Friday, September 4, 2009

Physical Therapy

Emory has started physical therapy to help strengthen his upper body & trunk. He is doing a great job & making great strides. He goes to PT at Theraplay in Trappe. All of the girls there LOVE him! They fight over who gets to treat him on a weekly basis. For now he goes once a week or two. Once his cast comes off, we will be going 3-4 times a week!
We took a little video to show how great he is doing!


Little Emory had to go in for an MRI to ensure that his hip is in place in his new cast. It is a new protocal at CHOP & Emory was a guinea pig. It ended up being one of the hardest days for him & for I thus far. They had to stick my poor baby 4 times until they finally got his IV in. I never had to see this before, b/c they always did it in the OR. It broke my heart to hear him cry in pain & look so longingly at me to make them stop. Once they finally got it in, he was ok. They then proceeded to give him his IV sedative & I watched him fall asleep. He was fighting it, but he finally fell asleep. This was also quite hard, as he was rather zombie-like as soon as they gave him the meds. It wasn't my regular, cheerful, happy baby boy. The MRI itself took about an hour, so I got some lunch & when I came back, he came back shortly thereafter. The nurse said that he started to wake up at the end of the MRI, so they had to pump him with more sedative, which meant he had to sleep another extra hour to sleep it off. When he woke up he was not very happy. He was very groggy & lacking orientation. His head was very wobbly, he was fussy, whiney & crying. Thankfully on the way home, he fell fast asleep. After about 24-26 hours, he was back to normal. We have our fingers crossed that the MRI looked good b/c after a day like that, we couldn't bear to get bad news from it!

Cast Change

Waiting patiently for his cast change

Checking out the oxygen monitor on his little footie

Eating everything in sight because he was starving!

He fell asleep while waiting

Out for lunch after his cast change, sporting his cool new camo cast

Saturday, July 18, 2009


5 hours post-op - Already back to his happy self

Chilling in his bean bag chair at home

Showing off his big boy diaper

Love from Daddy

Immediately after his closed reduction in the recovery room

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spica Cast Tips

1. Save all receipts for tape, diapers, pads, etc. used for caring for your child in their spica cast/brace! These expenses can be written off on your tax return as medical expenses!

2. Emory LOVED his exer-saucer pre-cast so Daddy made it work post-cast. We cut out the leg holes in his Bumbo (which we snagged on Craigslist for $10) & reinforced the legs of the exer-saucer with duct tape. We place the saucer over him & he can go to town!

3. Emory sleeps on a decline pillow in his crib. This helps with any urine or poo during the night being pulled down by gravity, instead of going up into the cast.

4. Do NOT shove pads/diapers too far up into the cast. By leaving some room, the urine/poo have somewhere to go, instead of being pushed up the front/back of the diaper.

5. A bean bag chair is your best friend.

6. If you have a Gortex liner, "petal" waterproof first aid tape into the cast. Cover the tape with duct tape on the outside to keep the waterproof tape in place. Do this within the first 24-48 hours if possible.

7. For diapering boys, use the "envelope" method. You cut out a hole about 2 inches down from the top of the smaller (size nb/1 for our little guy) diaper. You then place his peeper through the hole so that the absorbent part of the diaper is facing you. Tuck the top & sides of the diaper into the cast. Then fold the bottom portion of the diaper up to cover the peeper & into the top & sides of the cast.

8. Cool the baby down & eliminate itching by blow-drying the baby (bare bottom preferably) with a blow dryer on cool.

9. Buy onsies & cut off the snap part. If you have a handy mom, b/c I am no seamstress, hem the bottom. These undershirts can be used to tuck into the cast to form a barrier between the baby's skin & the cast edge.

10. Car seats are a BIGGIE! Definitely try to get your car seat before you go to the hospital. I tried getting info from our hospital (CHOP in Philadelphia), but they were no help until we got there. If you are working through CHOP, call Interphase at 215-743-1100 ext. 113 or ext. 118 as soon as you find out your surgery date. We got our carseat through the COAD Group of Chester County. They were amazingly helpful & got us our car seat free of charge for as long as we need it. They can be reached at 610-363-6164.
I reccomend googling highway safety in your area & start there. It took many phone calls for me to get to finally find the right resource for us!

11. When changing diapers, I flip Emory over on his tummy right on my lap to clean him up.

12. Supplies to have for diapering:
1st layer: diaper that your baby wore pre-cast
2nd layer: incontinence pad
3rd layer: diaper 3-4 sizes larger than your baby pre-cast

13. If you baby is a thumb sucker, request that they put the IV in the opposite hand.

14. Post OR, all babies react differently. Your baby may be happy as a clam, or miserable. Expect the worst & hope for the best. Almost all babies are very horse & have what I would compare to a newborn, raspy cry.

15. If you breast feed, do NOT stress about positioning the baby in the cast. Emory laid on his back & turned his head slightly to feed.

16. When lifting/holding your baby, hold the cast. Do not lift them under their armpits, as you would usually do.

17. Take anything & everything from the hospital! Ask for extra diapers, wipes, tape, etc before you head home.

18. Have plenty of receiving blankets/towels/pillows to prop the baby comfortably.

19. Have clothing on hand 2 sizes larger than your baby wore pre-cast. Babies CAN wear normal onsies, they just need to be bigger!

20. Be prepared for stares when you go out with your baby, especially from other children. I simply smile & go on my way. It is simply curiosity or lack of knowledge, of which I would have been guilty of had my son not bee diagnosed with DDH.

21. Have someone on hand to help you 24-7 for the first 48 hours.

22. You can carry your baby normally in a Baby Bjorn.

23. A velcro high chair works wonders! You can make one yourself out of fabric/velcro or order one similar to the one on this website: PIPELINE_SESSION_ID=90bdbc47ac12041543f1700632ebc5df

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not just the beginning

7 Days old in his Pavlik Harness

Our beautiful angel

On February 20, 2009, the most beautiful baby boy was born...our son Emory Vaughan Fleischman. In addition to the start of a beautiful, joyful life, it was the start of our experience as a family dealing with DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip). Emory was diagnosed at birth. Since then, we have had numerous doctor's visits to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to fix his hips. He has severe dysplasia in the left hip & minor dysplasia in the right. He started his treatment at 7 days in a Pavlik harness. He wore the harness for a little over 2 weeks & we then found out through an ultrasound, that the brace was not holding his hip in place 80% of the time. The next step is to have a closed reduction procedure (simply placing his hip in place, while he is under anesthesia) & putting him into a spica (chest to ankles on both legs) cast.