I can't believe what has happened in the last 24 hours...
Let me begin the story last week...
Abbigail had an appointment at the hospital last Thursday to have her Hip joints ultrasounded as a routine check to make sure that she didn't have a congenital hip defect that her cousin had. We had previously had 2 paediatricians, 1 orthopaedic surgeon, 1 GP, 1 nurse and 1 Midwife look at her hips and say that they felt she was fine as there was no audible click on performing the usual tests on her hips. So we thought everything was fine...
At the hospital the ultrasonographer had no problem doing the right hip, and that was fine. So they moved on to the left hip, and had trouble getting a clear picture because Abbigail was quite upset and squirming so much. The ultrasonographer got a little annoyed and got peed on for her trouble. (Haha! Serves you right for hurting my daughter!) After waiting an hour for the orthopedic doctor to see her, the call was made to give her a brace to ensure her hips were in the proper place. After searching for a brace her size they came up empty handed and so Sarah was told to bring her back next week when a brace would be available, and they would try to do the scan again.
So fast forward to yesterday... The head orthopedic surgeon was present to inspect Abbigail's hips. He immediately diagnosed a dislocating hip due to a really shallow hip socket, and a tendon that was too short that would continually pull the ball out of the socket when attempts were made to relocate it into the joint. Apparently it is possible for a joint to be fine at birth and slowly degenerate over the first couple of months. Apparently the only option is to operate. And so she has been scheduled for surgery today!!! She is on the emergency list, so we are hoping and praying that she doesn't get bumped by something more serious. We are currently starving her so that she can have the general anaesthetic, she is currently an hour overdue for her feed, and she is currently handling things, but we know all hell is about to be unleashed as she has at least another two hours to wait before her surgery.
After her surgery she will need to be in a CAST for 18 WEEKS!!! That is longer than she has been alive! The cast will start at her armpits and finish at her ankles, it cannot be removed. There is an opening for her bottom and vagina for obvious reasons, but that is all. No showers or baths will be possible, and somehow we have to prevent poos and wees getting inside her cast. She is going to be 7 months old before we will be able to cuddle her unimpeded by her cast. 18 weeks of time between now and when we will be able to look at her without her cast on.
Of course this may explain some of the incessant screaming that she has had over the last month or so, as it can't possibly be comfortable - the doctors say it's not painful and demonstrated the dislocation without Abbigail reacting painfully. But seriously! How could it not be at least a little uncomfortable!
I particularly feel really bad. Since she was born I have had a number of times where I've gotten so frustrated with her for crying for "no reason", and there were no real reasons obvious at the time, but I still feel like an incredibly selfish and impatient father for being angry with her. She couldn't tell me what was wrong, and we couldn't have known. Her tears are not for no reason, and now we understand what she has been trying frantically to tell us for goodness knows how long.
So in several hours we will have a cast Baby girl, that will no doubt be in serious pain, and will be frantically desperate to be fed once the surgery is over!
I'll post by phone with updates as I can.
Thanks in advance for thoughts and prayers,