October 12th 2010 at 1:22pm I welcomed my baby girl into this world. I examined her body as she lay on my stomach after delivery. She was bigger than my son and had the chunk to prove it! Scanning her from head to toe my eyes paused on how skinny and curved her calves were. I looked to my husband, "Could it be... clubbed feet again??"
Yes indeed... we were surprised with a second child having clubbed feet. Once again no ultrasounds had prepared us for this news, but atleast we knew what to expect having just gone through the recovery with our two year old son.
At just 6 days old we started the process. The doctors initial prognosis is both of her feet are
better than our son's left leg, but worse than his right. She's right in the middle! He anticipates 2-3 weeks of casting, then using an AFO brace until her feet are large enough for the Ponsetti bar. I was not familiar with the AFO shoe, but it looks like a little plastic boot!
The casting process takes about an hour for two legs. At first they stretched her legs and feet out to get them as far as possible in order to expedite the casting process. She was not a happy camper during this part! Having been through this many times with my son I was able to remain very calm. Once they started putting on the casting material I was able to calm her down by rubbing her head and letting her suck on my thumb. She slept through the whole thing!
For my son we purchased a pacifier to help him during the casting process. We were not planning on using a pacifier with him, but laying on a table for an hour or more without being able to breastfeed for comfort we felt the need to compromise. Since our daughter is not going to have as long of a casting phase we will most likely make due with her just using our thumb.
Sleeping patterns were immediately disrupted now having the casts on. At even just a few days old our newborn was already having four hour stretches of sleep at night. First night with the casts she was awake hourly. Poor babe just wants to curl up into her comfy position! It is tough, but we know it is necessary. I keep a small rolled up hand towel under her legs in the hopes that it will take some of the pressure off of her hips. Not sure if it is helping, but it looks more comfortable!
I have also found it difficult to put pants on her with both legs in casts (my son only had the left leg casted). We've been keeping her in sleeper sacks for the most part. I might try going up to 3 month clothing to see if I can get the waist band wide enough to go around her legs.
This first set of casts will be on until Tuesday 10/26. It is difficult to keep them clean during diaper explosions, but we do find it easier to keep the diaper tucked as far away from the cast as possible. The hospital provides a cotton batting that shields the cast. This helps half the time... and other times it actually backfires and works like a wick to draw contents from the diaper onto the cast. Ugh. Couple that with the fact that poor baby only gets sponge baths and we'll have one stinky girl by the end of the week! One more reason to be thankful we only have a few weeks of this stage!