Everyone should have a mentor, or at least someone they look up to or can call upon for advice. Some of us are a mentor for others and don’t even know it. It’s been an amazing journey for me since I set my 2017 goal to start blogging regularly. This is coming from a girl who could barely spell properly and whose first 20 blog posts took over an hour to write each time. Then not to mention, I would be exhausted and would want to give up every single time! I had my mentor (Katelyn James) in the back of my head telling me to keep at it, even if it is just your mom and your sister who read it. Eventually, viewers would come. You know what, she was right! My mom and my sister WERE the only ones reading my blog. It was OK for me because if she went through the same and is successful today, I can do it too! It gave me hope. It motivated me to keep going. I’m happy to say I’m in a fantastic place 7 1/2 months later because I believed I could do it, because someone else gave me the motivation and encouragement to keep going. But the kicker is, they don’t even know I exist! Well, not yet anyway!
I will be meeting my mentor later this year for the first time. I have a seat in her upcoming workshop that for the longest time, I felt would be unattainable for me. It was always the workshop I wanted to attend, but I would continue to watch others go to. I’m happy to say because of SO many things I have implemented into our business that we’ve learned through making investments in KJ Education over the past two years, we are THRIVING! I’m now able to afford to be a part of something I never thought would be possible.
The reason I’m telling you this is because I recently read a post from Katelyn about her journey with her new baby Evy. They found out only a few short days ago that she has Hip Dysplasia. When I read that I immediately knew that I had something I could give to HER! How could that ever be possible? After I read the post, I started to tear up and said I have to tell her MY story and MY journey with my little one, and maybe I could encourage her as she’s encouraged me more than I could ever imagine. It’s time for me to give back to her. Hopefully, she reads this, but even if she doesn’t, I hope someone else will find this encouraging in 2 ways. One, to not give up and stick to your goals and 2, maybe there will be a mom out that who is also going through life with their little one with Hip Dysplasia that can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When my son Cash was born, it was the single most happiest day of my life. His father and I had been married for 13 years at the time, and I had been trying to have a baby for well, 13 years. I had gone through three miscarriages and one still-born, so to say I was not paranoid my entire pregnancy was an understatement. I had Ultrasounds 3x per week and was classified as what they call “High Risk.”
Everything was PERFECT this time around. I couldn’t wait to finally meet my new baby, and as every day went by I was more and more reassured that he would be delivered happy and healthy… and he was! On August 15th, 2011 he came into this world and forever changed me as a human being. On our very first check up, Cash was only two days old. Our pediatrician was chatting with us and going through all of her standard procedures. She was looking into his eyes, moving his limbs, and then it happened. She was rotating his hips and stopped the happy chatter. It was quiet. I mean, dead silence that seemed like forever. She began performing the same movement again and called in her assistant to get an immediate appointment with Rady’s Children’s Hospital. I knew something was wrong. I felt sick. My heart dropped. I thought the fears of something being wrong were over. I started to cry and asked what she found. She said she didn’t like the way his hips moved in the socket and that it could very well be hip dysplasia. Although it is very uncommon for boys to have it, we had to go right away for X-rays.
Our trip to San Diego proved that it was indeed Hip Dysplasia and I will never forget what the technician said to me. “You better give your pediatrician a hug for finding this at two days old”. I really didn’t understand what she meant at the time but later learned that finding it that early was a true blessing for us. This lessened the chances for surgery, and possibly he would only have to wear a harness for a few months to a year. Wait… a WHAT?
After the X-Rays, they moved us into another room where an assistant started digging through these “harnesses” mumbling to her self that there were only pink ones. Finally, she held it up! This strange looking blue fabric contraption that was supposed to save my baby. It had lots of velcro and had so many confusing straps. She laid it down flat, handed me a pamphlet and proceeded to place Cash in it. Within no time he was strapped into this “thing”. She handed me my baby and all I wanted to do was hug him tight, wrap him around me and comfort not only him, but myself. But… I couldn’t. He was stiff and awkward feeling. He felt like a doll. A doll with legs spread wide open! I started to cry, and all the questions on what do with him in this contraption began to come out. How do I change his diaper? How do I breastfeed? How do I give him a bath?
Our pediatrician called to check up on us and said one of the most important things to me. She’s a bit brash and rough around the edges, but I’m so glad she said it. “If he doesn’t get better, it will be your fault”. Some of you may be thinking, what nerve she had to say that, but it was TRUE. He had to be in it 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. So many times I wanted to take him out of it and play with him, or hold him like a normal baby. Gosh, I even wanted to put pants on him!! That was not an option. He lived in Baby Legs (long tube socks that were life-saver), breastfed halfway upside down so we both could be comfy and I just wanted to go places without everyone asking what type of new seat belt he was wearing. I loved my baby so much and to say that I was not a little embarrassed would be a lie. I rarely took his photo with his harness on. I waited until that one hour of bath time, and I got to see him in his unstrapped state for 60 whole minutes. It was our time. Time for me to hold him, wrap him around me and put on a pair of jeans on him just to see what it would look like. Let’s not forget I had to wash this blob of velcro too! Looking back now I wish I didn’t feel that way. It was nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about; it was just a way for me cope.
Two days after getting the harness, we went to San Diego for lunch. Mind you, I was a new mom all of 2 weeks at this point. Our food just came, and then it happened. I heard a loud noise coming from this little nugget and said, “Oh no”! I went to look in his pants but I didn’t have to make it that far. Yea… you probably know what happened next. For those of you that don’t, it was my very first “up-the-back” experience. Not only was I in public, but his harness was a mess. He was a mess. I was a mess! Trying to work around that thing was quite the experience and something I still laugh about to this day!
After a few months, I had gotten into the groove of this velcro contraption and I could take it on and off so fast friends and family were amazed at how I worked it with ease! It was actually even quite fun to time myself to see how fast I could do it! I would get it out of the dryer a velcro blob and lay it flat, place him in it and “get to strappin'”. I was no longer concerned with the stares and questions from strangers. I had a job to do. I had to make sure that I followed the rules and remained positive that this was going to help his hips form correctly if I kept it on.
We had been to multiple check-ups and x-rays back and forth to San Diego, and each time I thought this would be the day, they would say “not yet” every time! On February 14th, 2012 it was the day! We were so thankful that his hips had formed properly and that he was able to take it off permanently. As I write this almost five years later, I ‘m sure many things have now faded into a distant memory. He is one healthy boy, with no signs of ever having any issues. He runs, jumps, and plays just like any other boy. I still have both of his harnesses. I keep them in his baby box to one day tell him all about his journey. I know for many of you who may have just found out about Hip Dysplasia in your own child, the end doesn’t seem near. But one day when they’re at the park playing with their peers you’ll think back to what you went through, and it will almost feel as if you never did. I want to encourage you to stay strong and remember there’s a whole world of support. Some are in places that you would never expect. I wouldn’t be writing this and sharing my first “personal” post if it wasn’t for reading Katleyn’s story. I felt it was something I could share to help her along her journey as she has graciously helped me on mine.
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