Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adventures in the Spica Cast

Meet Super Livie! Here is a cell phone picture of Olivia in her spica cast. It goes all the way up to her chest with openings at her belly and the bottom for diapering. She's super cute either way, but here are some things that we've discovered have been made difficult by the cast. I'm listing them below as well as our current solutions.

1. Where do we put her? She no longer fits in the bouncers due to how wide the cast makes her legs. So during the day, we have to figure out where to set her when we can't hold her. She's cool lying on her back on the activity mat or chilling in the crib/cradle when I need to go to the bathroom. However, when we are laying low in the living room, we can't hold her all her the time. Our current solution is a bean bag chair. We were able to find one pretty cheap at Target, and in true Phillies fan chic, it's a baseball bean bag. We are still working on going places -- before she could just stay in her infant carseat but not more! So, this has made attending church or eating out with Liv near impossible... although I still argue that God would rather see Livie hanging out in a bean bag chair than no Liv at all.

2. How do we clean her? Like most casts, this one cannot get wet, but additionally, the cast has a gortex lining, which wicks away moisture from her skin in an effort to prevent rashes and discomfort. The gortex is often used in sports. Unfortunatlely when it comes in contact with lotions, soaps, creams, scents, etc., it disintegrates and becomes useless. Therefore, we cannot use baby wipes while diapering. Do you know how hard it is to find totally unscented, lotion- and soap-free disposable washcloths? After scouring the internet, we found some and special-ordered. In the meantime we used paper towels -- not recommended for long-term use as they tend to shred during rubbing. But, here's a fun extra tidbit. Since I've been eating healthier (read: more fruits and veggies), Olivia's poops are sooo much more fun! So, her bum was getting a lot of exposure to water. In order to prevent diaper rash (which can't be fixed due to the ban on creams), we blow dry her bottom. Yep, you read that right. I plugged in my extra hair dryer and after her second or third messy diaper (or more!), she gets the "spa treatment." An unexpected bonus: the hair dryer calms her down when she's hysterically crying. Who knew? By the way, we also use "Mustela." This is a product that you can purchase; it is a rinse-free cleaner. This allows us to bathe her without using water. It doesn't go under the cast, but on her arms, chest, and face. There are wipes as well as the solution shown in the picture (you need to use 100% cotton pads with it -- the disposable washcloths work but also consider cotton balls and cotton wipes used in make-up removal).

3. How the hell do we do tummy time? Ok, this one we still haven't quite figured out. The doctor and nurses very nonchalantly recommended that we put blankets under her belly/chest and she'd be fine. This has only led to Liv being faceplanted into said blankets long enough to begin wailing in discomfort. Don't get me wrong, Olivia is holding her head up well when we hold her upright, but in the suggested position, there was still too much weight/pressure pulling her head down. She just doesn't have enough strength to resist all that. I tried the boppy but that was worse because it was also putting added stress on her feet/ankles. We are currently trying to combat this by holding her on us (belly to belly) but are definitely open to suggestions.

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