As a first time parent I desire to do everything perfectly for my child the problem is I don’t know everything [and I never will]. I am simply following the directions from people smarter than me and trying not to worry. However, from the day Nixon was born [almost a year ago…another blog post on that soon] he had a big head. He had a strong dislike for tummy-time and loved being swaddled to sleep; as a result he spent a lot of time on his back & the back of his head. By the time he was about seven months old we were told that he had Plagiocephaly – aka Flat Head Syndrome and would need an orthotic helmet to correct it. These words hit my mama heart hard. I kept thinking, ‘I’ve failed my son already, I didn’t work hard enough at tummy-time or play enough with him or read enough books on how to avoid this and now he’s going to look ridiculous and people are going to judge my parenting skills.’
I remember crying the minute we left the appointment and immediately came home and googled this new word and all the images of baby’s with helmets, this did not help my anxiety. Regardless of my anxiety, I knew this was the best for Nixon and his development, so I had to put my pride away. I took him to get fitted [thankfully the helmets were smaller than the ones I had seen online] and a couple weeks later he started wearing it for 23 hours a day, for how long – we didn’t know.
The first couple weeks I was very hesitant to take him out and was even defensive when people would look at him. I wanted to have a sign that read ‘just fixing my flat head, I’m still a normal boy’. As the weeks past I began to realize how much all of this was an issue with my insecurities rather than the reality that he simply had a flat head and that I should have been thankful for the technology to fix it! Once I let go of my pride and insecurities of what people thought about Nixon, I was able to just enjoy this season. I was able to explain to people with confidence when they asked or shrug off the rude comments [there were plenty. trust me].
The best news came when we went for check-ups and we were told that his head was growing faster than most children his age which meant that he likely wouldn’t be needing his helmet full-time for much longer. Even though I had accepted the helmet and the good it was doing, I was glad to possibly getting rid of it. Within six weeks Nixon was needing to only wear it for long drives and when he slept [basically any extended time spent on the back of his head]. The doctor is extremely impressed with the growth and I can finally say that we are in the clear of needing the helmet.
For Nixon, the helmet never bothered him, he went about it days as if nothing had changed and I wish I had that attitude from the beginning. However, this season was hard, harder than I wish to admit but it revealed a lot of insecurities and pride issues in my life and for that I’m grateful because through it all I’ve learnt to be a better person. Mum’s let’s be kind and encourage one another because you’re doing a great job no matter what your child faces, what milestones they’re reaching or aren’t reaching yet.
January 2017 April 2017 June 2017