My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tina is having a rough week

Tina was in the frank breech position while in utero.  Because of this, she has a mild case of hip dysplasia.  While it doesn't bother her now, if left untreated, she'll be prone to arthritis and other ailments as she grows older.  So we're treating it.  It means strapping her into a Pavlik harness for 6 weeks.

I hate this thing.  It makes changing her diaper and her onesie a royal pain in the ass.  You have to thread the tab of the diaper under two straps (the back looks like the front so there's a second strap on each leg that you can't see in the picture) and the onesie, well you can see the issue there.  We're really not supposed to take the darned thing off at all and she has to wear a onesie underneath it to keep it from rubbing on her.

Of course the baby that spits up almost constantly is the one we now have to figure out how to keep clean.  If the harness gets soiled, we're supposed to spot clean it while still on the baby.  We can take it off long enough to launder it about once a week, but only if we have to.  Obviously our goal is to prevent the harness or the onesie from getting spit up on it so that we don't have to change the outfit very often.  Tina now has a wardrobe of tshirts and dresses that can go on over the harness to catch spit ups.

So that was Wednesday.   She was fine all of Thursday, but Friday evening she began a hunger strike.  She just refused to eat anything.  She would scream when given the bottle and would prefer to cough and choke rather than swallow what did drip into her mouth.  We tried taking off the harness and massaging her legs in case they had fallen asleep and that was pissing her off but no change.  We tried thawing some old breastmilk in case she was pissed off at something I ate recently, no change.  The girl just wasn't eating.  

After about 12 hours, Saturday late morning, we called the doctor and they wanted to see her that afternoon.  Shortly after making the appointment, she let out an epic poo and we hoped the problem was solved.  Nope, still wouldn't eat.  

At this point, we're a little nervous about dehydration.  And I remember that with a cat I once had, when I got her she was so starved that she wouldn't eat either.  You know how when you're desperately hungry, eating kind of makes you sick?  I fear that's what's happening with Tina at this point so we get a syringe and start force feeding her a few drops.  The word "force" sounds so rough, but it's not.  We would squirt a couple of drops into her cheek or near the back of her mouth and hope some would get down her throat.  Most of it ended up oozing back out her mouth though.  

I get the girls packed up and off to the pediatrician we go.  We head back and I hear her smacking her lips like she's hungry.  So I offer her a bottle to demonstrate for the doctor how she's refusing to eat, and she slurps the thing down making me look like hysterical mommy who calls the doctor for every stupid thing.  The little jerk!  The force feeding appears to have kept her hydrated and by getting a few drops in her, we may have stimulated her appetite.

So this morning, happy baby!  She eats her breakfast and she's showing me her biggest smiles and giggles.  I decide to trim her nails since she's been clawing my cleavage for a couple of days now.  I think you know where I'm going with this.  Yup, I clipped the end of her thumb.  Smiling baby becomes screaming and crying baby, which in turn creates a crying mama, and little spots of blood are getting everywhere her thumb touches.  I don't know what to do because it's a minor cut and any kind of cleanser or antiseptic I put on it is just going to hurt and make her scream more and it will eventually end up in her mouth.  K puts a mitten over her hand and cleans up the various little blood spots on her onesie and bouncy chair.

So there she sits right now.  Harness holding her little legs in the air, mitten over one hand, sleeping with a scowl of betrayal on her face.  I'm going to eat chocolate.


  1. Oh geez Alex, that does not sound like fun at all. Just thinking about having to work around the straps, not eating, and the thumb cutting....ugh.

  2. you have a wonderful way with words! and OH MY those little ladies are growing so fast!

    Alex, my niece had to wear two diapers and wear a contrapation for several weeks as a toddlers ..they didn;t find her hip issue until she started to walk..........well she's 32 now and climbs montains, hikes and plays strong have faith your little lady will be running and climbing soon! Are you ready? LOL

  3. Oh man, what a week... chocolate definitely sounds indicated! Poor girl and poor mama - I'm sure you'll be happy to say goodbye to the harness!

  4. Poor Tina - hopefully 6 wks will pass quickly for her. Re: the thumb cutting incident - yep, been there, done that. Even though it's a terrible accident you feel like dirt. Cue flapping hands, tears, etc. Luckily, we seem to both have calm, rational husbands that take over when mom's too hysterical ;-)

    Chocolate is always the cure- all in these situations.
    Hope you're feeling well.


  5. When I was in 1st grade (or thereabouts, perhaps a little earlier) I was diagnosed with Perthes (More long-winded-ly called "Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease")where the ball of the thighbone doesn't grow properly. I had to wear this clunky brace for over a year, all the time. To school, at play, in bed. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing. Of course, it was necessary so that I could have a properly formed leg and walk normally as an adult - but it's better for her (and you!) to have to deal with an annoying brace now for 6 weeks when she wont remember it, than a big brace or surgery later in life. I'm so sorry you've had such a rough week, I really hope this week has been going better!


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