Erin’s diagnosis of hyper-mobility confirmed to us what we already knew. I am not one for labels, but accept that for Erin pulling all the strands together helps. One of the biggest chicken and eggs for us is what came first the hyper-mobility or the DDH. Did the hip dislocate after birth due to her weak muscles or was it missed. It was definitely missed from the nine month check and she had all the symptoms and signs by then but whether it was from birth is just an unknown.
However one aspect of Erin’s early days and birth was how sleepy she was. Erin was and always has been a sleeper. This was a revelation to us as her brother and sister had not slept like she does. When Chloe was born I struggled to breastfeed, it was hell, I was sore had mastitis and it hurt. Yet we got there – and once sorted I loved feeding her. I fed until about 8 months and was so pleased that I had done so. Dylan was easier to feed – I knew what I was doing and again we soon settled to a feeding routine and I fed again for about the same length of time. Erin however had zero interest. I tried, I cried and suffered the baby blues as a result. I never experienced the blues with the older two and whallop it hit me hard with Erin. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t feed her. Erin lost too much weight and I was told it was hospital or topping up. Even a bottle feed would take over an hour, only for her to throw most of it back up.
Fast forward two years and she was slow to speak. I know she is bright, she understands and follows instructions. Yet she couldn’t get her words out. We started speech therapy a few months ago and at Erin’s initial appointment we discussed how due to the spica she wasn’t experiencing the world around her in a tactile way, her limited mobility would obviously have an effect on her language development. This development was also linked to the hyper-mobility which was suspected but not diagnosed at that stage. Basically the tongue is a muscle and Erin’s was weaker therefore she found it hard.
Erin now talks but the clarity goes when she attempts longer sentences. Our role as parents is to model, we repeat what Erin says but it is important not to force her to repeat us. We just need to model the sounds.
The second thing we need to do is extend Erin’s vocabulary so if she talks to us in a very short sentence we extend the sentence by adding in more details for. Again if she copies great. We have noticed a difference since doing this and last weeks appointment recognised an improvement which is really pleasing. With your third child it’s easy to take things for granted, we are busy we have so much going on with the older two, but making sure we all support Erin’s language development is paramount.
Next challenge is potty training now we are out of spica!