Kacie Blogs

Mom with a Blog: The DOCband journey ends!

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Time goes by so quick, I really can’t believe we are here already. A helmet-free baby! It’s funny because I say time has gone by “so quick” but at the same time, it feels like all we know is Shiloh in a DOCBand. He is 10 months old and has had the helmet for 7 of those!

If you’re just now jumping in on this timeline, my baby underwent a treatment plan for a NOT-rare cranial disorder called plagiocephaly. Google will simply say it’s a flat spot on the head caused from not moving the head around enough and in simple terms, yes? But to learn more about Shiloh’s case of a intrauterine developed flat spot and torticollis, click HERE. (again, all fancy words but I assure you this is more common than many know and becoming more so. The link will explain.)

Today we will pick up on him receiving and wearing his second (and  final) band! Most babies will wear one and be done, his flat spot had an extra nine months forming and was more severe than your typical case (without it being life-threatening in any fashion.) This resulted in a longer treatment plan and since babies grow so rapidly, he would need another band molded for him as his head grew around 6 months old. After a baby reaches 6 months in age, their head has done the bulk of growing for the first year and slows down about 50%.

This meant while we had to go through the process of getting a whole new band- this would be his final one AND we got to start going every other week instead of weekly appointments. While we love the staff, it was quite the load off to not drive into Glendale every Thursday morning.

He had this band on for about 4 months and in that, SO MUCH CHANGED. Not even speaking about his head- just a lot happened over the course of that time. Crawling, climbing, standing, cruising along furniture and boy, was having that helmet some peace of mind as he starting bonking against everything! Shiloh even had his first two plane rides during this season- navigating that was interesting because policies were different from airport to airport on whether security needed to inspect the band or not. As if flying with a 6 month old isn’t interesting enough. (*I laugh*)

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Another band meant another chance to paint it! We switched from a cloudy sky to an Arizona sunset… and then because I just couldn’t help myself, after we knew he’d have the band off before 2022, I repainted the same band for a Christmas theme. No regrets, everywhere we went people loved this commitment to the holiday. Shiloh loved the attention his fancy bands brought and I think it made the experience a lot more fun for him. Instead of people asking what was wrong with him, they’d ask about the art and it always made him smile. If you end up having a baby who needs a helmet, I would invest in painting or adding some stickers to it. There are lots of decals online too, if you aren’t the creative type.

I shared his exam photos before that compared his before and “after” from the first band and that seemed amazing to me. Lots of people asked what was left to do! It was mostly fine tuning but one BIG thing was still set out to be achieved and that was getting his poor ears evened out. It was the most noticeable part- they just were not level with one another. So this last band’s mission was to make this boy look better in sunglasses!

We put in the work (which really is just keeping the helmet on) and waited for the time to pass. December 30th, we strolled into Cranial Technologies in Glendale and were greeted by everyone who had come to know and love Shiloh for his graduation day!

We had our last set of scans taken so we could see the progress and once again, I am stunned by the progress he made. Such a simple treatment yields great results. They are pictured below.

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Left we see where he started, the middle was after his first band was done and the last image is what we have now with our boy! The ears and nearly perfect- more so than mine. The slight difference in head volume (more on the left than the right) can’t actually be fixed at this point because that’s part of that intrauterine marking that will forever remind him he was SO cozy in me. (*winces in pain*)

In a few years we won’t even remember the DOCBand days except through photo reminders- which is so insane to think about since it’s been all consuming and a main topic of discussion when we see people. Now I am not even sure I have anything interesting to say when someone asks about him. All I have are usual bits that no one wants to hear! A blessing.

Presently we are enjoying getting to sniff and snuggle his cute little head whenever we want without risking a broken nose from a helmet hit. One question I get is if Shiloh has any reaction. Honestly, no. He never seemed to notice it was on unless he needed it loosened/readjusted and when we took it off at graduation there was no sigh of relief… he actually grabbed it back and wanted to hold onto it. So it looks like I’ll be buying one of those DOCband teddy bear afterall. I think he wants a friend to hold onto it for him.

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At the end of this journey I look back with no doubts about the choice we made. I am so glad to have shelled out the money for fixing Shiloh’s head and know that we won’t have to be paying greater consequences years later. If you have any questions about your baby’s head shape, ask your pediatrician! They WILL NOT always point it out or they will wait till AFTER the 6 month mark which is when flat spots can sometimes resolve on their own. The problem with that is after 6 months, thr growth rate slows down dramatically and you’ve missed a huge window for getting results. Be your baby’s advocate! The evaluation at Cranial Technologies is free and there is ZERO obligation to proceed with a treatment after the scans are done.

Questions about my experience or having a band you own painted by me? Reach out on my Instagram by clicking HERE!

 

Bye, Friends!

 

KACIE