Eight Months

 

August & Everything After

Apparently we are already heading into that latter part of the year where time speeds up and the weeks all blur into each other - and I'm so not ok with it.

So what's been happening over here?

Amelia had her hip dysplasia x-ray and review, and unfortunately is still requiring harness time - her right hip angles are still not where they should be. She is now wearing her harness for ALL sleeps, which works out to be approximately 12 hours a night, plus 3-4 hours across the day. We are all pretty exhausted, but praying this last batch of increased harnessing will help us get across the line. Her next review is mid-September.

Georgia is back in the swing of things at school and Claire is enjoying two days a week of daycare, with both girls thriving on routine. We're enjoying it while it lasts, as the threat of Covid restrictions creeping back in again is on all of our minds. Both girls have gone back to swimming lessons. Georgia is doing amazingly well. Claire is just starting out and is, well, Claire. 

As for me, I turned 36 last fortnight. It was incredibly low key and sort of feels like it didn't happen at all.. but I spent it surrounded by family, so that's what matters most. I'm continuing to work with some amazing small businesses and having a ball photographing the kids as well as the products we are lucky enough to shoot. I'm also thoroughly enjoying my Virtual Assistant roles, and have been learning and growing in that department every day.

I'm slowly inching closer to the elusive 10k Instagram followers milestone, one that I've been aiming for for many years. I'm trying to do it as authentically as possible (hence the snail's pace) but hopefully the wait will be worth it! 

Amelia is rocking her Jamie Kay duds from Oakie Baby. Use MAMAJAGS15 for discounts.

Seven Months

Six Months

Hips Don't Lie

A few weeks ago, we revisited the Children's Hospital for Amelia's ultrasound, which was pretty uneventful. Instead of going straight in to see the Professor afterwards though, we had to go home and wait for a telehealth appointment a few days later. I was really nervous, as the ultrasound technician had indicated that there were still issues present - so in my head, I was mentally preparing to have to be wearing her Rhino Brace in the day as well as the night.

Thankfully, it wasn't as scary as I had thought. The ultrasound showed that her hips have shown some improvement, but there is still work to be done. It's positive, because it means the hours she's spending in the brace at night time are helping - but it's also showing she still has some immaturity in the bone and cartilage around her hip joints. The plan was to keep the brace on for another few months, before we get an x-ray to see how they are progressing.

We also need to have Claire come along for the next appointment, as both are now going to be ortho patients. The doctor was concerned that nobody had ever scanned or x-rayed Claire's hips after all of her gross motor milestones, so just to be safe, he's planning to have her checked as well. Apparently hip dysplasia can run in families, so we need to make sure nothing was missed in her early years.

It means that our sleep will remain broken for the next little while, but we're getting used to it now. And correcting her hips right now is the most important thing! That appointment is coming up in a few weeks, so I'm really, really hoping for some positive news. It's been a very long few months!

Five Months

Cushii Newborn Lounger: a review

Let's talk babies for a minute - because let's face it, who DOESN'T love talking babies? They are sweet, adorable little time wasters; that we already knew. They eat, sleep, and poop. Well - that's a given. But did you know that they're all incredibly different? Three babies in and I learn something new every day.

Enter Amelia - the youngest of our three, who has no choice but to go with the flow of what her big sisters are busy doing throughout the day.

Or so I naively thought!

Turns out, being in isolation amidst the Corona Virus Pandemic, has meant that she has ruled the roost and has been soaking up all the extra attention that she's been getting with everybody home and fawning all over her. The only downside to all the baby love: the baby does NOT want to be put down. Ever. At all. Nuh-uh!

We have been using the Cushii Lounger for these past few weeks, and I have to say, it's been an absolute lifesaver. It's one of the few places that I can put her down without her pitching a fit! We use it all over the house - it's portable, lightweight, and pretty freaking trendy too. Amelia has the Marula Blush colourway, but there are other neutral options available.

So.. here's what I love the most about our Lounger:

  • It's super lightweight - literally as light as a feather! You can pick it up easily with its own little handle, while you've still got a squirmy bub in your arms.
  • It's comfy! The photo to the right is from the very first time I popped Amelia into her Lounger, and she made herself comfy in it straight away. It can be used from newborn age and up, and is definitely worth the long-term investment. I wish I'd found one sooner.
  • It's perfect for baby skin! Made from TENCEL, it's great for sensitive little bodies. Coming from a family of eczema babes, being hypoallergenic is really important to us. It's also easy to spot clean and is machine washable.
  • It comes in a unique little carry bag. Perfect to keep your Lounger clean when it's not in use, or when you're ready to head out and take it with you.
  • It's CUTE! I know, I know - but let's be honest: we all like our baby gear to fit into our lifestyle and our nurseries. The blush is just lovely for us, but there are a few other colourways to choose from to suit every shape and style.


