Hip Hip Hooray – Harper finds her feet

When will Harper Finally find her feet?

The biggest question I’ve had on my lips since Harper came out of her hip spica plaster cast is when is she going to start walking?

After doing a huge amount of research there really didn’t seem to be any consistency for an answer to this question.  Obviously I knew that having never walked before starting her hip treatment this would make the process longer.  Harper not only had her plaster cast on for almost 4 months but previous to that she endured months of treatment with a pavlic harness and a hip splint.

I updated on Harper’s progress only a few weeks post spica removal because she was making leaps and bounds in her progress.  Only 2 weeks after having her spica removal she was pulling up to stand and attempting to walk with her v-tech walker.  Unfortunately the improvements stopped there for quite some time.  Harper seemed quite reluctant to bear weight for any longer for a few seconds.  I decided not to push her immediately as I imagine her hips can’t have felt too nice after all of her previous treatment.


Little over a month ago I decided to start using some of Chases’s old exercises i was recommended for him to develop healthy hips when he was Harper’s age.  Harper was never assigned physio post hip treatment which I felt was a little odd given how tight her hips would be.

After only 1 day of simple encouragement Harper decided she would weight-bear a little.  Once Harper realised weight-bearing was a possibility she was climbing and standing at everything she could get her hands on.  Slides included!

Eventually Harper started easily pushing round her v-tech walker and was happy to take some steps as long as someone was holding her hand.  Harper seemed very reluctant to walk without any assistance though.  Despite all my best encouragement tricks she wouldn’t have it.  I had one last trick up my sleeve.

Harper’s turning point

Now Chase is back at school and Brooke is a regular visitor to nursery I decided to take Harper to local SureStart centre with other children.  This is the first time we have attended without Harper being in a splint or hip spica.  At the beginning of the session she sat and watched the other children playing about.  Within a minute she stood up and then toddled off around the room copying them!  I was amazed.  I sometimes wonder if she’s seen Chase crawling about at home and thought to herself, “Chase doesn’t walk – walking must be overrated”  It was wonderful to finally see her take her first steps even if she was a very tired grumpy baby by the end of the session.

So here’s to a major milestone for Harper.  Having a child that will never walk unaided means I don’t regard walking as the be all and end all but given the difficulties she’s had with her hips so far I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased.  In total it took over 15 weeks from cast removal to reach walking unaided.

Harper’s next appointment

With less than 3 weeks to go until her first scan since her hip spica removal appointment I’m pleased that she will be able to walk into the Doctor’s office.  Now I’ve just got to remain optimistic and hope that she’s grown into her shallow hip sockets.

I’ll be updating on the blog as soon as we’ve had our next scan with the results.  Follow me on my Facebook page or subscribe by email on the right hand side of the blog to keep up to date.

Hip Spica removal – what to expect 2 weeks on

What to expect in the first few weeks after hip spica removal

The start of this week marked Harper’s 2 weekhip spica removal.  In just two weeks Harper’s physical development has come in leaps and bounds.  It’s not all been plain sailing though.  A little background first of all.  Before Harper had her hips spica on she was able to sit, crawl and pull to stand.  You can read more about Harper’s initial spica journey here.

Initial Problems post hip spica

As expected Harper’s legs and tendons were all pretty stiff after being encased in hip spica for almost 4 months.  Harper immediately after removal was pretty cranky about moving her legs. Within 2 hours my happy smily Harper was fully back and she was happy to kick her legs about.  She was particularly happy to be able to touch her legs, she wasn’t even bothered by other people touching them.  I decided to give Harper a dose of regular paracetamol for the first day out of her cast.  This helped with the initial aches and pains of getting all her joints and tendons moving again.  Regular warm baths also helped to make her joints feel soothed and supported.

Skin Issues

As previously mentioned Harper was happy to have her skin touched, but her skin didn’t feel the same way!  The day after removal Harper came up in an allergic rash ALL over her body where the cast had previously been.  The rash was mild on the stomach area but her legs were red raw.  Harper was scratching it so much that I knew it must be itchy.  We had to keep her legs fully covered to ensure she didn’t scratch herself to the point of bleeding.  Out came the faithful bottle of Piriton for children!  This helped enormously with the itching and kept her calm.  Looking back I don’t think dressing her in shorts was such a good idea – despite how cute she looked!

