Abby's head is...flat. It was kind of inevitable, given that the first twelve weeks of her life were spent in the hospital. Even now that she is home and we try to get her on her side as much as possible, the trach and tubes make it difficult for her to keep her there for very long. The flatness isn't a huge medical issue, but it is definitely noticable and not something we want her to have to deal with on top of everything else.
The first place we went to (after Matt drove for 2 1/2 hours to get there!) told us they wouldn't do it because she had a trach. Yes, they did know this when I scheduled the appointment.
Our second place (and the one we are using) assured us they did trach babies, so we went to Columbia for the scan that they use to make the helmet. We ended up having to go for two different scans because of the need for Medicaid pre-approval and the time-sensitivity of the scans, but Medicaid paid for it and the gas is a whole lot cheaper than the helmet!!
The purpose of the helmet is to hold in the rest of the head while the back catches up. They actually have a mold of her entire head using the scans they did, and they use that as their goal. It's pretty cool--the mold really does look like her! They said we can have it after she's done. :)
She will be wearing it 23 hours (!!) a day starting Friday, but we are slowing increasing the amount she wears it over the next few days. I'm still not in love with the whole idea, but I know it's a necessary evil. I just kind of feel like it's one more reason for people to stare at us, and we have a whole lot of reasons already. I'm kind of looking forward to blending into the woodwork one of these days!
We'll be going back every two weeks so that they can check her progress and measure her. They'll also be doing scans periodically. While we don't know exactly how long it will take, they are estimating that she will wear it 3-4 months. Her palate repair will fall into that time frame, so she won't be able to wear it for a few days. Other than that, we're hoping that nothing will stand in the way of the helmet doing its job!
Anyway, here's my girl sporting her new accessory (and yes, there is space for a bow!)
She didn't care too much for it at the cranial center, but she seems to be getting used to it now.
She even fell asleep with it on!
Now, if you know me at all, you know that I like things pretty. There was no way I was going to leave this helmet boring. If she had to wear it, it was going to be cute! (Side note: it's actually kind of funny that I chose pink for the helmet, considering I'm not a huge fan of the color. You wouldn't know it by the outfit she's wearing, but I chose it so that she would match her helmet today! I picked the pink one because they didn't have lilac and it was one of the only solid colored ones. The others were patterns and a bit "busy" for my taste.)
Soooooooo, I gathered my little family and headed to Michaels, where my sister and her clan also coincidentally ended up being. She helped me pick out some pretty stickers to make Abby's helmet her own.
The back (these letters look red here, but they're a sparkly pink)
The back, complete with a little butterfly!
The other side
I also decoupaged it so that the stickers would stay a little better. I have to say, it's pretty cute! It better be if it's going to be a permanent fixture for the next 3 or 4 months!