Dear Baby Princess,
It's been quite a month.
I've been bad about writing because things have been so crazy, but I realize that the craziest times are exactly when I should be writing because that's when I have the most to tell you.
First of all, you had a wonderful time in New York a few weeks ago. I think we did possibly the best job of planning the the trip that we've ever done, in that we got to see most of the important players and we spent a reasonable about of time (though it's never enough) with all of them. As planned you got to meet Baby Z for the first time and attend J's first birthday and naming, which was a lot of fun. You loved the musical entertainment and it was great to see so much of Daddy's family, though you were a little overwhelmed by the crowd at first. Of course, you loosened up and decided to run around and start shrieking excitedly just in time for the naming.
You followed cousin R around at his house (and ever since, you get super-excited when you see a picture of him). You also attended a huge festival in Brooklyn and despite a pretty impressive meltdown, enjoyed yourself overall. And of course, you loved seeing your grandparents and Daddy and I loved the fact that they got up early with you so we could sleep in.
Now to rewind a little bit, 3 days before we left for New York, Daddy and I took you to the pediatrician. Ever since you started walking, you've had what the doctor accurately described as an "uneven gait." In our ongoing parenting struggle of trying to exist somewhere between too laid-back and too terrified of the world to let you out of our sight (we still haven't found the perfect happy medium) we had opted to take a "wait and see" approach with this particular issue. The doctor had mentioned it was common for kids to initially walk with their legs turned out and that they eventually figure out how to walk correctly, so we didn't want to start panicking as soon as you took your first steps. After all, aren't toddlers supposed to, well, toddle? But after a few different people commented on your walk, including people who have real experience with kids your age (like Ms. S at day care), we decided it was probably time to look into it. At the appointment, the doctor told us that it was probably nothing, but agreed that it was worth x-raying your hips to put everyone's mind at ease.
Well, as you've probably figured out, I wouldn't be writing this whole saga if, in fact, it had turned out to be nothing. Daddy took you for your x-ray the next day and by the day after that, we were in the specialist's office listening to her tell us that you were going to need surgery. You have, and likely have had since birth, developmental hip dysplasia. That is a fancy way of saying that your hip is not in its socket, and therefore the socket has not developed correctly. The fact that you have been walking around without a hip in its socket is pretty impressive, and according to the doctor, since this is your normal you have not been in any pain. It's not an uncommon condition but normally it's diagnosed and treated much earlier.
Well, that very evening we left for New York, and we were back for about a week before you went in for surgery. It went well, to our great relief, and you were able to have a closed reduction (the doctor was able to maneuver your hip back into place essentially without opening you up) rather than an open reduction (more invasive surgery). And now, you are in a spica cast for 18 weeks.
So, that's why blogging has fallen on the back burner; while I want you to know all of these stories someday, present you simply has to take precedent over future you. The details of how everything is going will have to wait for the next post, as it's getting late and my work-from-home days (you can't go to daycare in the cast, of course) begin at 5 am. But to emphasize the positive, you have been a real trooper. After the initial anger and frustration of waking up immobile, you have managed to have fun however you can, smiling just as much and if it's possible, becoming even sweeter. And you are talking up a storm, repeating words, letters, numbers . . . it is so much fun to hear. Oh! I almost forgot one of my favorite stories from New York. We were at Aunt B's house and cousin R was in trouble. From the next room we heard Aunt B start counting for him to do whatever it is she wanted him to do, and as soon as she said "1 . . ." you said "2!" Apparently you are really learning to count! And tonight, after Daddy and I put you in your crib, we heard you (on the monitor) count to 5. You hadn't made it past 2 on your own so far so we were absolutely blown away.
More to come, Baby Princess. I love you so much and you truly are the best.