Teddi Mellencamp and her family have a unique challenge ahead of them.
Lambdoid craniosynostosis occurs when a lambdoid suture at the back of the head fuses before birth.
On Monday, Mellencamp discussed the news on her podcast “Teddi Tea Pod,” revealing that doctors first noticed a problem during the baby’s 2-month check-up.
Initially, doctors suspected Dove’s problems to be due to torticollis, which afflicted Mellencamp’s son Cruz, 5 — whom she shares with husband Edwin Arroyave as well as their daughter Slate, 7 — and suggested physical therapy before trying a helmet or DOC Band®, according to People magazine.
At a follow-up appointment, Mellencamp said, “The doctor was like, ‘Yeah, we’re definitely leaning in the direction of needing the DOC Band®. But before you go to those specialists, I want you to go to this neurosurgeon, just so he can have a look.'”
Mellencamp took her daughter to see the neurosurgeon, who immediately suggested a CT scan for Dove, which the reality star said made her daughter “nervous,” recalling feeling “worry and panic” herself.
“And then that night, they called and said that she has something called lambdoid craniosynostosis, and she’s gonna need neurosurgery,” remembered Mellencamp. “So that’s booked for July 30th, and it’s two days in the NICU after the surgery and then it’s four to five days in the hospital and there’s just so many unknowns.”
Mellencamp said that her husband, 43, has been “a positive force” amidst the ordeal, recalling that before learning of her daughter’s diagnosis, she told Arroyave, “I need you to just let me crumble for a second.”
Another appointment with the neurosurgeon made things “really hit home” for Arroyave, she said.
“We both have our faith and we know that it’s gonna be okay, but it’s a struggle right now,” the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star said. “They’re saying her face is gonna be really swollen after the surgery and she’s not gonna know what happened. So it’s definitely one of those trying times, where you’re just one foot in front of the other.”
Mellencamp also addressed how her other children are taking the news of their sister’s condition.
“The biggest thing that they understand is Mommy’s leaving [and is] gonna be gone for six days with Dove, and that’s something that’s gonna be hard for them, as well,” she said.
“In one way, it’s great that Edwin will be home with them, but in another way, it’s gonna be hard that he can’t be in the hospital with me,” she explained. “And all I wanna do is make sure that I’m in the best possible mind space for [Dove] by then. There’s those highs and lows of anxiety and feeling [like] I just want to protect her and make sure she’s gonna feel safe and good. I definitely have a heavy heart.”