We tried wrapping Juniper’s leg for the first time on Thursday morning at our therapy session. I got kind of conflicting advice about when to start wrapping, and our therapist has never seen a baby as young as J, so we are sort of winging it (not the best feeling, for the record, when you're dealing with your small baby's health). Some other parents said they started wrapping at 7 weeks, some at 4 months, others waited to start until 15 months. Some staunchly advocate for starting as early as possible, others are just as adamant about waiting for awhile. Confusing. We decided that we’d try it for just a couple hours a day and see what happened.
Once we started, I understood why our therapist was hesitant to start with Juniper so young: the wrapping is really intense. First you put a stocking on to protect the skin, then you put foam on, then you use special bandages to wrap the leg.
The bandages aren’t supposed to be tight, rather it’s the layers of bandages that create the pressure to bring down the swelling. All those layers on a tiny baby are pretty overwhelming.
Juniper did really well on Thursday with the wrapping and we headed to the beach (that's normal, right? Two-month-old baby, therapy sessions 3x per week involving tons of driving around southern California, lets go surfing!), where we took the bandages off. Sand + baby + bandages seemed like a bad idea. She had them on for about two hours and it really took the swelling down, especially around her ankle.
We were really encouraged, so much so, that we went to Pizza Port to celebrate.
Today we had therapy again, and wrapped J’s leg again at the end of the session, this time hoping to stretch it to her wearing the bandages for three or four hours. J had other plans.
|J likes Pizza Port too|
She started fussing as soon as our therapist was done wrapping her, but fell asleep pretty soon after so we thought we were good. Yeah, not so much. About 20 minutes later she started screaming while we were driving, like uncontrollable, inconsolable, throat-tearing screaming. We stopped and I got in the back to start unwrapping her leg, by the time I was done my poor baby had burst a capillary in her eye from crying so hard. It was pretty terrible. Daniel and I pretty much decided that we didn’t want to go through that again anytime soon.
|A before shot|
Now we’re kind of at a stand still about how to proceed. We don’t really know how big of a difference wrapping her now will make in the future, so maybe it’s not worth it. But, what if wrapping her now will mean that her leg will look more ‘normal’ in a few years? What if by not wrapping her now we are setting her up to have a harder road down the line?
I think for now we are going to try again in a few days and see what happens. If we have a meltdown again, we’ll hold off on wrapping and reevaluate at 6 months, and again at a year.
I want Juniper to just be able to be a baby and to be happy. It is so hard to do all this to her right now when she is too little to understand what is going on and why it’s all being done to her. I worry that she won’t trust us as much anymore if we keep putting her through these kind of painful and stressful situations. I wish there was someone who could just lay out the right path we need to take with her and know what the outcome in a few years would be.
On a positive note, we had lunch with old friends today after the nuclear meltdown and they gave Juniper this sea otter.
They’re good friends already.