Poppy Love’s Hip Journey


My daughter, Poppy Love Wilcox, was born July 29, 2012. Poppy is my first born and is an IVF miracle baby. Having her at 41 years old, she is truly my life-long dream come true. The greatest day of my life was giving birth, holding her and gazing into her eyes. Her middle name “Love” divinely came to me minutes after she was born…

When Poppy started walking, we all noticed something was “off” with the way she walked. She started catering to her right side and just seemed to “waddle” more than she should. We mentioned this to her pediatrician at her 15 month visit; thinking maybe one of her legs was longer than the other. He measured her legs, looked at her closely, shook her legs out and told us she was “just fine”. We noticed that as time progressed, her condition wasn’t improving and she was beginning to stand on her right leg, lifting her left. I also noticed an indent forming on her left buttock.

In retrospect, down deep in my gut I knew something was wrong with Poppy. I definitely pushed those terrifying feelings away from my heart, staying safely in denial; blindly trusting my doctor. The possibility that something might really be wrong with my daughter was my deepest fear in life. I just did not believe it could be possible. At 28 months, I finally took matters into my own hands (with the push of my mother’s guiding intuition and encouragement), and got an x-ray at a local orthopedic clinic. This made it very clear it was her left hip and not her legs at all! Her left hip was severely dislocated. I was in shock!
November 24, 2014, Poppy was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) at Children’s Hospital in Denver. This is a condition in which there is abnormal development of the hip joint. In Poppy’s case, she has a severe case where her femoral head is completely dislocated from the bone of her very shallow hip socket. It was most likely there from birth, but never diagnosed by either of her three pediatricians. So, it may have developed after birth, but we will never know for sure…

This is why AWARENESS and trusting your intuition are both vitally important. If I was educated about hip dysplasia, I would have gone about things differently. I would have been aware of hip healthy swaddling and safe baby carriers. I would have most likely pushed my doctors to give Poppy an x-ray and gone for 2nd, 3rd opinions. If I would have been brave enough to trust my gut, that inner voice that knew something wasn’t right, I would have acted sooner…
January 20, 2015 was Poppy’s surgery at Children’s Hospital in Denver, CO. (Before surgery I did everything I could to prepare Poppy. I bought her a “doctor’s kit” and read to her “Hope the Hip Hippo” twice a day). I held my precious baby girl as my husband and I rolled into the operating room. The feisty girl she is fought and swung her arms at the gas mask (even after she was given a narcotic to “relax” her) until we witnessed her go deeply under. I gasped and my eyes welled up as I witnessed her tiny body lay still on that large, cold, intimidating operating table. I was scared to death. I was forced to face my deepest fear head on and deal with whatever outcome would come to be…

She had an open reduction to position the ball into the socket. Her femur bone was shortened to aid in the process. Before the surgery, our doctor thought he would have to perform a pelvic osteotomy because her x-ray showed an extremely shallow hip socket. This luckily didn’t have to happen because her femoral head (ball) fit back into the hip socket naturally without popping out. This was even a surprise to our doctor; it was a Miracle! Her surgery was a huge success and I felt deeply blessed. My angels were listening and all the prayers from family and friends paid off in spades!


When she woke up and I held her in my arms, I soon realized this was the second greatest day of my life (next to her birth). I was overwhelmed with love, gratitude and relief beyond anything I can express…

This surgery has given Poppy the best chance to have “HEALTHY HIPS 4 LIFE”! The plate in her leg will come out in two years (when she’s four years old) and we will know if another surgery will be necessary at that point. Our doctor says there is a 30% chance…

Poppy’s Facebook page is a blog for me to share our journey and provide awareness, support and inspiration to the world. When I first found out about Poppy’s hip dysplasia I was devastated and just wanted to cry all day, and keep this devastating news to myself. I experienced every heart wrenching emotion: sadness, shame, why my daughter, anger, regret, guilt, and on and on. I eventually came full circle with my feelings and realized I needed to embrace the reality of Poppy’s situation and be brave for her. I needed to be the courageous mother she needs to embrace, heal and overcome her situation whatever her long term outcome would be. Finally, I needed to live by my life-long belief that “everything happens for a reason”. It’s incredibly difficult to embrace this spiritual truth when it’s the health of your child. I was being tested…

One morning, loud and clear, my heart spoke to me that I needed to share Poppy’s journey with the world! This was one of the many “reasons” emerging from her hip dysplasia. I knew the love and support I would gain from Poppy’s blog would help give me the strength to be the positive force she needs. I also knew that if we could help even one family prevent hip dysplasia through Poppy’s story, it would be a blessing for us all!

SpicaDaddyPoppy Spica11 Spica6

February 20, 2015…. We are one month into our journey and living with a Spica Cast. The outpouring of love and support has been incredible and our family is deeply grateful. We are humbled and uplifted by the positive energy surrounding Poppy. Poppy’s first x-ray looked perfect and she is on her way to a healthy recovery. Her courage and resiliency blow me away! Our story has already been able to help and inspire other families going through similar situations. No one overcome’s life’s challenges alone, and we are doing are little part to help others and spread the LOVE!

We welcome you to join us on “Poppy Love’s Hip Journey” as it courageously unfolds. Here is a recent post from Poppy’s Facebook blog:

February 17, 2015: “I’m not spending my days chasing Poppy non-stop around the house, watching her get into everything possible. With her being forced to stop and be still, it’s forcing me to stop and be still. I’m spending more quality time in the moment with my daughter. I’m learning to be 100% present! Laughter, music, singing, art, painting, blocks, puzzles, games and conversation fill our days now. I’m watching her over-compensate mentally and she is developing new skills rapidly; especially her ability to speak in full, clear sentences! She didn’t sing very much before surgery, and now she sings all day! She didn’t used to spend more than a few minutes coloring and painting, but now she enjoys art for hours out of the day! It’s remarkable to watch her grow and progress in new ways because she has to…This is another remarkable “silver lining” in “Poppy Love’s Hip Journey”! If we let ourselves, we will learn, grow and evolve from the challenges life gives us!



              We wish you and your child the very best on your hip journey!

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