Thank you all so much for your comments, texts, tweets, emails, and phone calls yesterday. I could really feel them and so much of my worry was taken away. Todd and I have a fairly big decision to make, so thank you for your prayers.
Our sweet Hayes is healthy and wonderful, and we are so grateful. We have so much to be thankful for, and while this situation is a big thing in our lives, it may not seem like a big thing to someone outside of our family.
A few weeks ago at Hayes’s doctors appointment, his pediatrician told me that she wanted to refer us to Cranial Technologies for a consultation to see if Hayes needed to wear a doc band to correct his head shape.
This was something that I had been concerned about for the past few months. Hayes’s head is flat. And it’s really not just a little bit flat. It’s actually flat. Around the time he was 3 months old I noticed that his head was getting a little flat. And as time has gone on, our pediatrician has told us that she wasn’t concerned yet, but wanted to keep an eye on it each month at his appointments.
And as time has gone on, it just hasn’t improved. It’s not obvious when you look at him from the front, but the profile view makes it pretty obvious.
While Hayes can crawl now and he has been on all fours and sitting up for a few months now, his head still hasn’t rounded out at all on its own. When he’s awake, he’s not on his back at all. But when he’s asleep, he still sleeps flat on his back.
Tummy time “practice” never really phased Hayes. He would actually just lie down and doze off when I’d put him on his tummy on his mat. He’s just the most content kid.
When Hayes was 2.5 months old, he started rolling over. At this time, we stopped swaddling him and hoped he would start sleeping on his stomach. But he never did. He loves sleeping on his back (and sometimes his side) and is comfortable sleeping like that. We wish he would just flip on over and be a tummy sleeper.
The clinic we visited yesterday is in Charlotte, which is about 90 miles from our house. We chatted with a few friends who have gone through all of this to find out a little bit about what we could expect.
They took some photos of Hayes’s head from a few different angles so we could really get a good look at what his head looks like.
Mommies always see their babies as perfect. Seeing the pictures of Hayes taken at the clinic were pretty startling. It looked a lot worse than I’ve ever noticed before.
We saw the physical therapist and after watching Hayes and talking with us, she recommended the doc band treatment for 3-4 months. She said that he has Brachycephaly.
We are encouraged that the treatment can correct his head shape. And it’s actually a really light weight apparatus. It only weighs about 7 ounces, I think. So I don’t think it would really bother him all that much.
He would need to wear it 23 hours per day. And it’s imperative that he wear it while he naps, sleeps, and rides in the car seat.
But then the physical therapist told us that it’s up to us. This is our decision to make. She recommends he wear the doc band, but pointed out that if he doesn’t wear it he will still be healthy. This is an appearance issue. But he’s a boy and won’t have tons of hair to cover up his head shape and the doc band is more often recommended for boys because of that. She categorized Hayes’s head in the “moderate to severe” category.
So, the doc band is recommended. But he’ll be fine if he doesn’t wear it. It’s also really expensive and insurance rarely covers it. And the clinic is 90 miles away and treatment would require visits to the clinic every two weeks.
Then there’s the concern that your baby is “different” and will be wearing something that causes people to stare and ask questions. He’s just a baby and he’ll never know. And none of that matters, I know. But my mama heart breaks a little bit when I think that people may whisper about him.
The benefits of wearing the doc band definitely outweigh our concerns, worries, and the hefty price tag.
At this point, we’re waiting to hear back about the insurance situation and then we’ll decide based on the information we have.
Todd and I went back and forth about whether or not I should blog about this, but I’m hoping that I can connect with moms who have gone through this or who are going through this currently.
Has anyone been through this before?
I know that we would probably regret not going through with treatment, but I know we wouldn’t regret doing it for Hayes.