Today was an awesome day. I did some things I never thought I could, and was glad I did something I wasn’t sure I should.
Peter had to work late tonight, so I had to:
- Pick up the CSA fruits & veggies on the way back from an errand
- Prioritize Emmie’s needs (DIRTY diaper, food, sleep), my needs (food, water, bathroom), Jasper’s needs (food, walk, pets & attention) and the veggies (still in the car) immediately upon walking in the front door
- Get the ENORMOUS bag of produce from the parking lot, up our stairs, into the apartment (I really didn’t think I could do this!)
- Put E in the Baby Bjorn on my chest, got Jasper harnessed up (in spite of his ecstatic leaping), and took J for a desperately needed walk
- Even managed to remember an umbrella, which proved to be critical
- Picked up poop with a baby strapped to my chest
- Got everyone home safely and happily (Emmie loved walking in the Baby Bjorn. When we first started, she just kept laughing and laughing).
- Those that needed it were put to bed, and all others were fed
It may not sound like much, but I was proud of myself for doing these things I never thought I could do!
Earlier today, I did something I wasn’t sure I needed to, but I’m so glad I did.
Emmie prefers to turn her head to the right, and at one point, it got to the point that she hardly turned her head left at all. I immediately suspected torticollis, but One of Peter’s relatives noticed it after holding her for just a few minutes, so I brought it up to her pediatrician, who recommended lots of tummy time and changing Emmie’s positioning in the crib and on the changing table.
This helped a lot, but I still thought I saw a little difference in the two sides. So we got a referral for a physical therapy evaluation, just to check it out a little more.
At some point between getting the referral and our scheduled evaluation date, I went a little nuts. Someone else had mentioned something about Emmie arching her back, so I Googled that as well… and then became convinced she had cerebral palsy, torticollis, and who knew what else.
In my life before cancer, I probably could have looked objectively at Emmie and said, “No, she really doesn’t have these signs of CP.” But in this new life, where healthy people can be gone in an instant, like Grandma Emmie, or the unimaginable can happen to so very many people, I didn’t have that objective reality anymore. My calibration of the probabilities of life was off. I was certain that this would be The Next Bad Thing.
Then I got over that, and decided Emmie was really fine and didn’t need an eval at all. I was just a perfect storm of New Mom/Paranoid Health Nut/Therapist, with a dash of worry-wort thrown in.
But we went in anyway, and I am SO glad we did. Emmie does have a very mild case of torticollis (so I’m not crazy), but looks great in every other way (so there’s no Next Bad Thing… yet). It also gave me an answer to a question I didn’t even know I had.
Since our transition back to breastfeeding, Emmie has been fussy on one side. I figured it was because I had a helluva letdown on that side (she often pulled away with milk squirting all over her face). But in the eval, I learned that my fearsome letdown might actually have been my body’s response to Emmie’s own discomfort on that side from her torticollis. And some of those frustrating moments of feeding where she was clearly hungry, but kept crying and pulling off weren’t anything to do with me, but were because that position was stretching her neck in an uncomfortable way.
In some weird way, it helped me to know that my body was defective (this time). But more practically, it lets me know that she IS hungry and I just need to help her figure out the best way to keep eating. So I’m VERY glad we had the eval and now have the tools to help her get better!