Week 7

If you’ve stuck with me for the past 6 weeks – It’s a good time to check in and see what progress you’ve made.  This workout should feel familiar – it’s week 1, day 1. Do it as if it’s new – then compare to the first time you completed it. Did you use heavier weights this time? Did you chose harder variations? Were you less sore this time around?

Here it is: (written as it was originally, with the photos added in)

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for all exercises. If something feels like too much, stick is 2 sets and make it a goal to eventually accomplish 3.

For a quicker paced work out, alternate between 2-3 exercises. Example: 10 squats, 10 good mornings, 10 squats… etc.


Body weight Squats

Squat IMG_9254

Good Mornings – With knees slightly bent, hinge at the hips keeping back flat. If this is a new exercise, let your body learn the motion without added weight this week.

Goodmornings progression

Inclined Push-ups – Place hands on an elevated surface to reduce the load of a standard push up. Examples: A wall, table, bench. If form is good, progress to the floor. Postpartum moms*** watch your belly for any ‘doming’ or ‘coning’ these are signs of diastatis recti, you’ll need to increase the incline until you’re healed.

Modified Push up Start 2 IMG_9331

Bent over Row- With staggered feet, lean forward (can use knee or bench for support), with weight in hand of back leg- bring elbow up and weight to ribs.

Bent Over Row Progression

Overhead Tricep Extensions – keep elbows still above your head as you extend and bend your arms. Can be done one arm at a time, or together. *Exercises that lift overhead can cause pelvic floor pressure- if you feel anything off this can be done seated.

Standing Tricep Extension Progression

Glute Bridges- Laying on your back, knees bent, feet on floor- raise your hips until your torso is flat. If you’re feeling it more in your hamstrings try digging in with your heals. Keep hip bones even.

Bridge 2 IMG_9271

Clam Shells- Laying on side with knees bent, with heals together and elevated several inches from the ground- lift upper knee, return down.

Clamshell Progression

Ab Marches (or ‘Up, up, down, downs)- Laying on back, knees bent, feet down- alternate lifting your knees bringing your shin parallel to the ground. The next level is to lift one knee (up), then the other (up), return the first down, then the other down. As with the push ups watch for any doming! Also, if you are holding breath, or arching your back it’s too difficult.

Up Up Down Down Series 2

2×10 Knee Squeezes 5 seconds- (not shown) – Sit on a hard surface and squeeze a pillow or ball between your knees. Hold for 5 seconds, rest 5 seconds repeat.


Happy Valentine’s Day (and Week 6, workout 3)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Did you do anything special? Maura and I made Dada a mug with

My Valentine.

our beautiful faces on it to keep at work and baked him heart shaped cookies. Greg gave me flowers and a digital photo frame with a photo of Maura from every week of her life already on it! It’s like watching her grow up in a minute over and over, I love it!

Speaking of her growing up… Since we had permission to ditch the brace, we moved her into her “Big Girl Bed” and she is SO proud. I heard her first thing on the monitor this morning saying ‘In big girl bed, in big girl bed…” while patting her blankets. Nap time has been a bit tougher (not that it’s ever been easy), but she keeps insisting she needs her little people plastic swing set in bed with her to ‘help sleep’. It does NOT help her sleep at all. Night time however has been great! She fell out a few times, the rail I previously bought didn’t fit and I haven’t gotten a new one. Last night I told her before bed that if she fell out, she could just climb back in. She agreed to try and I wasn’t called into her room at all, so maybe she did? Or she’s getting the hang of staying in one place at night.

And of course – Workout #3. Enjoy!

week 6, workout 3, part 1Week 6, workout3 part 2Week 6, workout 3, part 3

Week 6, Workout 2

Workout #2! Hope your week is getting off to a good start!

Format notes: I spread the workout over several images instead of one. I liked how workout #1 looked, but had trouble fitting in everything I wanted for workout #2.

I’m figuring out more PicMonkey features, but it’s still not my favorite. Other than enhancing photos- I’m not sure it’s that much better than plain old PowerPoint… but people seem to love it so I must be missing something!

