Seeing the world sideways

Like I'm sure I've said before, my two girls couldn't be more different. The older one has, all her life, grown and developed exactly according to the books. We never really had any major issues to handle with her (well, other than her 1 week stent in the hospital for a staph infection when she was 13 months, but that was just a freak thing...) She crawled when they said she should, walked when they said she should, potty trained & all that right when "THEY" said she should.

The baby, on the other hand, loves to bend the "rules" when it comes to development and all that. She sat up "late", crawled "late", walked "late" and in my opinion, her speech isn't exactly "up to speed" for her age. I have often wondered if any of this has been caused by this condition she's been trying to "recover" from since birth. She was born with what is known as "Torticollis" or "Twisted Neck". This means that the muscles in one side of her neck were tighter and/or stronger than on the other side, causing her to always tilt her had to the right. Always. Now, the bad mommy that I am, I didn't even seem to notice this until she was 4-5 months old (all babies have floppy heads, right?) Okay, maybe I NOTICED a little and maybe I was in a little bit of denial, but anywho... I started taking her to physical therapy at the Children's Hospital once a month when she was 5 months old. They did stretches and we talked about different ways to position her to help the problem. After a few months of that, we decided, after much termoil in my brain, to try "taping". This was a therapy where we placed a piece of special stretchy tape down one side of her neck to help "remind" her to hold her head up straighter, in turn, strengthening the side that needed it. We did this for a couple of months, and it really helped a lot. I hated doing it though, and the first time she figured out how to reach up there & rip the tape off, we were done with that. We were still going monthly to PT, and we were still trying to do stretches and excercises at home. After she turned one, and she still wasn't walking, all the progress she had made seemed to come to a standstill. She seemed STUCK at about a 5-10 degree tilt. It was straighter when she was crawling, but when she sat relaxed, back it would go. Talk about frustrating. Up until then, I had been able to shake those feeling of guilt - did I do something to cause this? Am I doing the excersizes right? Why me?? When in reality, it was the size of my uterus (which, by the way, is in no way in my control) - it was just too small for that girl and she sat in there - breech & crooked-necked, under my ribs - for a long time while developing. I just needed to re-realize that, I guess.

The good news is, once she began to walk at 15 months, things started looking up - and so did she! Now, at 17 months, noone really notices a tilt at all - noone except me, that is. She still tilts to the right slightly when she's tired or really relaxed, but I guess that's just one of her things that make her who she is. It's been a long road, but we've stopped the therapy & she's doing great. Look at this amazing progress over just a year's time:

God, I love that girl. Crooked head and all.

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