I am ticked off!
My "article" came out in Hudson Valley Parent this month, and the beginning of the article where it outlined Linus' time in a helmet was not anything I had written or would have wrote. Not only did the editor put words in my mouth, but the things she wrote were entirely untrue.
First of all, I never panicked or stressed out about Linus' head shape, nor did I call any nurses to voice my concerns. I had noticed his flat head before he was discharged from the NICU, and it was something I was monitoring along with my pediatrician and the various therapists who visited my home for my older daughter, Josie. Linus was also born with a piece of his skull missing, so after head ultrasounds and consultations with neurologists, something as minor as a flat spot on the back of his head was not going to be an absolute tragedy. I knew that if the skull hadn't miraculously grown in, Linus would have been facing wearing a helmet for years as well as having to undergo surgery. Honestly, I was thrilled all he had was Plagiocephaly!
Linus was a preemie who spent 3 months in the NICU, obviously I didn't think, nor did any medical professional tell me that his head shape was going to correct itself in six to eight weeks. That only holds true for a full term baby born under normal circumstances. Obviously, the editor did not do her homework on this subject.
My son was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces, he was on a ventilator for over a month, and supplemental oxygen for almost three months. He was fed high calorie formula via a nasogastric tube. There were tubes and wires attached to every part of his body. I didn't get to hold him until he was over a month old. Linus was born after losing two babies to prematurity and stillbirth. Do you really think that I was going to be panicking over Plagiocephaly or putting him in a helmet?
I never had any "difficulty" putting the helmet on Linus. I knew that it wouldn't hurt him. I did my research and spoke to various parents and professionals and learned all about how a cranial molding orthosis worked. My husband and I made a very informed decision to have our son wear a helmet to correct his Plagiocephaly.
Never once did I worry that people were going to stare at my son. I am not that petty or self-conscious about those sort of things. No one ever stared at my son, pointed, or made comments. I picked his blue camouflage helmet because I had wanted a helmet in the blue family and my older son loves camouflage. I have always been proud of Linus and his helmet, in fact I couldn't wait to take him out and show him off . I even created a blog to celebrate this time in Linus' life and raise awareness about Plagiocephaly.
Originally, this article was assigned as an article about orthoses and the children who wear them. It was not written to be a story about Plagiocpehaly or helmets. If the editor had really read my blog, she would have known that I never felt the way she portrayed me.
My apologies to the people I had interviewed. One of the quotes I included had words added to it.
I didn't know that editors had the ability to change quotes to make them sound the way they want them to.
I would never refer orthoses as a "stigma." I have far too much respect for the individuals who wear orthoses to ever refer to them as a "stigma."
I have contacted the editorial staff at Hudson Valley Parent magazine and I have requested that they print a retraction, both online and in print disassociating me from this article.