Monday, September 9, 2013

Plagiocephaly Party {It's Tortilly Adorable}

I never intended for it to take me this long to finally blog about Noah's Tortilly Cute Helmet Decorating Party, but alas it did. Despite the great length of time it took me to sit down and write this post, it certainly doesn't make it less important.

Noah was diagnosed with severe plagiocephaly and torticollis just a couple months after he was born, and started his helmet treatment as soon as he turned 4 months old. It was a roller coaster of emotions for us (mommy and daddy) at that time.

 We felt immense guilt (could we have done something differently to prevent it?), sadness (our sweet baby boy is going to have to wear that helmet 23 hours a day for how many months???), more guilt, fear (will this helmet treatment harm him in some way? Will he have facial deformities for life?) was a challenging time for us new parents at the time.

You can read more about how we felt at the time in the "Tortilly Adorable" party post which debuted on HWTM, here.

We chose to have a helmet decorating party as a way for us parents to cope, as well as an opportunity to spread awareness and teach those who love Noah why he is wearing a helmet, how to put it on him/clean it, and show them physical therapy exercises to practice with him to improve his torticollis. Guests all decorated their own helmet to of my favorites was made by my sister Julia, one of Noah's two amazing Aunties!

So many AMAZING vendors (many moms, one of whom has a son who wore a helmet when he was a baby and now, several years older, is doing fabulous and treatment worked!) wanted to help with this celebration. I feel a special place in my heart for each and every one of them {and a little extra thanks to Do of Piggy Bank Parties for this fabulous paper plate backdrop idea!}

I am thrilled to say that Noah had incredible care at Children's Hospital, a very successful treatment, and none of our fears came to life.

Along the way we met many other wonderful parents of children who wore helmets, and it was terrific to be able to chat with them and relate to them (including one of our neighbors, imagine that!)  We realized starting treatment immediately as we did, was the best thing we could have done.

Noah formed a special bond with specialist Chelsea, who we saw every couple of weeks at Children's Hospital to check and adjust his helmet.

We also loved our amazing plastic surgeon and pediatrician who made the diagnosis and guided us all along the way. Having interned at Children's Hospital in Boston, several years ago (marketing),  I always had an appreciation for it. But when your child is a patient there (he underwent a small surgery this spring for something completely unrelated to his plagiocephaly and torticollis, and they did an outstanding job), you see it all very differently.

We just love those who have cared for our little guy there, and feel blessed to have it as an incredible resource so close by.

Most of the time while wearing that helmet 23 hours a day, our sweet little guy didn't even know (or care) he was wearing it. He rarely fussed--and didn't seem aware of the difference of when he had his helmet on or off. It did interrupt his quality of sleep somewhat, but he was a trooper.

At the end of his treatment, we decided we wanted to host another party to celebrate! It was a great opportunity to all see how beautifully the treatment worked, how amazing the physical therapy exercises were, and what an amazing baby boy he continued to be, stealing our hearts with his sweet smile and low-key disposition.

If you wish to host your own helmet decorating party, you can download the FREE PRINTABLES  HERE designed by the very talented Paula of Frog Prince Paperie. She created this "Tortilly Adorable" collection in a preppy, gender-neutral madras plaid. I love it!

Party Products for the helmet decorating party were generously donated by Sally of Polka Dot Market...from paper straws and clear glass milk bottles to shimmering gumballs, all her darling products added so much to the party. Sally was so kind and one of the sweetest vendors I had the privilege of "getting to know."

The cutest, sweetest and yummiest turtle and madras plaid cookies were absolutely precious. One of the most talented cookie designers out there, Tara of Bambella Cookie Boutique thoughtfully created and donated these to the party. I love any chance I have to enjoy her sweet creations.

The fondant turtle cake and cookie toppers were jaw-droppers. Everyone thought they were absolutely adorable, including me.

The talented and generous Julie of Cakes And Kids made them for us, and I could not have been happier.

I was overwhelmed with joy when so many amazing printables designers created precious FREE PRINTABLE STICKERS for everyone to download and decorate their helmets with! A heartfelt thank you thank you thank you to Andrea, Kelly, Jasmine, Kori, Emily and Karen.


Pink & Navy initial stickers by Dollhouse Paperie

Absolutely Adorable stickers by Well-Heeled Hostess

Sweet Turtle Small and Large Illustrations by Paper & Pigtails

Modern Butterfly and Fun Snail stickers by IDEA! Event and Style

Vintage stickers by Free Pretty Things For You

Emily of Magnolia Creative gave Noah this precious "Turtley Awesome" t-shirt that reminded her of the party--what a sweet gift, thank you!!!

 I also wish to give a tremendous amount of thanks to Melissa and Kellie of Icing Designs for hand-crafting the banner, buttons and cake topper for our "Hooray For Noah" Helmet Graduation Party!!! (view post on this event on Layla Grayce here). They were absolutely gorgeous with ruffled crepe, glitter and the prettiest colors.

And last but certainly not least, and enormous thank you to the dynamic duo behind the beautiful Happy Wish Company, for the gorgeous jadeite cake stand, tissue poms, paper party plates, napkins, favor bags and bamboo cutlery. We loved them all!

We are so grateful for the love, prayers and support of all of our friends, family, doctors, nurses, helmet specialists, physical therapists and each of you who kept Noah in your heart during his treatment.

I am fully aware that what we went through pales in comparison to so many far more serious and difficult illnesses, diseases and conditions, even untreatable or incurable--my heart aches for each and every precious child and their families who have or are currently going through something challenging. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like for you, but you have my prayers and most sincere compassion--blessings to you and your sweet child!


Sue said...

Your boy is beautiful! I'm glad his treatment worked out so well:) What a wonderful idea to throw a helmet party! There's a sweet sentiment throughout this post and you end it on such a compassionate note. <3

Elle Ruschioni said...

What a wonderful idea! Putting a positive twist on something that must have been so difficult. Bless your family and your beautiful little boy.