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My daughter Shannon was born May 22, 2002. She is first-born female, was not breech, nor is there a family history of hip dysplasia. She was diagnosed with Bilateral DDH at one week old. She wore the Pavlik Harness for four weeks. Sonogram showed that it was not working. For someone who does not know what to look for on a sonogram screen, it was as clear as day to me that the harness was not holding the top of her femurs into the hip sockets. On July 5, 2002, at six weeks old, she had a closed reduction on both hips at Stony Brook University Hospital, in New York. She was put in a spica cast and we were told she would be in it for 12 weeks (July through September, three casts total). At the first cast change on Aug 2nd, the cast was removed. It was determined that she had grown quite a bit, and made much progress over four weeks. So our ped. ortho. decided to not put another cast on her. However she went back into the harness. I was never so happy to see that harness again. The four weeks in July, trying to keep her cool and dry, felt like forever.

So for the past four months, Shannon has been wearing her harness 23 hours a day, having sonograms every four weeks, with follow ups with the ped. ortho. every five weeks.

Update: The last sonogram, one week ago, finally showed that each of her hips were above 60 degrees. We've just been through our first week of starting to finally wean out of the harness. Shannon gets to be out of the harness for 8 hours a day (12pm to 8pm)for two weeks. Beginning Thursday November 28th, which happens to be Thanksgiving Day here in the States, we'll be very thankful that Shannon begins to be out of her harness for 16 hours a day, basically only wearing it to bed. As of December 12th, she gets to come out of the harness completely!!!!!I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. We have to go back for an x-ray Dec 19th, so all of the latest postings about x-rays has been very informative.

My Shannon is 6 months old today, and I cannot tell all of you what whirlwind this past week has been like. I have finally for the first time, been able to put little stockings and little shoes on her to get her first professional pictures taken, and today I put her Christmas dress, stockings, and shoes on her to get her picture taken with Santa Clause at the mall. I know all of this may sound so silly, but I feel like so much has been missed out on for the first six months of her life. And then again, when you really think about it, what is six months out of a lifetime. It's still hard to believe sometimes that she is only six months, because sometimes we feel as though this has been going on for years. And then again, we know that there are those of you and your children who have had to deal with this for years.

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