I owe everyone such an apology for not having updated Mia's blog !!! I do apologize !!!!
Mia had her second surgery back in March, and well....the honest to goodness truth of it, is that her second surgery was just sooo ugly, that I really couldn't make myself write about it. Now, after much prayer and having plunged myself into several others projects, it's better. It doesn't upset me as much, mostly because I see my blessings. I'm choosing to focus on those !! So, a condensed version of her second surgery (and, pleeeease use this information to make yourself aware of what is out there, I believe knowledge is power, even if the knowledge is scary, and ugly !!...but, whatever you do, please do NOT think or assume that what went on with Mia is what will happen with your little one !!!!!!!!!! Every child and every ddh is unique, and Mia's case just happens to be one of the more severe.)
Before I share, I will tell you that Mia is doing AMAZING !!!!!!! ;)
Her second surgery caught us all off guard. The time in between surgeries, while not long (and she was pretty much immobile), proved problematic, because it gave her left femur time to "drift" farther up. By surgery time, her left femur was well up under her ribs. Apparently, you (the surgeon) only has so many 'chances' to get the hip in, before it is rendered pretty much useless. Our amazing surgeon spent those quickly. He was then faced with a choice....leave her hip out permanently, or "take out her left leg"....after much soul searching, he made the VERY difficult choice to take out her left leg, because he truly felt in his heart that doing so would be temporary, and would prove best for her over-all quality of life. To "take out her left leg", meant that he paralyzed her. I saw the pain in his eyes as he explained it to us....I knew how hard this choice was for him...but, I also knew that my baby was paralyzed. A lot to process. He warned us the paralysis could take years to go away.....GOD IS AWESOME, and on day 6 post-surgery, Mia moved her big toe !! Today, Mia's paralysis is 100% gone !! ;) While we were still processing the paralysis, we jump to day 2 post surgery....this is when Mia began to 'crash'....all of her vitals were just.....well, she was in real trouble !! They called for an immediate transfusion to save her.....after tears, praying, biting fingers nails, (and I think, quite truthfully I may even have been physically sick) she responded to the transfusion, and recovered. Near death will definitely put perspective on paralysis....I remember thinking..."just save her....I don't care if she can't walk....I need her here with me....just leave her with me!"....we knew surgery ran risks....all surgery does....we are just so grateful.....so..soooo grateful that surgery #3 (technically it was her 3rd, since her 2nd was a cast change/arthrogram) is behind us....so grateful that Mia is back to walking, running, jumping, playing and dancing....so grateful for so much !!! We consider that surgery a great success. Yes, her legs are still different lengths, and always will be....yes, she still walks with a "swag" and a little limp....yes, she still has pain....however.....the pain is soooooooooo much better than where it was, as are the swag and limp !! She's getting there, and she'll be better than ever !!!! We take her back into surgery in February to remove the metal in both legs....then another surgery for 'tweaking' a year after. Hip dysplasia is not quick run....it is in fact a 'marathon', and you must pace yourself taking one step at a time !!! ;)
One of the projects I have poured myself into as my way of working through things is the new book. I firmly believe that all of the anger and frustration I was feeling needed to be channeled....it needed to be put to some good use so that it didn't not consume me or my family. What better way than to channel all of it back onto hip dysplasia !!! Let's take all the ugly and use it for something good and positive !!! Let's help other Mom/Dads & little ones be a little less afraid of the road ahead....let's make a road sign....let's help point the way.....let's spread some hope..... ;)
And, so....after almost a year, Hope, the hip hippo was born !!! ;) She is a sweet little hippo, around 3 or so, so very much a toddler, who is diagnosed with hip dysplasia. The book takes her through her diagnosis, surgery, casting and recovery and I am so proud to say has been very well received !!!! To hear how Hope is helping to explain things to the little ones....help Moms & Dads understand what they may be up against, as well as help siblings and other children understand better what some go through....well, I am just amazed !! Within 2 weeks of her release, she jumped to #3 on the publisher's best sellers list, was #1 on 'Amazon's Hot New Releases' in both of her categories, and was in the top 10 of Amazon's Best Seller's list in her categories.....I tell you this not because it has anything to do with me.....I tell you so that you can see how much of a need there is for hope against hip dysplasia !! I am thrilled that HOPE is filling such a void, but I am heartbroken to realize how long that void has been there, and how many need her.
I have to say to my "partner in crime", Julie, that without her, Hope never would have happened !!! And, without our dear friend, Cherie Turner, HOPE wouldn't have come to life !! She drew her perfectly and I fell in love with her face, immediately !!!! lol.....most importantly, God. Without God and his grace, HOPE couldn't have been born. God is the source of all hope.....and He, himself wanted this book done. It is His idea....his words...and He has brought her to fruition. He touches people through her (HOPE), and I am just so privileged that he gave me the grace to not be consumed by that "poor me" feeling that I had....and that, He allowed me to play a small role in HOPE's being !!!! ;)
Here is the link, if you would like to purchase Hope, the hip hippo.....this link goes to our publisher's site, but please, please know (especially if you are international) that Hope is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble !!!!
Aside from what is needed for marketing/advertising type blah, blah, blah.....all proceeds from the sale of HOPE go to the:
Purchasing HOPE directly benefits those with hip dysplasia by helping to fund further research and spread awareness !!!!!!!!!!! ;)
God bless you, each and all....you are always in our heart & prayers....and we are so grateful to you for choosing to be a miracle for our Mia !!!!!
With a Mommy's grateful and humbled heart,