Workout #3 will be up by Thursday!

Week Six, Workout 2, part 1

Week 6, workout 2, part 2

Week 6, Workout 2, part 3

Week 6, workout 2, part 4

Facing Surgery

If you’re a newer follower, or unfamiliar with Maura’s journey with Hip Dysplasia, here are a few links to fill you in.

This catches you up to last year, when progress stopped and all appointments started to blur together with the same news.

As you know, we met with a new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Cook, on Monday at the University of Rochester Medical Center. I am happy to report that the new doctor is terrific, and he is now ‘our’ ortho. I have canceled all future appointments with our previous doctor and I’m never looking back. As I said last time, I left several appointments in tears and confused about what was going on with Maura’s hips, despite asking numerous questions. I can say that I left our meeting with Dr Cook sad, but informed and hopeful for Maura’s future. Although there are still unknowns, as there always seems to be with this diagnosis, I know what the plan is going forward – which makes me feel so much more comfortable than I’ve felt in the past year, despite the fact that we are most likely facing a rather large surgery within the next year.

The goal of Maura’s first procedure (the closed reduction), was to fit her femur head tightly into her hip socket and wait for her socket to grow around the femur head. A child’s socket grows in reaction to contact with the femur head. If the femur head is lose, as Maura’s once was, the socket doesn’t know where to grow and therefore doesn’t curve down around the femur allowing it eventually to dislocate. Maura’s had been dislocated for a while before we received a diagnosis. Once her hip was in the socket, the purpose of the cast is to hold the bones in place while they grew. Her hip socket formed enough to hold her femur in place with full range of motion. In 90% of children, getting the femur in the socket it all it takes for the body to do the rest. Unfortunately, Maura is one of the 10% … we don’t know why, but Maura’s hip stopped curving around the femur. Instead of a tea cup shape, we’ve got a saucer. Based on the lack of progress this past year, Dr Cook sees very little chance that it will suddenly change course for us to avoid surgery – although we are going to wait until May for one last xray just in case.

The procedure he wants to do is called a Dega Osteotomy. An osteotomy is essentially a re-shaping of bone. I think this website explains the procedure the clearest.

The good news, is Dr Cook does not like to use Spica casts unless absolutely necessary. He doesn’t think she would require a cast afterwards! This eases my mind tremendously, although I know either a brace or abduction pillow/wheelchair would still be needed. I have been worrying about how I would manage to lug around an almost 3 year old in a body cast when a 9 month old was hard enough!

Dr. Cook prefers doing the osteotomy between the age of 2 and 3. Bones grow rapidly in babies and slow as we age. At age 4, the growth potential declines. Getting the surgery done before age 3 lets us use the bones growth potential to heal faster and grow on its own with the help of the surgical changes. The more growing on it’s own that the hip does, the more natural the socket ends up – and the less chance of problems down the road.

I’ve had a couple people ask if the surgery is really necessary. Yes, it is. Maura is not currently in pain. But as her hip sits, it’s not able to take the repeated stress that a healthy hip can. She would most likely begin to experience hip pain and arthritis in her later teens or 20s and need a hip replacement shortly after, and again later in life. Without this surgery, we’d be denying her the choice to become an athlete, we’d be taking away quality of life at a time she should be having fun with her friends, dating, traveling, job searching, etc. If her hip doesn’t correct itself in the next year, it is not going to correct itself. It’s hard to think about putting a toddler through extensive surgery, but it’s harder to think that by not doing this for her, her quality of life would be severely effected. As obesity and many health issues are on the rise, my goal is to raise Maura with the highest chance of living a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, this surgery is part of what we need to do to keep her healthy and happy long term.


Looking back at this smiling face through our journey, makes the future look a little brighter.

Week 6

Another toddler cold?! We’re ready for spring! February is turning out to be the hardest month to be out of Oregon. In Oregon spring lasts several months, daffodils popped up in February and I could always count on a few t-shirt runs this month. This week in NY I counted shoveling the driveway as a cardio day. Yuck. Not feeling it NY.

