Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

Wow..sorry for the huge gap since my last post. As you can understand, life with a newborn is definitely busy with hardly any time to shower let alone blog!

Brandon is now 8 weeks old and growing like a champ. He still only likes to be held and sleeps on his belly. The temperature is getting hot so going anywhere or holding him is enough to send me into a sweating hot mess. Wouldn't have it any other way!

If you remember from my last few posts, I had made joint appointments for Brandon and I with Dr. Millis. He likes to see babies when they are 6-8 weeks old and to have them get an Ultrasound as they are safer than X-rays - and X-rays won't show too much yet as the hips are still developing. That appointment was last Thursday...come along for the ride!

I had made our appointments back in December but Brandon's could not be made official until he was born, had a name, birthdate, etc. A couple days after he was born, I sent an email with all of his information and to confirm his appointment. Fast forward to last week. I received a letter in the mail saying I had no insurance in CHB's files and to call to update it. Again, I emailed the scheduler for Dr. Millis and still not reply. I then received a phone call confirming my appointment...not once did I receive one for Brandon. I started to get nervous with all of this, my emails were not getting acknowledged or returned so I decided to call directly. Wouldn't you know it, Brandon had no appointment. I could have screamed, but it was no surprise. If you email someone and they're job duties differ from what you asked, wouldn't you think they would either forward your request to the correct person or reply back to you with the appropriate contact? That takes common sense I guess. Anyway, they were able to schedule Brandon with me and also get him in for his Ultrasound first thing in the morning. I was very happy they had an opening that morning, otherwise it would not have been pretty.

We arrived at the hospital a little late. My Mom took Brandon to Ultrasound to check-in while I checked-in at Ortho for our other appointments. Of course it took FOREVER! The girl also proceeded to tell me I didn't need x-rays. Seriously? That's the whole reason why I was checking in so early, so I could get x-rays done first thing. I asked her to double check. Meanwhile, Brandon is down at Ultrasound. I was getting heated already and we had only been in the hospital about five minutes. I eventually told the girl that my son was having an US and I didn't have time to wait for her shenanigans. Off to his appointment I went. Poor little guy was crying and Mom was holding him when I finally arrived. Kevin found us (after parking the car) and we were called in minutes later. Brandon did so well during his screening, I was so proud of him.

We finished the US and headed back to Ortho to officially check in and THEN the girl gives me all the paperwork (exactly why I checked in earlier...so I could fill it out while we were waiting). She still tells me I don't need x-rays but I tell her to ask AGAIN to confirm. Brandon gets called for his appointment at which time the front desk girl comes up to me telling me I need to get x-rays. Seriously? My little guy just gets called in and NOW you tell me to go get x-rays. Now I trek off back to Radiology...meanwhile my Mom is texting me keeping me updated. His most important appointment thus far and I'm missing it. I get my x-rays, meet Dr. Millis outside the changing room at which point he tells me he can't examine my baby because I wasn't there. I told him how the front desk people are idiots. He grabs me and we walk hand-in-hand to the exam room to meet back up with Kevin, Brandon and my Mom. Brandon's Ultrasound was fine and did not show any signs of dysplasia!! HURRAY! Dr. Millis did an external exam to check his little hips as well. Brandon was not happy.
After Brandon, it was time for Momma to get examined. With lots of moving and bending and angle taking, Millis assured me that my hips were still perfectly fine. My x-rays show that the left side is STILL healing - 4 years later! Unreal. He spent almost an hour with us and we had a long talk about helping future PAO'ers and how all babies should have an Ultrasound to catch Hip Dysplasia early enough to fix it. Even though Brandon had a good report, he wants to hear from us at 6 months and he wants to see us again when Brandon is walking. His hips are still developing so the hips could form incorrectly between now and then. But if anything, his sockets are deeper than the average which is nothing to worry about.

All in all, the appointment went well even with all the chaos. Were glad to get a good report and I didn't pass on hip problems to my little guy!! Let's hope any future babies will have this luck as well!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015

Welcome to the world Brandon Paul!





Our little guy came barreling into the world on Monday, March 16 at 6:06pm. He was 7lb 3oz and 21". Here's a link to the birth story on my other blog, I want to share my hip story on this page.

