Monday, August 26, 2013

Five Months Old and Cranial Remodeling

About a month and a half ago, I noticed Emily Grace had a flat spot on the side of her head.  It wasn’t very noticeable, but it was there.  Two weeks later, my mom timidly mentioned the flat spot.  It had become flatter and larger.  It was starting to look like it might be a problem.
“Do you think you should call the doctor about her head?” 
“She has a check up in two weeks and I’ll mention it then,” I answered.  I wasn’t worried.  I mean, babies head’s are squishy.  I figured it would just squish back into place.

About four week ago, Emily Grace had her four month check up.  I asked Dr. Traynham about her head shape.  Our pediatrician is conservative and has been practicing for a long time so when he examined her skull and said we need to see a specialist to fit Emily Grace for a helmet, I was honestly surprised. He went on to explain that not only was her head flat, her ears were no longer symmetrical and her forehead had begun to protrude forward on one side.  Basically, her head isn’t flat so much as her skull has completely shifted forward. I held my baby girl and pictured her in a helmet. It was a picture that made me sad.

So here’s how it works. If a baby has a misshapen head, called plagiocephaly, they are fitted for a helmet that is actually a brace on the inside.  These braces slowly mold the skull back into a shape that is safe.  If the baby’s head isn’t treated, the bones of their face won’t line up and they may experience jaw pain or chronic headaches. 

As I waited for the phone call referring us to the specialist, I tried not to think about braces and helmets and specialist co-pays.  The referral came, but was for an out of network office.  I waited again.  A few days later, I got another call for another specialist, but I didn’t call them back.  I was hoping her head would just start getting better, but it wasn’t.  Finally, Jason told me I really need to call and make an appointment.  He said we just need to get it over with and get the treatment started.  Her head was still severally flat, so I called and made an appointment for a week later. 
This is when I began to pray. I mean really ask the Lord to heal her head. Throughout the day I would put my hands around her little head and ask God to make her head round again.  I prayed against pain and deformity. I got a text from my mom that said, “Praying for Emily Grace and remembering how the Lord healed her big brother.”

I know a funny head isn’t really a big deal, but my mama’s heart didn’t want to Emily Grace to go through anything uncomfortable.  

Her head began to change shape.  The flat spot was becoming less flat, but it still wasn’t right.  We took her to the front of the church and had the elders lay hands on her and pray for her to be healed. At home Ty and I laid hands on her, too.  When I asked him to pray for Sister, he babbled an earnest request with his eyes closed and his hand on her head.
Her head shape continued to improve.

Last Friday went to see the specialist. I walked into a waiting room full of small leg braces and was thankful we were only there for a helmet. The technician put a sock with a face hole (I know, what?) over her head and placed her in a machine for a 2 second scan.

Here’s a picture of Emily Grace in her helmet:


 Oh wait, she didn’t get a helmet. 
 Her flat spot is still moderate, but her ears are almost perfectly lined up again, just a few millimeters off.  I can’t believe how much her head shape has improved in only two weeks. It is a miracle. We go back for another scan in five weeks and I’m believing her head will be even better and she won’t ever have to wear a helmet. 

More Emily Grace, Five Months Old:

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