Monday, October 18, 2010

The Beginning...

September 5th 2008 10:15pm I welcomed into the world my first child. He was tiny and amazing! After our first snuggle the hospital staff took him for weighing and measuring. Across the room I saw two student doctors and the resident doctor examining my baby's feet and making circular motions. I wondered what was wrong with my child and what lesson was being taught to the student doctors. Soon enough I learned that my son had bilateral clubbed feet.

Initially I conjured up horrible images as this diagnosis was something I had only heard of before, but never knew the full compass of just how recoverable it can be. The pediatrician explained to us that there would be weeks of casting to push my son's legs straight and then the use of a brace to put the feet in the correct position. The doctor also recommended we have an ultrasound done on baby's hips so we would have a baseline if issues show up later as sometimes the strain from the feet correcting can do some damage to the hips.

At just 4 days old we started the casting process. Only his left leg
needed to be casted, as it was more pronounced and stiff than the right. We were initially told 6-8 weeks of casting, but he took so well to it that we were done in 5 weeks.

From there we graduated to the Ponsetti bar that he needed to wear 23.5 hours per day until he was 9 months old. It was challenging to care for a "triangle baby" as the braces interfered with day to day activities, but we worked together and found a way to make it through.

At 9 months old he graduated to wearing the brace overnight and during naps only. This was a great change for us! During the day he could work on regular mobility skills and was crawling by 11 months old. By 12 months he was pulling himself up onto furniture and able to do some cruising, but then his mobile development slowed down quite a bit. Just shy of 18 months old he took his first steps and became a regular walking professional quickly thereafter.

Right after his 2nd birthday we had an appointment with the specialists who cleared him of needing to wear the braces. He was all done!! We were very fortunate not to need any surgeries and he went through the healing process in record time. We were so pleased!

At the time of the appointment I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our second child. On the way out the door the doctor made the comment, "See you in a year for his follow up appointment," and I responded, "Unless this baby has a surprise in store for us like big brother did." Little did I know... we would be returning to the clinic weeks later with a clubbed footed baby girl.

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