The Baby That Couldn’t Turn Left: Part Two

At one point in my pregnancy, I actually Googled “Could my baby fall out into the toilet when I’m going to the bathroom?” I kid you not. The best part? There were so many answers! All of which, of course, pointed to “no”.

The multiple times I searched the web about newborns spitting up, I found tons of sites and articles’ telling me how normal it was. Even the day she soaked almost ten outfits with her potato-chip-smelling vomit and I sat down at my computer and angrily typed “No, seriously, newborn spitting up A LOT,” I left my laptop feeling much better.

Before I had O, I promised myself I wouldn’t be the Mom that is on the phone with the Pediatrician every day, taking her temperature every ten minutes, and waking up every hour to make sure she’s still breathing.

I do some variation of all of the above. I once called the nighttime nurses at Oakley’s Doctor’s office essentially to ask why she was crying.

One day, my husband and I were at Costco while my mother watched the baby. We ran into Dr. Owusu (baby’s pediatrician) and she said, “Where’s Oakley?”

Of course, I thought. She knows my daughter by name because we go into the office so much. It surely couldn’t be because Oakley is one of the weirdest names she probably has on file.

So, all this being said, for some reason I never turned to Google the day I found out she was utterly disinterested in turning left. Perhaps I thought it would generate the same response as anything else pertaining to babies: it’s normal. Or, maybe I was afraid that I would have pushed it too far. I was hesitant to ask Google why my baby couldn’t turn left, fearing it would come back with something like:

No Results Found

May We Suggest: Local Therapists?

However, recently, I took the plunge. More for reassurance than anything else, I propped open my laptop and brought my cursor to the search bar. “Three Month Old Can’t Turn Head Left” I typed.

Then, I called the doctor.

tor·ti·col·lis [tawr-ti-kol-is]

noun Pathology .

a condition in which the neck is twisted and the head inclined to one side, caused by spasmodic contraction of the muscles of the neck.

This just in: Oakley has Congenital Torticollis. Being that enough time has passed between the Googling from hell and now, I can tell you with certainty that it isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds.

Torticollis is caused by trauma during birth (the fact that this suggests a non-traumatic birth exists is ridiculous.) Basically, having your little baby head stuck in a vagina for forty minutes can cause some issues with your neck. Who knew?

If not treated, the baby’s head can begin to flatten on the side she favors. If this becomes too severe, the baby will then be prescribed a helmet. (Kill me.)

So now O is subjected to these annoying exercises we have to do during tummy time in which I force her head to the left and press down on her head and her shoulder simultaneously for thirty seconds. While it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t pleasant for either of us. She would much rather be playing with the blanket that’s to her right and I feel as though I’m some sort of mob boss trying to get her to tell me who she works for.

Yet, it’s working. She still prefers her right side nine times out of ten, but her head doesn’t seem as tilted as it was before. It also seems less and less uncomfortable for her to turn left when forced to.

My point is this: it is so totally okay to be THAT mom! Pediatricians are paid enough money to answer pesky questions, no matter how small or obvious. And when they’re not there, there are always nurses on call. If they are of no help, turn to the Internet (but do so cautiously: most articles are written to scare you.)

If a baby with a fever sounds worse than watching a Nick Cage movie marathon, it only takes a few seconds to check her temperature!

If you’re convinced your baby will suddenly stop breathing in her sleep, wake up and make sure you’re wrong. It just means you get to stare at her face a little more.

If you read something, somewhere at some point that vaccines not only cause Autism but also contain copious amounts of aborted fetal tissue: ask your Doctor to shut that shit down immediately.

…That happened to my friend…

The moment your little one comes into this world, you begin to worry. You worry that they might be sleeping too much, or not enough. You worry that they are too cold, or too hot, or just way too comfortable. It’s exhausting.

Whatever makes you worry less, even if it’s just a little, do that. You’re not crazy, you’re not extreme, and you’re not abnormal. You might be suffering from insomnia or going bald, but it’ll get better in a few years. Or maybe eighteen years. Okay, my Mom just told me it never ends and then asked if my throat was still sore. I’m wondering when she’ll pull out the thermometer.

ImageBecause, really, it’s all fun and games until someone ends up in a helmet. 

One thought on “The Baby That Couldn’t Turn Left: Part Two

  1. A chiropractor can help with this. My brother did the same thing, just needs a little adjustment. Coming out of such a small space headfirst could put a kink in anyone’s neck! Look for someone with experience in pediatric chiropractic care.

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