Before Liam could be discharged from the hospital, he had to endure a final examination by the pediatrician on call. During that exam, the doctor heard a “clunking” sound in his hip and ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed a shallow socket and we were referred to an orthopedic doctor.
A few days later, we met with an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed Liam with Hip Dysplasia. To correct his shallow hip and prevent any further damage, the doctor advised Liam to wear a harness for 3 months. For the first 6 weeks, Liam would have to wear the harness 23 hours a day. Then, for the remaining 6 weeks, he would only need to wear the harness for 12 hours a day.
Before I saw the harness, I had visions of a little Liam running in braces like Forrest Gump and then I envisioned a large plastic diaper apparatus screwed together with huge bolts.
A million questions filled my head. Would he walk normally? Will the harness hinder his ability to develop normally? Will he reach his milestones like rolling over, crawling and walking in an appropriate timeframe? Can he play sports? Will he be able to run? Will he be a NFL star?
The doctor eased my concerns by promising us that the harness would correct his hip and Liam would develop normally, but he couldn’t guarantee Liam becoming an NFL star. He also stated that the harness typically upsets parents more than it upsets the infants.
During our consult, we also learned that Liam has to remain in a straddled, frog-like position. This means I can’t wear him in any sort of sling. He also cannot be left in his car seat for long periods of time, so long road trips or leaving him in his infant car seat for naps are out of the question. He also cannot sit in his swing, because the swing would constrict his hips.
The first few days in the harness were a bit challenging. I have to hold him a lot since most everything would constrict his hips, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I get to spoil him and he’s definitely giving my arms a work-out. Also, changing Liam’s diapers were a bit tricky at first, but we got the hang of it. We only remove the harness to change his Onesies.
As for Liam, I think he enjoys looking like a sky diver.