassinet.  Really it's me more than Allie that has trouble with her not sleeping in our room, but now that we have a couple nights of her sleeping well in the nursery in her crib, I'm getting more comfortable and sleeping better knowing she does okay.

Three, we'll just try to be conscious of her spine by having her look different ways when she is on the floor, positioning her in different ways, and use baby holding devices that seem to keep her straighter if we have to put her down.

I am really hoping that she develops normally and we don't notice any further curve.  Hopefully, like the doctor suggested, she will grow out of it and become more symmetrical.  In any case, this was a scary couple of days and I really feel for anyone experiencing any sort of medical issues with their little ones.  I was a complete mess.  Hold your babies tight and appreciate their health!


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