As I have mentioned previously, my hips had held up great through my pregnancy. My last update was around my 30 week mark so I still had a lot of growing to do between then and Baby's birth. I know a lot of women have hip pain towards the end of pregnancy even if they have never had hip issues prior. The added weight and the maneuvering your pelvis does to prepare for birth are enough to encourage some hip pain. I know by the time 40 weeks arrives, most women are at maximum capacity and just want baby OUT. Luckily, I have had a VERY easy pregnancy and even at my biggest I wasn't uncomfortable.


Baby Boy decided to make his arrival at 40 weeks and 2 days - the day before St. Patrick's Day -  HOORAY!

The day seemed to literally fly by and before we knew it, we were at the hospital preparing for (at the time) his or her arrival. We arrived when I was about 6cm and minutes later (literally, minutes) I was 10cm and preparing to push. We were rushed (wheeled) down to Labor and Delivery where I shifted to a new bed which was broken down and stirrups were added. My legs were thrown into stirrups and I was told to push on the next contraction - I had NO idea what I was doing and clearly that first set of pushes were not great. Kevin held my left leg while a nurse held my right. I was having a mini freakout because she pulled my leg out to the side instead of back towards me and I was more or less fighting against her and not focusing on pushing. During the break in contractions they were all telling me I was doing it wrong and I had to focus, hold my legs and push. All I could manage to get out of my mouth was "hips". My husband (in the middle of all this frantic labor) said "oh yeah, she's had hip surgery" the nurse asked which hip to which his reply was "BOTH". On the next set of pushes she pulled my leg back towards my body which felt much better and allowed me to focus on getting the baby out. 

To sum up the day, I would say it was quick, painful and crazy! Everything happened so quickly we were more in shock so no emotions hit us until later. One of my biggest fears was how my hips were going to deal with labor and the birth but I am happy to say they were perfect, I was barely aware of them and once the nurse was on point we were good to go. If I had a long labor and pushed for hours I could see how it would be much more difficult on my body. I was up and out of bed minutes later with no pain in my hips and the days following there was no lingering hip pain.

That's a quick rundown of my birth story as related to my hips. I am now 8 days postpartum and they are perfectly fine. Brandon's Pediatrician has also checked his hips at every appointment and says they seem to be perfect. We go see Dr. Millis in May and hope he gives the same thumbs up. 

I hope this has helped anyone currently pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant after a PAO. I most definitely could not have endured the last 9+ months if I had not had this surgery to make my hips function properly. 

Good luck to all. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 4 Years!!

It's totally official, today marks the 4 Year Anniversary of my first RPAO. I can't believe the ride I've been on for the last four years, but I totally wouldn't change a thing about it. As most of you know if you've followed me from the beginning, I had to have more correction done on my right hip two years after the first surgery - but this still marks a huge milestone for my hips because it was really the start of a HUGE journey for me (and for us).

I just did an updated the other day so I don't really need to go into too much detail on the hips. I am 31 weeks (and 2 days) and the hips feel fabulous. Honestly, no pain yet at ALL! I am through the moon about that. Not that I have LOVED being pregnant, but having pain free hips has seriously made this such a smooth ride for me that I couldn't imagine life without PAOs.

As mentioned, I am very concerned to give birth with my hips - I don't want the nurses pulling or stretching my hips in a direction that is not natural for me, that's my biggest worry for sure. We went to the doctor last week and I asked him about this. The main thing is that I have to see everyone in the practice so when I go into labor I will "know" whatever doctor is on duty. However, they also work with another practice and I don't get to see those doctors which is weird. But I asked, since I see whatever doctor is there, how are they going to know about my hips if they don't look at the fine print on my chart. He said that basically it's a valid concern of mine and it's Kevin's job to make sure the nurses are aware of my hips so they don't hurt me and that way they can also notify the doctor when we get to that point. He also made a bold note in my chart so whoever looks at it, will hopefully see it and read it. Just a mini worry of mine and hoping that I can give birth naturally and not need a c-section. Dr. Millis said that I shouldn't have any problem - I trust my life in his hands for sure so why would I not trust him this time around!! I wish he was an OB/GYN too. ha.

So like I said, there isn't much to report since I just did an updated last week on how the hips were feeling. As always, I don't regret anything I have done for my hips. PAO's were the best thing to happen to me in my life and would hands down recommend it to anyone (of course, with the proper doctor) and that it's a bump in the road but honestly is over before you realize it. I do have some friends with PAO's and Consultations coming up so I am wishing them the absolute best and am always here for anyone to talk to, vent to or ask questions to!

