Monday, January 16, 2012


1 1/2 weeks in cast, 11 weeks to go.

While Kaia is adjusting fairly well to cast-dom, I must admit I'm having a harder time with it. I hate seeing my baby wrapped up in fiberglass (casts are now made out of fiberglass and lined with a soft padding rather than plaster). I hate that she is no longer squishy and cuddly and it bothers me how difficult it is to change her. We have had a few poo-splosion and honestly, they suck. I change her bum many more times per day than I use to pre-cast, but I know that sometimes she has leaks and it BOTHERS me to NO END that pee and poop may at this very moment be sitting next her delicate baby skin and I can't CLEAN IT PROPERLY!!! I can do nothing but try to shove the diaper as far as I can up the hole left open around her lady parts and wipe the inner cast lining that I can reach like crazy when the diaper leaks.

The big problem is that the cast comes up so high. Kaia can chew on the on top part of the cast. It stretches from under her arms down to her ankles with cut outs at her belly and her diaper area. I've seen other babies in spica casts and their casts don't come up nearly so high. I don't know why Kaia's is so large, but it's something I want to talk to them about when she gets her cast changed on February 13th (the cast gets changed once at the half way mark). It probably had to be that high to stabilize her hip, but damn if it doesn't make EVERYTHING so much harder. It's so high, she can't put her arms down to her sides and I can't comfortably breast feed anymore. Not that we breast fed a lot, but usually once or twice a day I'd let her have a bit of a we're strictly on bottles because I can't hold a stiff 7 kg kid at breast height for any length of time. Kaia is wickedly heavy in the cast and she can't lay on her side on a pillow as her legs stick out in frog position.

My back has been the other big issue. I've had a sore back for months now and I think I'm really going to have to go for some chiropractor or physio help. The jump that Kaia had from 6 to 7 kg overnight didn't help matters, and it puts a lot more strain on my back now that she's so stiff. No longer can she 'meld' into my body like babies do when you hold them. She's basically like an armor clad starfish.

I know I'm going on and on about this, but in my real life people don't really seem to get it. Even Brian is like "it's not so bad". Everyone keeps saying things like "well it's only for a few months" and "at least it's not life threatening" and "it's a good thing she's a baby, she won't even remember it". My answer to the first is that a FEW MONTHS is a very long time when it's something you have to deal with every single minute of every single day. The cast wouldn't be as bad if we could remove it, even for short periods, but it's a constant thing that has changed many of our daily routines with her.

And yes, of course I'm glad it's not something life threatening...because OH YEAH, we dealt with that LAST YEAR!!! And it was AWFUL. So yes, I understand life threatening, and yes, I'm glad this isn't, but I don't think it's too much to ask to have the words 'normal' and 'healthy' attached to your kid rather that "dislocated left hip".

The one that really gets me is the 'good thing she's a baby' comment. Because yes, it's SO much better that she can't tell me what is bothering her (sarcasm) and I have to guess from the intensity of her whining how serious it is. It's like people think babies are somehow unaware of their environment and 'get use to things' easier than an older child or adult. Honestly, I think that's baloney. Kaia has definitely been more crabby and fussy since going into her cast, and it's not like I can explain to her why she's in it or how it's helping her. All she knows is she can't move her legs and she can't reach her toys like she use to and mommy no longer breastfeeds her or is able to hold her close. Being immobile sucks at any age, which I feel particularly sympathetic to (HELLO BED REST) and causes your body to hurt in ways you never thought possible.

I also wonder what the cast is doing her her psychologically. Maybe nothing. But I wonder if it will affect her mood or personality down the line? I know being in the hospital affected me a lot as a child (although I was older), so whose to say 3 months in a body cast before the age of 1 won't 'scar' her mentally.

Anyway, I know we'll get through it. It's not like we have a choice. It just feels like a very long time, especially now that winter has really set in here. There are no holidays or family parties to look forward to, and I'm fairly house-bound with a heavy, poopy, crabby baby.

Doesn't that sound like a party?


The above was written on Saturday. I never get my posts up the same day I write them anymore as I get interrupted by Kaia demands before I have time to proof read or spell check, so I figured I would update in the same post and let you know that we've found somewhat of a solution to the poopy problem.

Yesterday Brian bought a whole box of puppy 'piddle pads'. You know the thin plastic backed absorbent sheets that you use while house-breaking your dog? Yeah those. Brian had the ingenious idea to cut them into 8ths (so they are about 4 inches wide) to act as a 'runner' down Kaia's back to rest between her and the lining of the cast. We tape them lightly to back outside of her cast, then thread them down the back, absorbent side towards her skin, where they emerge from the poop hole cut out in the cast. Then the diaper gets shoved between the piddle pad runner and her bum. If she happens to have a poop that shoots up her back, it lands on the runner and not the cast! We've been sticking with this set up for over 24 hours now and I haven't had to wipe poop out of the cast once. YES!

Also, I made a chiropractor appointment for tomorrow. I'm excited to hopefully get rid of this awful back pain.

And now for some pictures which someone asked for.

The first two pictures are of Kaia 'undressed' except for the diaper shoved in her 'diaper hole'. A larger (size 5) diaper goes over the whole thing to help contain everything, although it doesn't get dirty that often. The second two pictures are her in my new favourite outfit. Brian got her these knock off Baby Legs for Christmas and I love how bright they are. And yes, it does look like Kaia has giant Dolly Parton boobs when she's dressed. Since clothes have to stretch to fit over the cast she's in size 6 to 12 months even though she's 4 months corrected and prior to the cast was just outgrowing all of her 0-3 month clothes.

Without further ado, Kaia, in all her cast glory!


