Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Latest Mommy Guilt : Plagiocephaly

Tomorow we get to go to another doctor. We're visiting a specialist of some sort to talk about my baby's head.

My little one was born with a pretty misshapen head. Her head size was in the 97th percentile (bigger than 97% of all babies her age). My hips are a bit bigger an I'd like them to be, but they are most definately not in the 97th percentile.

She was a big baby. I'm not a big person. I have some extra fluff right now, but I'm fairly short and have a narrow bone structure. I fully expect her to be several inches taller than me before she becomes an adult.

Towards the end of pregnancy I looked pretty ridiculous. My belly was so big that even my maternity clothes kept rolling up or down and I had a hard time keeping my baby bump covered.

Her doctor tells me she was probably wedged up against my pelvic bone for a while while she was forming. She was born with a misshapen head, a still neck, and a click in her hip. Even though there was nothing I could have done about it, I felt a lot of guilt. It was my body that didn't give her enough room. My body... Me... My fault.

I cried over that so many times. I had hurt my baby. I wasn't giving her the best start in life. Thankfully the hip resolved on its own within a couple months, and her head shape started to even out. I started to stop feeling guilty all the time... At least about that.

Now they've referred us, the guilt is back. Her head has evened out quite a bit, but it's a slow process. They want to help it along a bit while she's still young and adaptable.

I keep wondering what more I could have done. We kept the bassinet so she'd face a blank wall if she turned on her flatter side. We tried to reposition her head after she'd fall asleep. I'd have her in a moby wrap for a good portion of each day. I'd sit on the correct side when we were both in the back seat of the car. We got an upright baby jumper as soon as she had enough head control. She even takes a lot of her naps on her side in my arms.

Really, she loves being on her back. She likes to be able to play and look around on her own. For the first 3.5 months tummy time was a torture for both of us no matter what tricks we tried. Her head being disproportionately large compared to her body, she has a harder time keeping her head up in front of her. Only on the last couple weeks has she stopped screaming through the whole thing.

I'm hoping since her head control and tolerance of tummy time has changed so much recently the new doctor will will suggest more exercises and observe her for a while. I don't want a helmet. I feel that I have wronged my child first by not having room for her and second by giving in too easily to what she wants.

I don't want my mommy fail broadcast to everyone who sees us.


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