Sometimes the past catches up with the future and makes you catch your breath…. This was written five years ago, unpublished and stored away in the farthest corners of memory for safe keeping. Those months are a faded blur now, and indeed here she is, riding horses in Mexico.. 💖
On December 22 2010, you were born through an “emergency cesarean”. The midwife said it was a true emergency because you were entangled in your umbilical cord. They called it a bandelaro cord, because you were wearing it over your shoulder like a gun belt.
When I finally got to hold you, you were perfect. The doctors checked your hips. Somehow they missed it. A few days later the midwife checked your hips again, and then again three weeks after that, and nobody said a thing. We left your sweet baby legs alone.
When you began crawling, you used one foot and one knee. The doctors said that all babies crawl in their own unique way… It was normal, they said.
When you turned one year old you started walking. You started out toddling then developed an awkward gait, favoring one leg. We thought you would work it out in time.
By the time you were two, you stood on your toes and would not put your foot flat. You always walked on your toes on one side. We thought you had an injury. A splinter, twisted ankle, banged knee… We lived on a farm, maybe a goat stepped on your foot. I took you to the doctor but they didn’t see anything. A month later I took you again and they x-rayed your ankle. Nothing. It did not improve.
Several months later you began stumbling more often. We returned to the doctor for another series of X-rays. Foot, ankle, knee, leg lengths, all revealing nothing. Frustrated, I began asking around and researching more. We went back to the doctor, again, requesting a hip X-ray. Then it was obvious.
We were three weeks away from boarding a one way, life changing flight, moving our family to Mexico. Your dad’s whole family waiting to meet you…
This was not part of the plan.
Sitting in that windowless room, florescent lights humming, I received the news. You, my tiny curly girl, just shy of your third birthday, needed an operation. The serious of x-rays finally revealed severe hip dysplasia. This means re-shaping the bones. This means a body cast for three months. We will likely revisit diapers, though you have not worn them in half a year. This means we will be here, in our house, all winter. You will be in your bed all winter. No more trampoline. No more doughnut store. No more Mexico. At least for now.
We left for Seattle children’s hospital well before the sunrise that day. You were so brave, so tiny, so unaware of what was coming. You have two scars now. This is how they reached your bones. You will be able to walk now until you are an old lady. You will be able to ride your horses in Mexico.
When you woke up, in your cast, we tried to distract you with the suitcase of pink princess presents we had packed for you. The time went by slowly. We stayed two nights in the hospital before we could bring you home.
Then we had to relearn everything. When you think you know, something will come along to remind you that you know nothing. Nothing is for sure. This was it for us…
So this is your story. This is how you got your scars.