New format, as promised! What do you think?

Week 6 Workout 1 w_ txt.jpg

Workouts 2 & 3 will be up by Tuesday & Thursday respectively!

I signed up for a 7 day free trial of Picmonkey. I’m actually disappointed, but going to play this week and see if the features I’m looking for are there somewhere. All the reviews I read before trying it out mentioned a free version that apparently doesn’t exist anymore! You can create images for free, but can’t save or export them. Not cool once you spend your time working on something and realize you’re forced to sign up for a trial, pay quite a bit, or lose your work. Anyone else use another photo app they love? Preferably for collage & text images like this weeks Workout 1.

Have a good week! See you soon with yet another hip update!

Week 5

Hello! Hope you had a great week last week, and thanks for all of the comments on Maura’s hip update! This week I’m adding a (small) element of cardio. Tweaking how we order a workout can get our heart rates up and keep them up a bit more during our workout session. Remember bouts of 10 minutes of moderate activity counts towards your total cardio goal. This week, we’ll boost our heart rates by distributing the exercises that use the largest muscle groups (and therefore require more blood to be pumping and an increased heart rate) – specifically legs.

Also – I’ve altered the video format a bit. Hopefully it’s helpful. I’ll continue to modify/improve things as I go.

Week 5 workout slides

Link to Video of Week 5, Workout #1

Week 5 workout2

Link to Video of Week 5, Workout 2!

Week 5 workout 3

Link to Video of Week 5, Workout #3 .

I’d love feedback on the changes made this week! More changes coming soon.

Switching (Hip) Doctors

I haven’t done a hip dysplasia update since August. Partially because we haven’t had much to update on, and in part because I haven’t wanted to think about it. Back in June we had the go ahead to take Maura’s abduction brace off during the day. At that time our surgeon didn’t think it was working well enough to justify keeping on. This news was discouraging, and confusing. I left the appointment upset with lots of unanswered questions. We had a follow up 3 months later (in September), and received similar news – her hips just aren’t improving. I had a series of questions prepared this time around, and Greg with me to make sure I got the clear answers that I needed to feel confident in our treatment plan. Unfortunately, I was unable to get my questions answered again.

After much consideration, I decided to change doctors. Our original surgeon from Oregon was great. (And just rated One of Portland’s TOP doctors by his peers) He spent a significant amount of time answering questions, explaining treatment options, and pointing out research that supported his plans. Even upon receiving bad news, I left appointments with him feeling sad, but hopeful. I have actually contacted him in a panic after our last two appointments in Syracuse, and relied on him to calm my nerves. This last appointment, I ended up sending all of our x-rays back to Oregon for review. Although he also feels surgery is a possibility, he emphasized that we have over a year for her hips to correct themselves and that there is no reason to talk future surgery until the future. What really caught me off guard was his interpretation of the x-rays. He saw “definite” improvement in Maura’s hip. He felt that the improvement was indeed slow, but that was all the reason to wait it out. He also felt that xrays were unnecessary for another year, as even if her hip indeed stops improving, there is absolutely no reason to intervene surgically until the very minimum of age 3.

Switching doctors sounds like an easy decision, but it wasn’t. I had originally heard positive things about our Syracuse dr. (I’m purposely not naming him, don’t want to throw anyone under). He came highly regarded based on his surgical expertise. He also has some (loose) family ties, and not everyone in my family was supportive of a switch. My decision came down to this: I just don’t trust that he has Maura’s best interest at heart. Whether this is true, or just due to differences in communication style – I don’t know. But, if I don’t trust him, how would I cope with him performing surgery on my child? If something went wrong, even a fluke accident, I would never forgive myself for not listening to my mom-intuition.

I went ahead and made an appointment with a doctor a the University of Rochester for next week (February 5). I’ve heard wonderful things about him through other “hip” moms, and am hopeful he is a better fit for the remainder of our journey – whether that involves more surgery or not.