Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by with positive things to say, and for those of you who have been remembering us in your prayers. It’s been a full week since Birdie got her casts on, and I’m feeling better about it then I was a few short days ago. I’m looking forward to our appointment on Monday morning, with hopes that we’ll only come home with one cast… and that it will be hot pink 😉
I’ve had some time to really think about things that have worked/helped me, so I thought that I’d write them down for other mom’s that are dealing with bi-lateral casting.
- Sharpies won’t really last on a fiberglass cast. I’m not sure why, but they smear where baby rubs the casts together, and if you get them wet at all (like with a baby wipe), it will rub the colour off. I haven’t noticed any Sharpie on our clothing, so if you do decide to do some decorating (which I do recommend – it helped me feel better about the casts!), try to keep it to areas where baby doesn’t rub his/her feet together. The thigh and the outer parts of the legs are prime.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt when you’re nursing. I know this sounds strange, but my under arms are very uncomfortable from nursing. Mainly because I tend to drape my arm over top of Birdie’s legs. She kicks a lot, even when nursing, which causes friction irritation on the undersides of my arms. It seems so random and weird… but yeah.
- Onsies are your friends, especially if it’s summer. Birdie hasn’t worn pants in a week now. I figure that her casts probably hold in enough heat that she doesn’t really need pants or sleepers. So I’ve just been putting her in onsies and calling it good. If you know that you’re going to have to deal with dual casts, definitely stock up on onsies so you don’t have to do laundry every couple of days. I know that onsies are usually a baby staple, but they weren’t my personal favorite baby item. They are now!
- Buy a baby bath tub with a newborn sling. So, I haven’t been giving Birdie all that many baths. It’s only been a week, so it’s not a big deal at this point, but realistically – you can’t leave your baby unwashed for 6 weeks (if you are doing the full casting regimine). It really turns out that Birdie haaaaaates sponge baths. I would too – sitting out all cold on the counter while someone dribbles water on top of you? LAME. I saw a cute Winnie the Pooh bath tub with an infant sling at Walmart, and decided that it might work to allow Birdie to be submerged by an inch or two of water. It works ok. Basically, she sits in the sling and her bum is in the water. It isn’t deep enough to get her casts wet, but it allows the heat to rise off the water and warm her up, as well as allowing somewhere for the soapy water to go, vs. just being absorbed into a towel beneath her. Once she’s down to one cast, I think it will make it even better, as she’ll be able to get one foot in the water and splash like crazy.
- Buy some of that Press & Seal cling wrap. I know. I’m crazy, but let me tell you how Birdie was able to splash in her little new tub and not do any damage to her casts. First, I used a length of regular saran wrap around the top of her casts. I tucking it right in to the cast to protect the top. Then I took a sheet of the press & seal, and sealed it into a pocket around her leg, plus I sealed it to the cling wrap that was around the top of the cast. I would definitely NOT submerge a cast covered in saran like this, but it worked really well to allow her to get a little wet. The tops of the casts were a little damp when she got out of the bath, but nothing that was a very big deal.
That’s it. I haven’t figured out/tried to use my Ergo with her casts yet, nor her sling or any other baby wearing item. I feel guilty for not carrying her more, but I just don’t feel confident. I’m worried that the casts are going to press on her (because she has to be so tight to me) and that her feet will fall asleep or something like that. ::shrugs:: It’s irrational, I think, but there it is. I also don’t have any advice on how to help your older kids deal with the casts. For the most part, Kitten doesn’t acknowledge them, unless she accidentally touches them. Then she runs around screaming “CASTS! CASTS! CASTS!” for five minutes. I don’t know if she just doesn’t like the texture (which isn’t awesome, see point #2), or if she’s worried about hurting her sister. But yeah. I get it. sometims *I* feel like runing around yelling about casts for a bit too! Ha ha. Kitten did, however, enjoy writing on them a little bit with a Sharpie.
This week has gone by very quickly, which has been nice. Honestly, Birdie has not been a happy camper, but the last day or so has been better than the first days. I’m grateful that this treatment hasn’t really changed her night-time sleeping patterns, although I am kind of angry that she’s not napping well. It’s hard on me and it’s hard on her. You can tell that she’s tired, but she’s not always comfortable enough to sleep well. ::shrugs:: I’m taking what I can get at this point, though. Some days she nurses better than others. She was very hungry today, so I think she’s hitting a bit of a growth spurt again. I’m glad that we see the doctor on Monday. One of the things that I have been worrying about in the last day or two has been what happens if she has a big growth spurt with the casts on. It really seems like babies can grow inches over night, and I would think that after a couple of weeks the casts must be getting a bit tight. I guess I’ll find out about that on Monday! I’m thinking I should take my baby nail clippers – it’s difficult to get her nails clipped with the casts on! 🙂