Hellmet Day

It’s Monday today. Daddy leaves tomorrow and nanna arrives tonight.

As I’m typing, little Ava Joy is sleeping peacefully beside me. In the HOTEL ROOM!!

That’s right… we were released today.

Ava had a nice big breakfast and even a bath. She’s been weaned off of the morphine and now she’s just taking tylenol (!!).

Before we left this afternoon we took a trip to the orthotics department to have her fitted for her helmet. It sounds like she’ll have to wear it for two to three months.

This is a custom-fitted helmet that’s created right at Sick Kids Hospital. It’s plain white (boo – no fancy colors here), AND it’s $2000….

We have extended medical, but it did give me pause to think about all those parents who can’t afford medical equipment not ordinarily covered by medical insurance… I hate to imagine people not being able to afford such important pieces of equipment.

Anyway, poor Ava’s swelling has gone down considerably but she sure didn’t like the helmet fitting…

First they put a ‘sock-like’ thing on her head, and then they start applying the paper mache substance.

I asked our orthotics specialist several times if there is any pain involved with the fitting, and he kept assuring me there’s not. He said he ‘poineered’ this particular helmet, it’s become renowned the world over,  and the whole process is very gentle.

Well nobody told Ava!

She screamed through the whole thing… When it was done, we went to the front and got a return appointment for Friday. Apparently that’s when the mold will be finished.

After we went back up to the room to check her out of the hospital, we settled her into her stroller to wait for us. The nurses came and said goodbye and so did some of our new-found friends (Emily’s mom and dad – such great people…).

About ten minutes went by while we signed paperwork, gathered our things and tidied up the room. Just as we were about to leave, Ava threw up.

Now… when I say Ava threw up, I want you to envision a grown-man amount of cream-of-chicken soup flying across the stroller and splashing on the floor. And mommy.

I know you don’t want to envision it, but I want you to envision it.

Because I had to.

We then spent another half-an-hour cleaning the poor little peanut up and were finally on our way. She’s managed to keep down some more tylenol and is now sleeping peacefully.

I think (and hope) the nausea was a direct result of the helmet fitting. We’ll see what happens when Nanna gets here and works her toddler-feeding magic!

Over-all I’ve noticed some amazing changes in Ava’s appearance. Her eyes have changed significantly and her head-shape is larger, and far more spherical. At times we’ve marveled over how she looks like a totally different baby. I’m sentimental about Ava’s old head-shape, but I know we’ve done the right thing (easy to say now I suppose!).

Some pictures from our last day at the hospital… AKA – Hellmet Day:

A thought to leave you with today: babies are amazingly resilient. We’ve been through this twice now, and both times I’m SHOCKED at how strong they are and how quickly they heal. Ava’s stitches are dissolving as I type!

If you’re a parent following this blog, believe me when I tell you that if your child needs medical treatment, do not underestimate his or her strength, stamina and healing ability. It’s truly a miracle to witness.

We’re signing off now… nanna’s arriving momentarily and someone’s woken up and gigging to herself in her travel crib.

It’s dinner time (and we won’t by trying soup).

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21 Responses to Hellmet Day

  1. Janet says:

    Hi There….Ava looks amazing. I’m so glad that you guys were released from the hospital. I hope she continues to heal well.


  2. Kelly Martin says:

    So happy she is doing so well! What a little trooper, she looks great guys. You are the best mom and dad she could have to help her through this journey. 🙂 I hope you all sleep well tonight. Xxoo

  3. Rae & Phyllis Paterson says:

    Mon Apri 11,11.04pm in Red Deer Ab..Thank you for putting all that information on the Computer, re “AVA”S” progress. She is looking great,can’t blame her for being upset about the helmet fitting tho. We will keep up to date with your notices. All the best and God Bless. Rae and Phyl.

  4. Kate says:

    Wow, she looks so amazing Melissa! You can really see the difference already.

    You should not only be proud of Ava’s strength; you should really be proud of your own strength as well. It takes a lot of love and strength to be able to make these kinds of very difficult decisions as parents. You and your husband both have given your daughter a wonderful gift! I am so happy for all of you and look forward to seeing the progress of your little angel.

    Tonight, my heart is smiling for all of you


  5. Amy says:

    Wow…..I see a tremendous difference in Ava’s head and eyes already! Unbelievable!!!! You must feel so good about everything. The hardest part is behind you now. You’re right these babies are so resilient and strong.

    Lots of love and hugs,

  6. Margit Sander says:

    I can only repeat what everybody’s said: This fast progress simply amazes me!! So glad, the hospital part is done. I bet Ava wasn’t too pleased about the fitting and the helmet, but it was probably more the tearing and pulling bit she didn’t like.

    Big hug!!


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