This sweet face...
seems to be permanently stuck in this position.
I knew Maddie hated tummy time and rarely lifted her head.
I knew she tensed up so much during tummy time that she would cry and roll over.
I knew she always had trouble nursing in certain positions.
I knew she lagged behind her brother and sister in trunk control, tracking, and following voices.
And yet, it took a friend of a friend at a play date, who just happened to be an occupational therapist, to put it all together: torticollis. The OT immediately recognized it just by holding Maddie. She gently initiated the conversation with me that something was a bit off with our sweet girl.
Since the conversation with the OT, I have noticed that our little runt never uses her neck to look up. Her head is always looking down and she strongly favors her left side. It makes perfect sense considering she was our smallest Baby C, who was shoved up in my ribs for the final weeks of pregnancy and the last to be delivered.
The OT showed me some simple stretches to do and suggested setting up therapy at home. For the past week, I have tilted Maddie's head in various positions (ear to shoulder and chin to shoulder) at every diaper change. She doesn't tolerate them especially well and I'm not sure how aggressive I am supposed to be.
Keep in mind, the babies have not seen a pediatrician since 1 month because they would not accept our insurance cards. Medicaid STILL has not sent the updated cards with the correct Primary Care Physician.
After a little bit of online research and talking to other moms, I decided to take Maddie to my chiropractor who specializes in pediatric and maternal care. He was a lifesaver throughout both of my full term pregnancies. We had our first visit today. He is the only chiropractor I've ever gone to, so I have no clue if this is the norm or not. Nevertheless, here's what he does:
He runs this instrument slowly down the spine. The two probes detect heat. If there's a big difference in temperatures between the left and right, it indicates a misalignment of the spine. He uses a special pencil to mark on the skin where the differences are so he knows precisely where to make the adjustments.
We go back on Wednesday, then again on Friday. He was very pleased that I brought her in fairly early and assured me that it shouldn't take too many more adjustments. In the few hours after the appointment Maddie has already turned her head left and right significantly more. She's still stuck looking down, though.
Jesse is a skeptic. He views chiropractors on the same level as car salesmen. I reminded Jesse that my chiropractor was never pushy about trying to have me come in multiple times a week. He always suggested I stay ahead of any pain, but to simply come as needed. I genuinely think he is responsible for keeping me comfortable and prolonging the duration of my pregnancies. I'm very optimistic that he'll be able to help Maddie's torticollis.
I guess we'll find out soon!