It took almost the whole 2 weeks for the rash to disappear.  I failed to realise just how sensitive her skin would be after her treatment and hadn’t even considered this to be a problem.

Physical Issues – Sitting

I’m. It sure why but I had this strange idea that after the cast was removed Harper would at least be able to sit unaided.  Harper had lost a lot of muscle tone from her stomach and back and wasn’t able to sit very well at all.

A breastfeeding cushion tucked up behind Harper kept her propped up but even then her balance still wasn’t very good.  It took a good three days for Harper’s core muscle tone to return.  Once that happened though she was able to sit well unaided.  This meant Harper could start work on learning how to crawl again.


Harper had no problems crawling in a hip spica so I expected again (incorrectly) that she’d be able to crawl straight away.  Once Harper had learned to sit unaided I would say it took another 2 days to lean how to crawl again.  Her preferred method of crawling though is still commando crawling with that all familiar frog leg position that she was in for so long.

Prior to the hip spica cast Harper was able to crawl on her hands and knees.  I wonder if she will ever re-learn crawling on her hands and knees at all.  Even if she doesn’t though it’s not a massive problem, as hopefully she will soon be moving on to….


Before cast removal Harper was already pulling to stand.  Her technique was a little on the floppy side though.  After a week of cast removal Harper has started to pull to stand again.

At the 2 week point Harper can easily pull to stand on almost any surface and has even started crusing the furniture.  Then earlier today she took her first ever steps using her V-Tech First Steps baby walker!

Looking Foward

I had no idea that Harper  would progress so quickly.  As a Mum I’m thrilled and so proud that she’s pushed through all the discomfort.  I cant wait to see how she will be doing in the next 2 weeks time.  Let’s just hope that all the weight she’s now bearing on her hips means that she’s going to carve out some nice deep hip sockets to avoid any further surgery!


Hip Spica removal – cast off day!

Cast off day finally came!

So today, after 15 long arse weeks, Harper finally had her hip spica cast removed.  Our appointment was actually quite early in the morning at 10.40 but all the way over at Maidstone hospital.  When we arrived to the clinic we were given two forms, oe for the plaster room and one for X-ray.  Much to my surprise we were sent straight down and into the plaster room to have Harper’s cast removed immediately.

1 year old in pink hip spica cast

Cast Removal

unfortunately I wasn’t able to film Harper’s cast being removed but I was allowed to take some pictures.  First they cut into all the tape and padding around the bottom  of each legs and around the nappy area

hip spica removal - cast being removed
Harper was quite happy and chilled at this point.  After this came the special plaster removal saw!  This was about as noisy as a vacuum cleaner.  Harper is fine with loud noise but she did not like the vibrations is made as they cut down the side of her legs and had a little bit of a moan before realising it wasn’t too bad and then stopping.  The saw somehow cuts through fibreglass plaster cast but doesnt cut skin if it comes into contact with it. Continue reading

hip spica equipment smart trike playing outdorrs

The last Day

The last day

It’s been 15 weeks exactly today since I have seen my baby’s legs.  15 weeks since I last had a proper squishy cuddle with my baby.  And 15 weeks since I’ve been able to watch her having fun splashing about in the bath.  Tomorrow is cast off day!  I’ve just put Harper to sleep in her hip spica cast for the very last time.

The last time I saw Harper’s legs, 15 weeks ago today!

The past 15 weeks haven’t been too difficult, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been a walk in the park either. Continue reading

Hip Spica Equipment – What do you really need?

Hip Spica EQUIPMENT – what you do and don’t need

It’s less than 2 weeks to go until Harper gets her cast off and I get to have actual real squishy cuddles with her again (as opposed to trying to cuddle an awkward lump of fibreglass).  To help all of you about to embark your hip spica journey or for those of you that are curious I’m summing up my best and worst equipment purchases!

There’s several lists out there that will details all the equipment you will need.  Being a total control freak I researched everything I could possibly think of and had everything purchased and ready before Harper’s first operation.  The physio in the hospital were even a little bit shocked at how much we already had prepared!  But here’s the thing, did we need it all?  Read on to find out my best and worst purchases for our experience with a child in a hip spica.  I’ve decided to concentrate on equipment you might think you need but don’t, as well as things you may not have even thought about!

