Motherhood is perhaps one of the most awaited yet most anxious stage in a woman’s life. It’s a new beginning, especially for the first- time parents. It’s ridden with worries about being responsible for a life growing within. Incessant rounds of “What if’s” crop inside our heads. Each doctor’s appointment brings an assurance of everything possibly going right after umpteen questions are darted towards them about scans and scars, developmental milestones, growth charts or rashes, and refluxes.
In spite of our best efforts as parents, things might not shape up as we would want them to be. And this can be a testing phase in one’s journey of parenthood.
Imagine how would you feel as a first-time mother, holding and watching pristine beings that you brought forth in the world, yet gnawed by a lingering fear lurking in your mind.What if the babies aren’t exactly fine? What if there is something abnormal?
It was the same with Mike and Amy Howards, who were the parents of identical triplet boy babies, Hunter, Kaden and Jackson. Little did they know their darling babies were born with a rare medical condition called craniosynostosis.
This condition is marked by a child born with abnormal head shape and facial features because one or more fibrous joints in an infant skull prematurely fuse in the womb, thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull and resulting in insufficient space for brain growth. This can lead to anomalies like blindness or slow mental growth.
Doctors believe that detectionof craniosynostosis by pre-natal ultrasound can be a complex and challenging affair, given that not all types of this condition are easily noticeable. It is because having a “clear look” at the skull expansion joints is tough while the baby is active and moving in the womb. This is also the reason why many pediatricians believe that a good clinical examination of an infant is more necessary rather than relying on x -rays and ultrasounds done before birth.
Being a first-time mother, Amy wasn’t very certain of the head patterns that she observed in her triplets. Yet it was this very observation and alertness on her part that resulted in a positive turn to this seeminglyunfortunate aspect of their birth.
“I wasn’t sure; I could kind of tell there was something up with Jackson and Kaden. Hunter, I couldn’t really tell. But we both just thought it was a normal kind of thing,” Amy told the Daily Mail.
Her concerns paid off as the doctors identified the condition right away and remedial measures were promptly taken. The little boys wore small helmets made of plastic that intended to keep their skulls gently in place. They underwent a corrective surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York.
It was an emotionally overwhelming experience for Amy to see her children undergo surgery within days of being born. The surgery involved removal of small fragments of bones from the softer patches of their infant skull so that their heads get more room to grow and develop optimally.
Though “it was rough”, as Amy puts it, to see her babies taken away and put under the knives, all of her trials bore fruit when the operation was a success.
Now, one can hardly find the babies looking any different from the normal babies. Although they have to wear their helmets for a few more months, it’s worth the wait for Mike, Amy and everyone else to see them ‘helmet-free’ by their first birthday.
Indeed, Amy and Mike’s efforts compounded by the swift action taken by the doctors have resulted in a happy closure to their fears regarding the future of the triplets.