Seven years ago today I held my breath for an eternity as they gently took you sleeping from my arms and walked you away. When the memory swirls into my head, I still remember the absolute iron grip around my heart as I waited for you to be returned to me. I stared into space for hours, pausing only to take lukewarm cups of tea from nurses and family.
And you did return.
Your tiny little form encased in a hard shell of plaster, wires seemed to dominate your every part. I was elated that you were back, not quite in my arms because the terror that I could hurt you was great. But you were back, beside me, in a hospital cot.
Then the fear struck in, the instant worry of how would we cope with a baby in a spica cast, and the nagging gnawing concern of what would your future hold.
Seven years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
The 3 months in spica cast, the impossible nappy changes, the way you adapted to life, the first time you crawled in cast, the food you used to hide in your plaster skin. The leg that broke when we freed you from your cast to then cage you once again.
Christ it was hard, but livable, and we coped.
I don’t often write about DDH anymore, because it is a memory, not a feature of our lives.
All that remains is a legacy in the form of a scar on my perfect daughters hip.
That and 12 monthly check ups with the hospital to ensure progress with the graft is being made.
To those parents starting their journey with a baby with hip dysplasia, I hope you take some comfort in my words, that my daughter – is doing just fine.
Because the internet is a terrifying place, and had we believed it, we would have thought she may never walk or ride a bike.
But she does all that and more.
Today she did sets of front squats at her CrossFit class.
The she jumped on a box, skipped with a rope and finished with burpees.
Once again, I felt a squeeze on my heart, and a massive sunbeam stretch across my face. I remember the second time you learnt to walk – at almost three. When weekly physio trips dominated the calendar.
I simply wouldn’t have believed the little girl I watched playing and exercising in front of me was once a baby all tied up in cast.
To parents starting your journey – there is an end…
And it is beautiful!