What has surprised me most about having an atypical baby like Lamp, is just how typical she really is. The day in and day out is just like any baby experiences...I feed her, change diapers, put her down for naps, play with her, sing songs, tickler her, talk in ridiculous baby voices and give her squishy baby hugs telling her that I lovelovelovelove her to death. Lamp, in turn giggles, babbles, bangs on her toys and of course eats, sleeps and poops. For the most part I don't "see" her limbs. What I mean is, I know she's different and deal with those differences daily, but when I look at her she's just Lamp and she looks exactly how she's supposed to look, and she is exactly who she is supposed to be.
Then we have something that comes up that reminds me just how different parenting a baby like Lampy is. For example I never thought I'd have a baby whose major milestones would include baby's first prosthetic arm. But here we are, Lampy with her first prosthetic arm!
Taking a cue from Forrest Gump we often refer to it as her magic arm.
I don't know if this is interesting to anyone else, but I thought I'd show you what it looks like and how we put it on. Just so you know, I do this very purposefully. I don't do this to make her a spectacle or to let you all just be voyeurs into our lives, but to hopefully make you and others in the world more comfortable with people with all sorts of disabilities, and especially those with limb differences. Of course I started blogging long before Lamp was even a glimmer in our eye, and I'm just continuing to do something I enjoy. But I also know there are things I could sort of gloss over when it comes to Lamp, but I hope that by exposing so many people to our sweet Lampstress on line it won't seem so strange to see someone in real life who has similar challenges. Additionally, I know that I would be curious about some of these things and if I can demystify the process then again perhaps it won't seem so strange.
So here we go. This is her arm and the sleeve below is how it attaches to her arm. The sleeve is made of silicone, so it's soft and pliable and just rolls onto her shorter arm. Her arm is made of some sort of hard resin with a softer, hand that's shaped in a cupping motion. Her arm was custom made just for her and it took weeks of fittings and a mold to get it just right. And the floral pattern you might recognize from here or here. We could have just made the arm flesh colored, but when the prosthetist asked if I wanted to bring in a cute fabric for her arm in I went with this vintage floral pattern and I really love how it turned out. I think it's perfect for a cute baby arm.
So here she is sitting on her own without the arm--have I showed that yet?--she had to be able to sit on her own before being fitted with for a prosthetic arm. The general rule is "sit to fit" and so we worked really hard on sitting so she could get fitted as early as possible. But I still put a pillow behind her so as to minimize the bonks.
Here is just the sleeve on her arm. It's hard to see with the pillow behind her.
And then the arm just clicks on. I know it looks like a screw on the sleeve, but it's not...it just clicks. She doesn't love that part, it's actually sort of hard to click on and you have to push rather hard. But here she is with her new magic arm. (Her eyes are all red and sad because she just fell forward and got that little bonk by her eye minutes before this picture. Sad)
The hope is what with her new arm she'll be able to grab stuff by using both arms together and to balance and to have something to help stabalize her while she sits. Also, the earlier she wears an arm the more likely she is to take to it in the long run.
So there it is.
Lampy and her magic arm.
If you have any additional questions about her arm, feel free to ask.