Sunday, October 21, 2012

Austin Has Plagio......what??

Austin started his little journey the exact same day that my mom started hers. The day we went to the hospital to be induced was the same day that my mom went to the hospital for her ultra sound. I wrote about Austin's birth story here. He came out all bruised and swollen from his delivery. He was a perfect little sleeper, which we later found out was due to his torticollis. Babies with torticollis tend to sleep longer because it's so hard for them to turn their heads. Around 6 weeks I noticed that he never had his head to the left. I tried to get his to turn his head but he just wouldn't do it. When I brought it up to our doctor, she said he has torticollis and plagiocephally-which is flat head syndrome.

This was at 2 weeks old. He is loving that right side. 

Fast forward to mid-August, and we went to Austin's first helmet fitting. The only way to repair torticollis is through physical therapy (which he is still going to every other week). And the only way to repair his little head, is to wear a helmet. 23 hours a day, for 3-4 months. Austin is rocking this helmet. He is so cute and it does not bother him at all. In the beginning, it was tough. I would try and cuddle with him and end up kissing the helmet over and over out of habit. Austin would pull on it here and there, and get a little frustrated. He does great with it. And his head is improving greatly. We have probably 5-6 more weeks and then he will "graduate" from the helmet.

As much as I would prefer it if my baby didn't have to wear a giant, blue, football-looking, smelly helmet, I am thankful for the experience. I know that our experience is no where near other families who have children with diseases, cancer, and special needs. But now I know what it's like to have complete strangers stare at you when you're walking by! You can see every single eye turn towards Austin and his helmet. Most have this sympathetic look as if to say, aaaawwwwwww and they'll give you a little grin. Others just stare. Kids are the best because they're like "mom, did you say that helmet?" ha. I am so thankful when people come up to him and talk and smile. I love it when someone asks me about the helmet. I guess most people don't bring it up because they're polite and don't want to offend me. I'm just not sure how they don't "notice" it.  So I usually say something like "have you ever seen a baby with a helmet before?" I feel that I am a little more empathetic towards people who struggle with disabilities or special needs. I am learning that it's okay to talk to anyone who looks "different" and to ask their caregiver how they are.

 Look at that beautiful, round head. 

First time swinging

First time bowling 

 He is all over the place

 Look at the camera Austin!

With Halloween approaching, the "big question" (not really) has been what should Austin's costume be? The obvious answer is football player. I'll have to post pictures after Halloween, because it's going to be the greatest costume ever. Mmmmwwwwwhhhhhaaaaaaa............. (creepy Halloween voice).

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