Just remember, these amazing loungers are to be used supervised at all times, and absolutely don't replace safe sleeping in bassinets and cots.

So go on Mamas, treat yourself to some hands free time - even if it is just for enough time to grab yourself a cup of hot coffee. Your bub will thank you for it! You can purchase your own Cushii lounger now on pre-order, with 10% off & free shipping if you use code PREORDER10. Afterpay is available too.

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary lounger from Cushii - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.  You can also get in touch with me via my @mamajags Instagram page.

Four Months

Harness Life

Amelia passed all of her hip tests as a newborn. Her manual manipulations were all fine, no clicks, no family history of hip dysplasia. When she was 6 weeks old, we went for our paediatric check and while we were there, we got to chatting about how Claire had so many issues developmentally over the years - as I was worried if they would also present with baby.
The paed queried how Claire's hip ultrasound was, and I was surprised - we'd never had one for her. He was really shocked that she'd never had any sort of investigation into her hips over the years, as an ultrasound as an infant, or as an x-ray as she grew up and was unable to weight bear. As a precaution, he recommended that we have Amelia scanned, just to rule out any hip issues that might be lurking.

A week later, at just shy of 7 weeks old, Amelia was scanned. She screamed her pretty little head off during the ultrasound - not because it hurt, but because she wasn't a fan of being restrained. She has been feisty from the get-go, this one! The ultrasound tech wasn't having much luck, and called in another pair of hands. Little did I know, she'd called in the paediatric specialist doctor, as she'd actually seen something concerning. To my surprise, he DID find issues with her hips. They were not dislocated, but were showing signs of dysplasia: when manipulating her legs up and down, the ball of her hip moved in and out of the socket. This is an immaturity factor, as they should be firmly in place by 6 weeks of age and he recommended we revisit our paediatrician.
I couldn't get in to see him for another few weeks, so Amelia was 10 weeks old at this point. He attempted to get me into a private physiotherapist for more guidance, however when I made a few phone calls, I quickly realised that they would assess her but then refer on to an orthopaedic surgeon if they were concerned. I decided to skip this altogether, and had my GP refer me to the Children's Hospital at Westmead. They rang me a week later and we had an appointment arranged soon after that.

We met with a junior doctor, who assessed Amelia and then referred us onto a senior doctor. This professor felt that one hip had improved, but that he was unsure with the other - so he brought in a portable ultrasound machine to confirm for himself. One was better, the other was still very lax. His recommendation was for Amelia to go immediately into a Rhino Harness, but for night sleeps only. This treatment plan threw hubby and I for a loop, as we were expecting to be monitored over the coming weeks, but not for her to require harnessing. We went straight from the doctor's rooms to the orthopaedic unit, where Amelia was fitted for her new brace. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty darned emotional about it all. She was still so tiny, and we were manipulating her hips into this awful looking position - how would she cope with it all? They warned us that sleep may be impacted initially (but she was always a rubbish sleeper anyway, so it couldn't get any worse... could it?) but to just ride it out. They also encouraged us to keep long, firm fitting pants on her, and to keep an eye out for any chafing or discomfort which may indicate that her harness would need refitting.
She's been in it for over 6 weeks now. It's been pretty challenging. She wakes regularly during the night, and it's quite difficult to hold her comfortably for breastfeeds. We had to find special swaddles and sleeping bags that would fit her at night time, as her legs are splayed very wide.

We were supposed to have a repeat ultrasound as well as a doctor's appointment for review this week, but thanks to the Covid crisis, it was cancelled. Instead, the ultrasound has been pushed back to the end of May, and the doctor's consult afterwards will now be done via phone appointment. In the meantime, we're still bracing her each night, and hoping that it's helping her hips stay in the right place. I'm grateful that we've avoided having to be wearing it all day long at this point, fingers crossed it'll only be another few months of having it at all.

In short - get your baby's hips checked at every appointment. Dysplasia is developmental, meaning it can present as your baby ages - the earlier it's picked up, the better the outcome. I'll keep you posted on how Amelia's hips are developing over the coming months.

Here's hoping for some better sleep at some point in the near future!

Three Months





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