Caroline Jay’s Story
I thought I had prepared myself for my first baby and I had a fairly easy pregnancy. At 38 weeks we realized that our sweet Caroline was still breech and probably was not going to turn due to lack of room. My doctor decided we would schedule a c-section at 39 weeks to deliver the baby. She decided to come a few days earlier than planned, but we went forward with the c-section. She was perfect, healthy, and absolutely beautiful. We got home and started settling into our new normal with our little blessing. I noticed that her left leg looked a little bit shorter and seemed to stay tucked in quite often. However, I didn’t think much of it. I thought oh well she was breech this is probably her adjusting to life outside of being bunched up in the womb. We went to our first pediatrician appointment and our doctor said he wanted to refer us for a hip ultra sound. I immediately panicked and he assured me it was just routine these days for babies born breech. He wanted to double check with a second opinion that everything was good. We got on the books for an appointment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Ortho clinic at 6 weeks. Caroline’s ultrasound showed that her left hip was extremely concerning and completely dislocated. The right hip seemed to be okay. We tried a Pavlik Harness for 2 weeks wearing it 24/7. We then went back to ACH for another set of ultrasounds only to determine there was no improvement made on her hips. My head was spinning and emotions were high. We were told that Caroline would need to have a closed reduction and be placed in a spica cast for 12 weeks. My mama heart was hurting for my baby, thinking did I fail her. The doctor’s scheduled the spica cast when Caroline was 4 months old. We took our sweet baby girl to the hospital Nov. 21, 2022 to be put under anesthesia. That was the absolute scariest thing I have ever experienced, having my baby wheeled back to be put to sleep. Once back there, her doctor made a small incision between her thigh and groin area to release the tension of the groin muscle. They then casted my little baby girl in a full body spica cast (chest to ankles). We learned the ins and outs of spica care, attended check ups, x-rays and follow ups. She wore her first cast for 6 weeks and then she got it off, bathed, and recasted for another 6 weeks. After 12 weeks, on February 3rd, 2023 our baby was CAST FREE!!! The doctor said her hips were looking great and the left hip was in the socket and forming as it should. He then said she would wear a Rhino Brace for 23/7 taking it off for diaper changes and bath time. She wore this for 4 weeks before she had another set of x-rays! The doctor then transitioned Caroline to wearing the Rhino Brace ONLY to sleep in! This has been a journey we did not expect, but we are forever grateful for our team of doctors and nurses. DDH is something I am steadily reading on and learning so I can advocate for Caroline and help other families in need. Our Caroline Jay is on a hip healthy road and we are so thankful!!