Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oh No! Torticollis????

Oh No!! Torticollis??? 
That was basically my reaction when I diagnosed my son based on his symptoms....

This is my story.

My Aunt called me and suggested that I do range of motion excercises with my brand new baby because she said he appeared to "favor his left side". I had no clue what that meant so I went straight to Google to see what it meant for a baby to favor one side over another.  

I clicked on one website after another getting more and more overwhelmed by the second. My baby was perfect. He was a newborn so I assumed all newborns had wobbly necks so I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. One website said babies can develop Torticollis by abnormal positioning in the womb. That's when it hit me, my baby twisted himself around at 38 weeks in the Transverse position. Transverse lie is when the baby is lying across your tummy We tried everything to get him to turn head down but nothing worked. My doctor suggested that we do an emergency C-Section because he was begininng to show signs of distress.

Fast forward to month 1... My baby hated tummy time. He'd cry after a minute of being on his tummy so I wouldn't do it as often as I should have because he hated it. I didn't really understand how important it was for strengthing the neck muscles at the time.

One of the rare occasions when he wouldn't cry during tummy time.

As he got older it became more obvious that he did have a mild case of torticollis.

 During his doctor visit I explained to his pediatritian that I was concerned. she insisted that he was okay and  tried to persuade me to just continue tummy time and everything would be fine. As soon as I got home I called her office and pretty much demanded that she write a "script" referral over to a physical therapist for my son.

After the initial assessment it was concluded that my baby indeed had a mild form of Torticollis. 

Signs & Symptoms

Babies with torticollis will act like most other babies except when it comes to activities that involve turning. A baby with torticollis might:
  • tilt the head in one direction (this can be difficult to see in very young infants)
  • prefer looking at you over one shoulder instead of turning to follow you with his or her eyes
  • if breastfed, have difficulty breastfeeding on one side (or prefers one breast only)
  • work hard to turn toward you and get frustrated when unable turn his or her head completely

How is it treated?

Your child's doctor may refer you to a physical therapist or an orthopedic surgeon (bone and joint doctor).
Congenital muscular torticollis is typically treated with stretching and positioning. You'll need to perform these exercises on your baby several times a day. The moves aren't complicated, but make sure you understand them and are comfortable doing them before you leave the doctor's or physical therapist's office.
If your baby has muscular torticollis, you'll want to provide as many opportunities as possible for her to turn her head to the side that she normally doesn't turn to. If she has trouble turning her head to the right, for example, you could lay her on the changing table so you're standing at her right side. And position her in the crib so she has to look to her right to see anyone approaching her.
It's also important to give your baby plenty of time on her tummy when she's awake, to help develop the muscles in her neck.

My baby had the best Physical Therapists ever. They specialized in children so they had toys and balls to distract the children. They taught my husband techniques to use at home. I am so grateful he had a mild case that only required one month of treatment twice a week.

They fell in love with my baby and even used a few pictures of him on their website. He made a 100% full recovery. It was a good thing he was treated early while his bones were still "soft".

My little guy is 17 months and thriving. He's walking, running, climbing and getting into everything! lol! I felt the need to share my story because I believe we go through things in order to help someone else in the future. I pray that this post is a Blessing to someone else going through the same thing. 

My sweetie pie!!! 

He's the III so we call him "Third"

This video has great tips and info!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Did the Big Chop and Now My Hair is Growing Like Crazy!! 5 Tips to Help with the Awkward Stage.

The Big Chop was the most liberating exciting part of going natural for me. I felt empowered and excited about my new journey to returning to my natural texture. My hair was curly, coily and obeyed my every command. UNTIL....It started GROWING!!!

 Suddenly, this new hair texture that was growing out of my head was becoming a nuisance. I had no idea what to do with it and it was becoming more of a challenge every day.

These 5 Tips Helped Me Tremendously!!

1.) Stop comparing your hair to the natural hair pictures floating around social media.
These pictures are usually of people who have been natural for sometime and they have had the trail and error of finding what works for them. In most cases your hair will look nothing like your hair crush! Just face it, you are a newbie so you have alot to learn about how to care for YOUR hair.

2.) Except your texture for what it is.
To be honest I thought that since my hair was a nice grade when it was permed I assumed it would be well behaved and manageable in its natural state. WRONG!!! My hair does not curl and wave up with water only. Actually it puffs up like a marshmallow and looks dry even when its not. My hair needs to be moisturized DAILY and thrives when coated with butters and creams immediately after its wet. That is how my hair grows. Oil/water combo is my best friend. I didn't learn that over night.

Headbands, bows, flowers, barrettes, banana clips etc. can help spruce up your dull hairstyle. I hid behind my hair for so long that I felt naked without it. Sometimes I felt like I looked like a little boy with my TWA so a cute little headband or flower on the side made me look and feel more feminine.

This was my hardest stage.. That hair in the back drove me crazy!! It was two short to put in a ponytail and too long to brush it down flat. I almost cut off the back and sides for a more tapered look but I'm glad I didn't because its down my back now!! WOO HOO!

4.) Hoop it Up!
Hoop earrings have always been a staple for me. Whether my hair was relaxed or natural big hoops helped liven up any look... Even if you aren't into big earrings a simple pair of stud/button earrings can add pizazz to your hair and outfit.

5.) Have fun!
The way our hair looks is important but it's really not that serious. YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAIR!  At the end of the day its just hair. If you plan on rocking the TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) for a while or if you're trying to grow out your hair, JUST HAVE FUN! My husband is a Master Barber on the side so he would shape up my fro when it looked lopsided. My friend said Super Cuts shaped up her fro for $8 bucks!! Twist it, coil it, braid it, weave it up or whatever. Just have fun and enjoy this journey. The hair gurus we crush and salivate over took time to develop their hair also. It doesn't happen over night. Don't give up. Hang in there. *wink* :-)