Happy and Healthy Hips for 2015!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year New Hips! If you have surgeries coming up this year I wish you well and for anyone currently healing, the end is closer than you think!

For me, 2015 will be the most exciting year yet - in just 10 short weeks (I hope) will be the arrival of our little bundle of ::cringe:: joy. We are definitely looking forward to it, mostly wishing it would hurry up and get here already,

I am now 30 weeks invested with about a 20lb weight gain (I go to the doctor in a few days so I'll have the official number then). I wanted to do a little hip update since we are much further along than the last post and have much more weight to carry around. Overall, I am still feeling great. I seriously dreaded being pregnant and being THAT miserable pregnant woman. And even though this pregnancy thing isn't REALLY icing on the cake for me, it has definitely been easier than I had imagined. I've had, quite literally, a perfect pregnancy this far with no issues or aches and pains. My back hasn't started to hurt, my hands and feet are not yet swollen, my hips feel amazing, no acid reflux - seriously like the perfect pregnancy. I really do feel lucky. Besides the difficult time getting comfortable in bed, not peeing so much and my ribs not being stretched when I slouch - it's been a fun time...but I'm ready for it to be over. Why can't we be like cats and only be pregnant for like a month?

Like most things I've read and most video I've seen, this last trimester will be the most uncomfortable one for sure. Baby packs on basically all of it's weight/fat in the last 13 weeks which means this belly will grow more and bigger and take over more of my body - of which there isn't much of to begin with. I guess someone that is a bit overweight has a one-up on a thinner person as there's more room for the baby already - my body is trying to create the room and it's just driving me batty.

Hips. These babies feel AMAZING - I can't say it enough. I think about and thank my doctor everyday that I'm fixed and able to enjoy this time. I think back to my pain, and my limp and how every inch of my body hurt from favoring one side over the other. I couldn't carry groceries from the car to my house without being in the worst pain, every, single, step. How would I be able to carry 20-30+ pounds of a baby eventually? There's no way I would be able to. I am so grateful to have found the right doctors and the right procedure to fix me up and give me the life a 25-30 year old should have. It's been a crazy 5 years of ups and downs...but it got me where I am today and I am ever so thankful. In another 4-6 weeks I'm sure my hips will start to feel some discomfort as the baby drops into my pelvis and prepares for evacuation - not really looking forward to that. But then I'll know it's almost over!

I've been going to the gym just to get some cardio - and by cardio I mean literally walking. It's cold out now so there's no way I'm actually going to walk around outside. I'll do about 20 minutes on the treadmill just to get my heart rate elevated and give me some stamina to last through labor - eek! I have been stretching a little after my workout as well and I am actually a little freaked out about delivering the baby - I'm worried (more than anything) about my legs/hips not being able to open wide enough to deliver a baby...Millis told me I shouldn't have any issue...but I'm still concerned. I mean, that's normal right? I also am concerned that my hips will be very sore afterward from being pushed and pulled and stretched further than they're actually supposed to go - I really hope everyone reads my chart before it's time to push so we're all on the same page.

Anyway...that was my mini hip/labor/rant/freakout...I also promised some pregnant scar pictures so here they are along with my 30 week belly!

 LPAO - scar looks a little better because it was only cut back into once for screw removal. We're about 3.5 years post and it looks so good and not stretched.
 RPAO - this scar - overall- looks a little crappier since I had it cut back open 3 extra times. I have a little dimple at the top. The top of the scar looks good but the bottom (hard to see on camera) is a little darker and does look like it has stretched a little more. But overall, this one looks good as well.
 Here I am...30 weeks down and 10 to go. That is all belly and all baby! :-)

I hope everyone has happy, healthy healing and as always, absolutely feel free to contact me! I am always willing to help.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We are now at 22.5 weeks and going strong, growing more than ever! Still can't say it's the worst thing ever. Although I can compare the horrible sleep to PAO recovery - except this one lasts about 6 months longer than!

