Some twenty years ago I broke my arm after disobeying my mother and jumping on (then falling off) the couch. Though I wasn’t sure how the technology had changed in the decades that had passed, I still recalled the spinning wheel of doom that scared me senseless as my cast was cut off. Though I was a little older and thus more aware of what was happening than June is now, the noise, dust and general stress of a saw wheel so precariously close to my arm were memories that lingered.
That being said, the day before our appointment to remove the first pair of casts, my husband and I ran around the city trying to find infant noise-reducing headphones. The usual stops (mainly Babies-R-Us), were all sold out, and so we ended up at a Bed Bath & Beyond. Though they did not have infant noise-cancelling headphones, the manager, a stellar guy who after hearing our story let us borrow his noise cancelling headphones made for hunting solved our problem in a very rare act of trust, kindness and risk (he didn’t even ask for our names, just told us to please bring the headphones back the following day). Of course we returned them promptly in pristine condition, but he had no way of knowing with any certainty that we would.
The baby’s casts were removed using a wheel that did not spin but vibrated, and was considerably quieter than what I remembered from my childhood, but still, the noise-cancelling headphones that I held over baby’s ears helped out a lot.
For the following week’s appointment we ordered infant headphones online. They cost under thirty dollars and were a GREAT decision. They fit perfectly over baby’s little ears and did a good job of muffling sound. We bought the kind that were positioned on a stretchy headband that was adjustable using velcro so that they fit even around our small daughter’s head. During the removal of the cast we also entertained her with a toy that lit up (and her trusty pacifier).
Contrary to my expectations, the removal of June’s casts proved to be quick and manageable with a little preparation and a lot of effort to keep baby entertained during the procedure. In all honesty, baby is usually tied after all the attention lavished on her at these appointments so as to distract her from the process of casting, but by the time we arrive home I’m not shy to admit that I am an exhausted and emotionally wrung out parent, even more than usual.
We have the luxury of being able to leave grandma with baby while we take a little time to recharge after these appointments. My husband and I do little, usually mundane things together while my mother stays with June during her extra long nap, but we’ve found that even going grocery shopping, just the two of us, without having to rush home, helps us recharge. If you have the possibility to do likewise I strongly recommend it, otherwise if no babysitter is available, do use baby’s nap time to relax as much as possible doing adult centered things (even if it’s catching up on the latest episodes of Game of Thrones)!