Caring for a newborn is a challenge at the best of times- but what if you were told your baby might never walk?
Young Chesterfield parents Niki Foster and Peter Lavill are playing a 'waiting game' after their three-week-old daughter Penny was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
Due to the painful condition, which means the bones in the hip joint don't fit together properly, little Penny must wear a harness 24 hours a day for the next three months.
At this stage, there is no way of knowing if the harness will fix the problem- or if Penny will ever be able to walk normally.
Niki, 24, from New Whittington, said: "After losing a baby late last year, it was a dream come true when I fell pregnant.
"After a complicated pregnancy, Penny made it into the world safely on her due date.
"But after only one week she stopped breathing and was rushed to hospital, where she was admitted overnight.
"We were allowed to return home, but with no answers. A routine scan later revealed that Penny had hip dysplasia.
"As a tiny baby, she doesn't understand why she can't stretch her legs out like normal, or lay on my chest where she feels safe.
"The harness restricts us both from the close cuddles that every mum deserves to have with her newborn baby.
"Me and Pete are often frustrated and in tears because there's nothing we can do to help her."
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But a glimmer of hope, added Nikki, arrived in the form of a 'wonderful' charity named Steps- which helps those who are affected by childhood lower limb conditions.
"If it wasn't for the support I've received from Steps, particularly on the online forums, I'm not sure how I'd make it through the day," said Niki.
"I'm a keen supporter of the NHS but I was given very little advice when Penny's harness with fitted. They just don't have the resources available.
"The great thing about the online forums is that I can talk to other parents who are going through the same thing. It makes me feel less alone."
Now Niki and Pete are set to take the plunge- literally- for Steps when they take part in a sponsored sky dive.
"They have helped us keep strong for each other," said Niki. "We want to raise money to help keep this amazing charity going."
The couple are aiming to raise £800. You can donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nikipete-fundraiser
More information on hip dysplasia can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/
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