Overall I am still doing well and don't really have too much to complain about. As I said, sleeping isn't the greatest but I'm making it work. Huge lifesaver for sleeping when pregnant (and honestly would probably help immensely post PAO too) is my Snoogle. It "holds" me in many positions to keep my knees, hips and back comfy for all the rolling I do in the course of a night. I'm sure a body pillow would do similar, but this one is definitely shaped for pregnant sleeping. Other than the sleeping and the occasion rant about my clothes not fitting, things are swell. I do find myself getting winded VERY easily without even doing much of anything. I couldn't untangle the duvet cover the other night without having to sit down and take a breather...then have Kevin do it for me. I feel like such a loaf already and I still have another 4+ months to go. YIKES.

This past weekend I did go bowling with Kevin's family which I was a little skeptical about. Bowling in the recent years has not been a friend of mine...I would always wake up the next morning with sore hips and broken nails and this time was more of the same. I bowled pretty darn good for my shape at the moment but woke up in the morning sore as hell. My inner thighs are getting a little better but the outside/upper part of my right hip is still pretty sore and I can't tell if it's bowling related, muscle related, hip related or pregnancy related! Horrible timing there. Since it did start Sunday morning I'm pretty much guessing it's because of bowling and the fact that 1-I didn't have my insert in my ever so stylish bowling shoes and 2-my right leg is the push off leg to bowl so that probably didn't help my cause.

 I'm seriously not smuggling a bowling ball, I swear.

I've been saying it and I'll keep saying it, my hips are seriously holding strong (not that I didn't think they would). Becoming pregnant one day was a huge scare for me before my PAO's when I was in horrible pain. I'm 5 months right now and couldn't imagine going through this in daily pain, I really couldn't imagine. I ALSO couldn't imagine having to go through a PAO recovery with small kids! These hips set life back a few years, but I'm glad it did and gave Kevin and I time to form a stronger relationship and go through things before bringing kids into it and having the stress compounded. I hoped to be done with the family planning by the time I was 30 but now I'll be 30 when the first little one pops out...things could be worse.

I also wanted to touch on something I just emailed Millis about to maybe help someone else having the same question(s). Since my PAO diagnosis (I won't say my dysplasia diagnosis since that happened at birth pretty much) I have read a lot and heard a lot about babies one day and proper holding, swaddling, etc. I had PAO girls tell me "wear your babies!" and I had girlfriends tell me "don't wear babies, it's not good for their hips/legs". WELL...I was so confused at this point. I always heard that wearing the babies in some sort of wrap (like Solly) was the best thing to keep the hips at the appropriate angles while the bones are still soft and forming. But now I hear that things like the Baby Bjorn are not a good idea at all as the legs just dangle and are not kept in any form whatsoever. I'm sure my OB/GYN would be the typical go-to for a question like this - for a normal person. However, I knew that the only opinion I would trust was one from Dr. Millis and Erin - especially since he specializes in Young/Adult Hips. I sent an email over to him asking about Wraps, the Baby Bjorn, something else or neither. He confirmed that Baby Bjorn is fine. I DID notice that there are different types - some have a wider butt area and some are narrow. I could see how the narrow one would make the legs dangle more than the wider ones. But it was good to hear from him there's no real issue. I also sent a long a recent belly pic with the caption "I put on weight just like you requested".  :-)

So, a good update all around...may not be so positive as the second trimester ends and third one starts but just take it as it comes and worry about it then! I have my next check-up next week and another Ultrasound in December. The New Year will bring me right into week 30 and then it's a quick nap until my due date!! AH! I can officially start freaking out then.

Update:
22.5 Weeks
~15lb weight gain - all in the belly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I am at the halfway point, 20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go! I am happy to report that the hips are still holding strong. After talking to friends and relatives, I'm not sure how great my hips will feel when I'm around 35 weeks since many people I talk to had pain and they didn't have hip issues!

This week I got back on track with my fitness, I really don't want to carry any unnecessary weight than the  20+lb of uterus and baby which I have no choice but to gain. I'm sure these hips will be perfectly fine, but if it's not needed, I don't want it! I have been going very light at the gym so I don't hurt anything - me or the baby. I know some women run right up until they deliver but for some reason, the idea of running and possibly scrambling my baby to a pulp just makes me a little uneasy. Plus, I'm no fitness freak and do not feel the need to run right now! That definitely can't be good for my hips.

