Cast off day was actually January 24th… I’m apparently a month (plus some) late getting to posting this.
We were warned that getting the cast off would be pretty traumatic, and it was, but we recovered quickly. We were also warned that Maura may be in pain from stiffness or sensitive skin- but she wasn’t at all. Here’s a run fown if the appointment:
The appointment was at the clinic and scheduled as a follow up. We got there and a nurse came in to remove the cast. We came with distractions and sound canceling headphones but neither helped. We were instructed to hold her on her side, not ideal for her to play with my phone and she could see what was happening. She stayed calm until the saw touched her cast, it vibrates so even with the noise muffled- she freaked. She ripped the headphones off immediately (waste of only 15$ thankfully). The next 15 or so minutes consisted of holding down a flailing and thrashing baby with all our strength. The nurse said she’s the strongest baby she’s ever seen! The fiberglass was double thick, and each cut had to be made twice- it felt like forever and I’ve never seen Maura so upset. It pulled at my heart, but part of me felt joy at the same time. I couldn’t wait for this day!
Once the cast was off I was scared to touch her. The nurse had to tell me it was ok to go ahead and pick her up. She felt so tiny, but LONG, and extremly floppy. Happy to report her little leg rolls were still there! To hold her was like holding a giant newborn. Her core was just very out of practice.
Her skin was red around her thighs and casted knee, very flakey – like a peeling sunburn- but she didn’t act sensitive. I had given her a dose of Tylanol in the waiting room, but she didn’t seem to achey either. What I wasn’t expecting was the fiberglass from the cast got all over the table- which really roughed up Maura’s skin as she thrashed in it. She had a very bad rash on her shoulders, upper back, and arms. When I bathed her at home, I let water run over it without rubbing it. I was nervous that glass particles could still be on her. (I don’t think there were, or the running water took care of it). I then blotted prescription hydrocortisone cream on it and it cleared in a couple days. I’d recommend keeping a long sleeve on, but pulled up to protect if you have a wiggly kiddo.
The nurse had a washcloth and sink available to wash her while we waited for our ortho to come in, but I couldn’t set her down. She was emotional and I couldn’t get enough of her body snuggled against me.
The ortho came in and did a physical exam. Moved her legs around gently. Her hip felt very stable! Since we were getting ready to move cross-country, he ordered xrays and a follow up in 2 weeks. He doesn’t do them that day since they’re typically very stiff. He usually waits 12 weeks to check progress, but wanted hard evidence of where we stood to pass to our new doctor. He said she looked in fantastic shape and that the nurse would come back in to fit her rhino brace- to be worn always except diaper changes and baths. (And due to my concern about a carseat, he said as long as her legs have wiggle room we could take it off for the car).
The nurse returned and helped us dress her. I brought several outfits just in case She was too stiff for pants, but super stretchy leggings worked great. (Izzie & Owie brand are awesome!)
We got our carseat installed by the hospital’s safety center right before our appointment (didn’t want to keep a hippo and have to ship it back west when we moved? Not sure theyd even have let us… so we bought a new Britax Marathon.) Unfortunately, the brace didn’t let her bend at all to fit…. so off it came already. *more on that soon… turned out to be the wrong size brace!
All in all, stressful but exciting day. Next up: 12 weeks full time in a rhinobrace followed by 12 weeks half time! Rumor has it it’s a breeze compared to the cast, and since I’m writing this a month late- I’ll agree!