October 12, 2013 – Our first appointment with Children’s Orthopedics of Atlanta (CHOA) arrived. I had no idea what to expect, but every bone in my body ached for a different diagnosis. God had a plan for our little guy, one that triggered mixed emotions during the weeks to come.
Mason was fitted for a Pavlik Harness which consisted of velcro straps designed to increase the flexibility of his hips and ultimately correct his dysplasia. I remember the appointment vividly; I fell apart in the exam room and didn’t stop crying for almost two weeks. I grieved for the experiences we would no longer have: swaddling, normal diaper changes, easy feedings and baths. I even cried because Mason wouldn’t be able to wear the cute outfits that were washed and folded neatly in his drawers. What was most heartbreaking? I no longer felt his little body against me when I held him due the the barrier the scratchy velcro created.Mason wore the harness for three weeks. During that period, his doctor no longer felt clicking in his right hip, which hopefully meant stability. Unfortunately, the ultrasound confirmed that the absence of clicking was due to the femur being so far out of the socket, it couldn’t be popped in place. The harness was removed just in time for Thanksgiving. Mason wore every outfit in his closet during his time out of the harness, including pajamas. Selfishly, I was so happy to have him all to myself, velcro free, even if that meant the harness didn’t work. Looking back, I truly believe God gave me two weeks of “normal” as an answer to my prayers. He knew I was at the end of my rope and I wasn’t ready for what was yet to come. It was during this time when I began to study his word to find comfort and understanding. I stumbled upon the book of James, and meditated on the following verse for weeks:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience trials of many kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
– James 1:2-4
The first week of December brought a second and final attempt of the Pavlik Harness. Mason wore it for three more weeks at which point an ultra sound confirmed his left hip was completely stable, but his right hip had not progressed. The harness was a blessing (disguised with velcro) and an answer to our prayers; his left hip was healed.
What did this mean for our little guy? It meant God wasn’t finished and there was more to come. It meant three months of “normal” followed by a closed reduction scheduled in the spring. It meant God was giving my husband and I more time to prepare…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
– Jerimiah 29:11