Just want to send hugs to you and ds, Leigh Anne!!
The next while will be very challenging but you will find ways to cope!
ds is now 9 1/2 mos. He was born with severe club feet and has been in and out of full leg casts (from toes to top of thighs) since he was 24 hrs old. Club feet can usually be corrected by a series of castings but as luck would have it ds is at the 'very severe' end of the spectrum
. About 6 wks ago he had surgery. He's still in casts and will be for probably another month. After that it's leg braces for a year or two. Then probably surgery again, etc, etc.
His club feet were diagnosed during my 18 wk ultrasound and I remembered feeling really overwhelmed for a while, wondering how I was just going to do the normal things with him if he was in casts. Worrying that he would be miserable. But he's amazed us with what he's learned to do
. One nurse told me that babies are born to move and that there just ain't no way of stoppin' 'em. Ds crawled at 6 mos and now scoots around the house like lightning. He's even beginning to pull himself up on things even though he can't actually stand on the casts. Now that the discomfort resulting from surgery has subsided he seems to pretty much be back to normal.
Ds also loves water and while he can't take a bath or shower we do let him splash about in the sink. I also worried that I wouldn't be able to carry ds in sling but it's been fine. He is heavier but that just means that we can't go for such long walks. Even if you can only carry ds long enough to soothe him when he's at his unhappiest then that will help. Take the stroller and the sling out for your walks. We still co-sleep--just watch out for casts kicking you--ouch!
It's great that as a children's nurse you have knowledge of the procedure. One of the most frustrating things for me has been medical professionals underestimating the degree of pain ds would experience (I don't know if they were trying to 'protect' me from worrying or if they really didn't believe that he could be that uncomfortable). Life after the operation was hellish for about 1 1/2 wks and then started to get better. (Some of our problem was that ds would fight falling asleep even if given morphine and was also teething.) If your ds does require surgery then you really need to have people there to support you both at the hospital and at home. Even if ds will only accept comfort from you then at least they can prepare you food and keep your house from falling down around your ears!
And I hear you about not wanting to put your son through more discomfort! Ds has already experienced too much pain but I just keep trying to tell myself that it's for the best. I'm there with him either holding him or touching him and talking to him through every procedure. But yeah, it's still hard. Your bond will stay strong! Ds only started to experience separation anxiety after the trauma of the surgery. I think he's even more strongly bonded to dh and I as he has needed lots of cuddling and comfort.
I know our situations aren't exactly the same and I'm afraid I don't know too much specifically about hip dysplasia but I just wanted to give you a sense that things are do-able. It will take him some time to adjust to the cast and he's probably going to be really frustrated. Try to keep him as busy as possible and get out of the house as much as you can (Start planning now--LOL!)