Sunday started my routine all over again and I am going to really try for 3 days a week with 20-30 minutes of cardio and light weight training. That morning, I did 20 minutes on the treadmill around a 3.2-3.5 pace between a 0.5-1.5 incline. I didn't work up much of a sweat but felt my heart working more than normal. Since it was my first day back, I thought easing back into it would be the smarter move. After that, I did some squats, deadlifts and tricep kickbacks all with dumbbells.

Clearly, I only look pregnant from the side!

Last night I went to the gym again (yeah, go me!). I opted for the treadmill again for 20 minutes at 3.3-3.5 pace with 1.0-2.0 incline. I thought jumping into the elliptical was still a little too soon. I got a little more of a sweat going and then went over to free weights again with bent over one-arm rows, dead lifts and oblique dips. 

I always end my workout with stretching - my hips and hamstrings are definitely super tight lately! I guess overall my hips are holding strong! After I did the squats, my hips felt a little sore and stiff but I only blame that on the fact I haven't really workout in a couple weeks so they have to get back into the swing of things. I feel good with how things are progressing, I'm officially 10 pounds heavier than I was 5 months ago which is something my pre-PAO body would not be able to cope with. 

Hope this helps anyone looking into family planning and PAO fun. 

I've also added some new items to my side toolbar - I never had a spot to subscribe to my blog so you get updates when I update...so please check that out and follow me. I also added the "search" tool which will allow you to find blog entries based on any criteria you are interested in, such as "screw removal", "exercise" etc. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just a quick little update as we are now a few more weeks into the second trimester and progressing (I think (right on track). My next baby appointment isn't until October 20 which puts me at 19 weeks - that is the "BIG" appointment where they check all the limbs and organs and make sure everything looks normal and also find out the sex, if we wanted to, which we aren't!

Almost halfway through this journey and really happy how my hips are holding up. I know it's still early before my body starts retaining water, and the ankles swell, and my back starts to hurt...so let's just enjoy the spot I'm currently at! I know my hips have a some more opening/widening to do and I told Dr. Millis if I have one bit of pain I'm coming after him! After three PAO's I would only hope pain is in the past for at least a few more years. HA!

Speaking of the Doc, at my last follow-up in July I had scheduled my next 6 month appointment for the end of December - hoping I wouldn't make it if I got pregnant in the meantime. Well we all know that happened - so I emailed Alaina the other day and I asked her to cancel that appointment since there's not really a reason for me to go - can't get X-rays! But I did ask her to reschedule for later in the year and that I would have a little munchkin accompanying me to this appointment for its OWN hip checkup - gosh that makes me cringe. They like to see the baby at 6 weeks old which puts us ABOUT mid-April so I made a tentative date of April 9. Since baby has no official information, she only scheduled it as "Baby Laroche" HAhA! Cute. I have to call back after it has a DOB, SSN and an actual name. So that's all exciting and really scary all at the same time. My biggest fear with having kids is that I have a super high chance of passing Hip Dysplasia onto them. And the only reason I'm hoping for a boy is to make that chance even smaller - even though I secretly want a girl! But I know whatever the outcome, we will all be in the best hands possible and 'it' will have a better outcome from early diagnosis than I did. Last time I asked Millis what the procedure is on infants, he told me they still do the harness - great. <--yuck

So, here I sit, just packing on the ol' pounds and letting this little creature take over my body. Boy (girl!), it better be cute!

Side note, I received yet another message from a fellow PAO'er last night who has stumbled onto my blog. She is 13 years post-RPAO and now has pain in the other hip...which I guess is better than it being in the same hip. Back then there was really no information out there to help someone through this surgery whereas now I feel like blogs are popping up left and right. My goal when writing this was to (1)-document my experience and (2)-hopefully be able to help even one person who has been diagnosed with this surgery. I feel like I have hit my goal time and time again and it truly makes me so happy. Sure I have negative times and depressing times, but I feel other people really focus on those bad times and not the good parts. Half of this recovery is mental! You have to be mentally ready to take on a PAO and be accepting of help from others who have been through it. I know there are people out there freaking out over this diagnosis and surgery, but that's why I am here and that's why I write this blog, to help you and to be there to tell you it's NOT that bad. Isn't a pain free life something to be happy about? I won't go on a rant since we all know where I stand on that, but I just hope people reading this - as scared as they are, can really absorb what I have written over the last four years and realize it really is doable and you really do have a quality of life you never expected could be possible.

Words of Wisdom - take them as you wish. Happy Friday Everyone!!!