Our girls are amazing. So beautiful and just everything we could imagine they would be. Even through all the screaming, crying and sleepless nights, we cannot believe how lucky we are.
So when our pediatrician referred C to a physical therapist at four months of age, we got nervous. At our first appointment with our pediatrician, she could feel that C’s neck was stiff. Most likely it was because she was wedged up to the side of the womb, facing to the right. Plus A was dancing on top of her, so she was probably cowering in the corner. Other causes of the condition, called plagiocephaly, also includes back sleeping, prematurity, as well as the extended use of car seats, bouncy seats and swings. The condition is common with multiples because of the smaller space available in-utero.
But now that she was out in the world, C preferred to look to the right because her neck was so stiff. We began going to the physical therapist and who showed us how to do stretches with her to ease that muscle tightness and to train C to look to the left.
And because she preferred to look to the right and her head tilted a bit, C also developed a flat spot on her head. Okay, not just a spot, but an area. If you looked at her profile, she had a flat area that you couldn’t ignore. So the physical therapist taught us how to reposition her when she slept and played on the floor. We had to put everything on her left to make her look that direction. The stretching and the respositioning techniques were to see if we could get her to look naturally to the left and keep the weight off of the flat spot so her skull could grow and fill in the flat area.
We made fantastic progress, but not quickly enough. So our physical therapist referred us to Cranial Technologies for an evaluation. We met with a clinician who went over the protocol and then with an imaging specialist who took mugshots of C to show us what the shape of her head precisely looked like. C had a great time smiling for the camera, she looked like a poster child candidate for a Doc Band.
A few weeks ago, C was fitted for her Doc Band, a.k.a. The Tiara. Poor girl. She had to sit on this stool in nothing but a diaper and a mesh cap over her head. Their staff was great, our girl was cranky. The mesh cap was to smooth down any hair so that they can take precise digital surface imaging measurements to make sure the Band will fit and allow her head to grow in and fill out to its perfect shape. Apparently, they used to take cast moldings of infants heads. (I don’t even want to imagine that, it was probably extremely hard to get an infant to sit still to do that.)
I’m a proud mama. C is quite a trooper letting us stretch her out and make her do things that she doesn’t want to do. We’re only on Day 2 of wearing what we call The Tiara (it is NOT a helmet) and she seems to get the hang of it. The Tiara actually keeps in her body heat, so for the first three to seven days she has to wear minimal clothing as her body temperature readjusts. We’re also continuing our stretching exercises to maintain her range of motion.
Initially, she is supposed to wear The Tiara for about four months. If all goes well, she will be done before her first birthday.
And I must say, she looks adorable. DH is working on a design for her Tiara that will rival anything we’ve seen. We’ll post photos of his creation when it’s ready.