Spica Week 17: Are We There Yet?
We are down to single digits for our cast removal countdown. I am so excited that I can barely let myself think about it or else I won’t be able to focus on anything else. However, I have been researching a little bit about what to expect the day of cast removal and the days following as Londyn will slowly gain her strength back. My DDH parent support group on Facebook has been such a godsend. I wish I could hug these mamas that are going through the same journey as I am. Even though in my small social circle, I feel isolated in that no one has seen a baby in a spica or know much about DDH, these kindred spirit mamas are spread around the world. I’ve read forums about their experiences with cast removal day, and I was surprised at what I read.
It is human nature to want to think the cast being cut off is the end of all difficulty, but of course, with DDH that very well may not be the case. These moms who have gone before me talk about how the babies react almost like another surgery day; they are often in pain, out of sorts, and cranky. Their legs will be small from muscle atrophy, and their skin will be dry and flaky. It’s also a possibility Londyn may have some sort of skin breakdown or sores. Their muscles will be flaccid and when you go to pick them up, they will be very floppy. Many mothers wrote about how shocked they were that their babies could not sit up for the long-anticipated first bath after the spica. Londyn was casted when she was a mere 8 mos old, and barely sitting up on her own then, so I’m sure it will take her time.
Thankfully, hip babies are known to rapidly catch up developmentally once coming out of the spica. I am extremely excited to witness Londyn achieve her next milestones of crawling, standing, and walking, in her own time. Understandably, the babies often need extra love and attention during the night for their first few nights after cast removal, as the cast had provided a sense of security for them. There are so many factors to consider, and while I understand I cannot possibly know exactly what to expect, it does give me a sense of calm to prepare myself with information so I can be the best caretaker for Londyn.
Other than the anticipation of cast cutoff, this week was a relaxing summer week! We have been enjoying having my parents in town (hello date nights!) and getting together with friends. Londyn attended her first parade on the fourth of July and even got to try her first ice pop! It was quite hot so we kept the festivities short for her. I will note that later in the week we opted to meet friends at the library instead of the park because it was too humid for Londyn in her cast. Some days just have to be air conditioned days for her, and thankfully that’s not a problem since we have nice A/C in our condo. Soon, very soon, when it’s hot I can dunk those baby legs in a pool!
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