Hip Stix

What do you use it for?

A Hip stix is a tool used for changing nappies whilst your child is in a hip spica.  I don’t not possibly think we would have found nappy changes anywhere near as easy without this.  In Harper’s first cast it was impossible to get her nappy flat and up inside her cast.  The hip stix allows you to simply thread a nappy down the back of the hip spica, meaning you are just that little bit safer from the dreaded poonami blowout.  In Harper’s second cast there was a lot more room and I probably could have changed her nappy without it – but it was just so quick and simple to do we carried on using it.

The Cost

These cost me a small fortune.  A lady in the states makes them and they are available on Etsy here.  They are annoyingly just over price that customs slap on VAT and Royal Mail stick an extra charge on top so in total they cost me  about £40!  I’ve since managed to make my own for a fraction of the price.  (If you’re interested in knowing how to make your own subscribe to the blog as that blog post will be along soon!)

Good or Bad Purchase?

It’s a bit of both if I’m honest. Continue reading

Harper’s Cast Update

Cast Change Catastrophe

Well haven’t I been a rubbish blogger of late!  There’s been just so much going on in the family blogging hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind. I do feel like we’re way overdue an update on Harper’s hip dysplasia journey!

Our initial Cast Change appointment

For those of you that follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will have noticed she still has her cast on.  Harper was due to have her first cast change done at the end of March.  When she arrived at the hospital and they did their checks I already had a small feeling that they might turn her down for the procedure ad she had previously had a temperature the few days before.  Her temperature was fine but her heart rate was very elevated.  Whilst we were waiting around her breathing had become very quick and shallow.  As she was too ill to operate we went back home to wait for her to get better and get another hospital date.

An unexpected trip to hospital

2 days later we ended up being taking to A&E in an ambulance as she was really struggling to breathe.  After being assessed we were sent for a chest x-ray. The pediatrician was very concerned she might have pneumonia.  Thankfully the chest x-ray was clear of pneumonia but it showed an extremely bad case of bronchioliitis.  We were sent home but told to keep  very watchful eye on her as it could easily turn into pneumonia.  Two more days and she started to finally recover.  By the time it came round to her next procedure date at the start of April she had recovered and was well enough to go under for the hip spica change. Continue reading

Top 5 benefits of looking after a child in a hip spica cast


You’re either reading this out of curiosity or you may have a child in a hip spica or one soon to go into one.  I can personally think of loads of downsides of Harper being in a hip spica cast.  So instead I’m writing a top 5 reasons of positives for parents with children in hip spicas. Please note this is supposed to be a light-hearted post and view points are my own.  I realise not all parents will feel the same way. Continue reading

Hip Spica – Operation Day is here!

Hip Spica Day Zero

So the day finally arrived, Harper had her hip spica surgery this morning.  Harper’s procedure is called a closed reduction which is where they manipulate her hips back into place and then apply a plaster cast known as a hip spica.

infant nil by mouth but smiling sitting in hospital cot bed waiting her operation

the first checks

Harper arrived early this morning at 7:45 (10 minutes late – oops).  Having been nil by mouth since last night she was surprisingly chirpy Continue reading

Pre-Op Realness


Well we had Harper’s pre-op yesterday meaning the countdown to her hip surgery is now on, I’m feeling a little bit nervous and it all feels a little bit more real now, and I’m still convinced this won’t be the end of it and she’ll be needing further treatment down the line but I’m trying hard just to deal with what I’ve got I front of me instead of worrying about things that haven’t even occurred yet (my speciality!) Continue reading

Hip Dysplasia and Harper – Hip Hip…..HoHum

Hip Displaspia and Harper – how it all started

I was never expecting to end up going through our hip dysplasia journey,  everything so far has been a complete shock.  But first to how it all started;

February 2016 my 3rd spawn of satan bundle of joy was born, I’d stupidly bravely opted to have a VBAC as I remember the surgeon at my planned election telling me I had perfect textbook anatomy (I’m presuming he was talking about my insides) and couldn’t see that any reason I wouldn’t be able to Continue reading