Talk to Mums is all about making yourself a HERO to your children and your family, just in a small way by providing them with information on great new products, and a new way of enjoying life, and experiencing it through those great brands.
There are so many mums and dads out there that are everyday heroes too, and we want to bring you their stories too on this blog, when we can. Our first story comes from the amazing, Emma Bradley, whose life changed when her daughter, Erin, was born.
Having three children was always in the life plan, and we were blessed when number three was born. In many ways Erin was the easiest of my babies, and she slotted into family life with ease. Her favourite thing to do was sleep, which was a novelty compared to her siblings; Chloe and Dylan. However, as Erin got older she continued to sleep more than average and not be as active as her peers.
Initially her lack of mobility did not concern me, despite mentioning it to the health visitor, at her nine month check. I was reassured that Erin would be monitored, especially as the health visitor noticed that Erin’s thigh creases were not symmetrical and she would not weight bare.
After this ,every time I took Erin to the GP I mentioned her lack of mobility, but was told she was still young and within normal ranges. When Erin finally started walking, it became clear her foot turned in, and she limped. Fast forward more appointments and eventually an X-ray ordered by a paediatrician confirmed a late diagnosis of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).
I knew very little about DDH, but quickly found out that Erin would be having extensive surgeries and spending months in a spica cast. A spica is a plaster cast that goes from tummy to ankles on both legs.
The more I researched about DDH, the angrier I initially became. Erin had shown the signs of DDH from birth, but it was never picked up. The late diagnosis has had a negative impact on treatment because if picked up at birth over 90% of babies are treated successfully with a pavlik harness. There are no operations and the long term outcomes are really positive.
We never had the chance to be fixed through non-invasive methods. Instead, Erin endured six operations over a year, including one five hour operation. Bone grafts were taken to build her a new hip socket.
During this time, I took a year’s unpaid leave from teaching and I started campaigning for better awareness and training. My blog Emma and 3 took a new direction as I wrote about the Signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in toddlers and the treatment we were facing.
Still, I felt that more could be done, especially in educating others about DDH. I have never heard of it during my two other pregnancies, and I never really question the hip health checks that are undertaken shortly after the baby’s birth.
I began fundraising for a national charity, including running a half marathon. I continued to write about DDH, and this led me to speaking at a new-born screening conference for health professionals. I made many cry with our experience, and I hope they now consider DDH sooner when looking at babies who don’t move much. I have also been on the national news and breakfast TV discussing DDH, and raising awareness of safe swaddling and safe baby wearing.
This also led to a change of career for me because Erin was later diagnosed with metatarsus abdductus and hypermobility syndrome. She still gets very fatigued, and as a family we decided for her to be most successful at schoo,l we needed to remove the before and after school care. This has worked really well, and I started a second blog Mums Savvy Savings.
Blogging has given me the freedom to be self-employed; it allows me to be at home with Erin and the older two.
Blogging is the ideal job for a busy mum like myself, who needs to earn good money, but have the flexibility to work the hours I choose. In order to help other parents, I have also written a book on blogging and how you can make money from it. The book Blogging Your Way To Riches is available on Amazon and via our website Blogging Your Way To Riches.
So this is Emma’s story – I am sure that you would agree that Emma and her little Erin are definitely worthy of their HERO status. If you know anyone who is pregnant, or has a little one, do make them aware of the signs of DDH. It can make a huge difference, as Emma says, to catch it early.
Do YOU have a story you would like to share with us about how you were a hero, or someone you know is? It can be something simple, such as making sure you made a Christmas production, to something a little more complicated like Emma. Whatever is it, we would love to hear from you, just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.