  1. Gosh she's so freaking cute- cast and all!

    I'm sorry she's in pain, it's awful to think about, and I can't imagine how much more awkward it must be to handle her in her starfish-like glory. :) ha

    I sure do hope she has no memory of the casts when she's older and it does not permanent scarring to her psyche.

  2. Kaia is a cutie pie still despite the cast.

    It would be nice if you could get a break considering the last couple of years. I am sure you'll endure and pretty soon you'll be on the other side of this challenge.

  3. Awww, that looks like it sucks, even though she's still darling. I can't imagine. :( I hope that the next 11 weeks fly by for you!

  4. Oh - and for some reason I just realized I dropped the ball on the Medela Calma bottle. If you're still using them and you want that one I talked you about - we never ended up using it - shoot me a message.

  5. For BFing, can you prop her up on a pillow and lean over her?

  6. Oh my gosh, look at her beautiful face! I feel so bad that she's in a cast. I understand what you mean about the possible psychological implications, I always think about that in respects to my little boy and he hasn't had anything so life altering as what Kaia is going through.

    I hope you make it through the next few months quickly and without much trouble.

  7. What a pain - your family totally deserves a break. I'm glad you guys are coming up with creative diaper soutions, though :)

    And she is so so so cute - look at that sweet little face!

  8. Aw she's gorgeous, cast and all. The cast does come up quite high doesn't it? I didn't imagine it being that big or that high up somehow

    It must be like carrying a beautiful giant starfish around. A beautiful CLEAN giant starfish! With very nice stripy legs!

    I don't know about psychological scarring from things that happen when you are very small. It's so hard to tell what stems from where, what was part of your natural personality, what was a result of your experiences. Jessica has the 'typical' ex-micro personality, so I've been told, extremely stubborn and going everywhere at a million miles per hour. She is very dissimilar in temperament to both myself and her father but perhaps that is just her and nothing to do with those months stuck in a plastic box. Like a beautiful giant crate!

    My own mother had post partum psychosis after I was born and I spent quite a lot of time being cared for by nurses on a ward when I was very small. I know that I was very, very clingy as a young child, I hated being parted from my mother. It is tempting to draw conclusions but I'm inclined to think that I was just made that way! Nothing to do with something I can't even remember?! It's such an interesting topic but I don't think I've reached any conclusion as yet.

  9. She's gorgeous, her face is so sweet. I hope the next few months pass quickly. How smart of your husband to use the puppy pads to help keep Kaia comfy and clean. It seems like something my husband would come up with.

  10. Oh my, you all are troopers!

    Kaia's such a cutie - cast and all!

    And I totally agree with you -it's easy for others to say oh, it's only a few months - but when you're living every moment of it, it can be a long hard road. And like you said, somehow you all will make it. Hang in there!

    Love to you and yours.

  11. Sweet baby. She really still is totally adorable, but I understand how this is stressful and frustrating and unfair still. Haven't you been through enough and hasn't KAIA?

    It makes me pretty angry for you, too. Despite still being pregnant and not yet having my rainbow baby in my arms... when I finally do, I want him to come home with me and be a NORMAL (what the hell is that?) baby and me to be a normal mommy (hah). Not that any BLM could ever be normal again.

    Anyway, thinking of you and hoping Kaia is in better spirits to indicate she isn't too sad and bothered. I imagine this is very hard emotionally, still.

  12. Ohmygoodness she is CUTE. Such a pretty baby. I'm glad to hear of the ingenious solution to the poopsplosions! I almost wish I had thought of that for my two kids who didn't even wear casts.

    When I was 6, I had a similar cast on (although not as high..and I wouldn't have been tempted to chew it, ha ha). Then had 2 more years of in and out of hospital with traction and 18 months of braces (in this position, for my hips). I was not, at age 6, "scarred." If anything, it made me stronger and more sympathetic. I believe it will only make Kaia stronger. And you, too. I know it has to be hard to see her like that and want to hold her without it on though. :( (I am SO glad to see you can kiss her belly!!)

    But try not to worry about her psyche..I really do not think it will do any damage to her psychologically. She has, after all, 2 loving parents reassuring her and loving her--don't doubt the power of that.

    Tara--also mama to a "Kaia" :)

  13. Awwwww! The poor little thing! She is gorgeous though - especially with the leggings. You will triumph over all of this and have your gorgeous squishy baby back before you know it. I can't imagine all the little things being made so much more difficult. Thank you for the pics!

  14. Kaia is a beautiful girl! She always looks so thoughtful and wise. Her head shape looks great too! Thanks for the pictures...

    I'm sorry that the cast did cause so many issues for you guys. It is definitely a lot bigger/higher up on her than I imagined. The cast will be a lot of work and added stress to the already stressful life of caring for a baby, but it does have an end date that you can look forward to. I think Kaia will come through it just fine.

  15. I feel so bad for all of you. It's like nothing can be easy, can it?

    That cast is HUGE! I wasn't expecting that it would be up so high. I wonder how uncomfortable it is for her to be on her back and have feel it there.

    I love the idea of the puppy pads in the cast! I wonder if anyone at the company ever thought of this use for them. Too bad the hospital didn't have more (any?) recommendations on how to deal with things like that.

    I hope that your back gets feeling better soon.

    And, like everyone else said, Kaia is so beautiful! I love seeing pictures of her!

  16. Hey Girl...thanks for your comment tonight :)

    That is one huge cast the red outfit she looks all she can take a b!tch out!!(comical from my side of the effing spica)
    I love the pink casting and all the strategically placed you tickle her little belly in the tummy hole lol!!

    Any ways..this comment went awry a couple of sentences ago. I just wanted to say thanks and mention like all the other pp's said...she is too damn cute...also, if you've never had a cast you might not know it get's itchy as shit in there...can you devise a way to rub the skin under the cast to give her a little scratch??? Some of the crying might be she is itchy???