Mommy Mondays: Laryngomalacia & The Long Term Impacts:
Today's Mommy Monday blog is something that I thought about long and hard and figured it would be great to discuss. My daughter was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia with Stridor as an infant. Many people not only didn't understand what on earth I was saying but assumed we were just being over protective first time parents. So I've decided to bring this condition to attention because many don't even know it exists let alone how to handle it.
Just like all first time parents, my husband and I loved sharing pictures and video on Social Media of our new baby. She was staring and smiling, coo'ing, rolling over, and much more. One day someone replied to one of the videos asking if something was wrong with how she was breathing. Of course, this was our first child and we weren't around babies that often so we assumed the raspy breathing she did was normal. Like she was grunting trying to speak already. We took her to the doctor and immediately my heart sank. She had stridor which is high pitched breathing due to difficulty breathing from the larynx or even below that. We were sent to an ENT (Ears, Nose, & Throat Specialist) who confirmed our daughter had laryngomalacia. I still remember the day I had to hold her in my lap while they sent a camera down her nose and throat. I was tearing up hearing her cry she was so small and frightened.
Laryngomalacia is when the larynx and vocal cords are too soft and are not maturing at the same pace as the baby. They take longer to harden and grow, and can cause breathing issues as the tissue closes upward when breathing. On a scale of 1-5, our daughter was a 3 so we were told no surgery was necessary. But we had to take extra steps to ensure her safety. Due to the condition, she was high risk for any upper respiratory illnesses which could cause her breathing to get worse. We were not able to put her in any daycare or with other children until she turned two. She could not be held by strangers, and family members had to be very few especially if they had been sick recently. When we announced this condition many didn't believe us and we had to provide medical proof showing this condition was real, and the restrictions on our daughter had to be real.
Normally, if the child grows out of the condition then by age 2 you no longer hear the stridor which comes when they get excited, are running around or cry too much. We could not allow our daughter to cry it out when she would not want to sleep as it would irritate her throat. We could not let her run around for too long because she'd have problems breathing. It was difficult explaining to a toddler that they couldn't play with other kids for long and had to leave parks within 20-30 minutes because of how they sounded. We also had many nights where she would not sleep all night because if she cried too much, we'd have to go in and calm her. That did not help with self-soothing but we were told we were coddling her too much by not letting her cry it out. We never found that happy fine line to walk for both letting her cry it out and taking care of her with her condition. So needless to say we have been very happy that at almost age 4 she has FINALLY started sleeping through the night!
My daughter is turning five on October 29th, and she still when she gets too excited or is running for extended periods of time has the Stridor return. It's not as loud nor as pronounced but we fall right back into "Panic Parent" mode and make her sit down. She starts soccer tomorrow and we've decided to try to see if playing a sport takes it away completely but allowing her to use her lungs and her larynx as she should. On top of this she craves the socializing with other children because she didn't have it as much as she should have when she was younger. The doctors have all informed me that it's quite possible that she will have that come and go her entire life, which worries me regarding bullying from other kids. As a parent of a child with this condition it was very hard when people doubted me and assumed I was just "worrying" too much. It hurt, and I want people to know that if you find out a child has this, don't doubt the parent. Don't roll your eyes when they say you can't hold the child or they don't let the kid run around with other kids. Believe me, it breaks their hearts keeping their child from actually being a child.
Elizabeth is a work at home Mother of a sweet and beautiful daughter. She is a wife of seven years and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug" she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!