Well, today was full of surprises. We went in for our 6th cast removal, fully assuming that we'd be getting a tenotomy afterwards and then having 2-3 additional weeks of casting after that. I was even more sure that it was going to happen since our doctor, who normally wears a suit, walked into the exam room in operating room scrubs and he had two assistants with him. He examined her feet, stretching them as far as they could be forced. He said it could get her to about 20 degrees up, and that ideally he'd like to see 25 degrees - but that ultimately he wasn't sure that just doing physical therapy (the "french method" he called it) of stretching her daily wouldn't work just as well as the surgery to get that extra 5 degrees. So, for now, we are holding off on the tenotomy and have 5 weeks to see if we can manually stretch her feet. Fingers crossed!!
Second surprise was that her feet have grown enough to skip the AFO boots and go straight into the ponseti bar.... size triple zero - just like big brother had. I guess there is actually one size smaller than that, so what a moose!! :) Her feet are both stretched out to 70 degrees making them almost totally to the sides.
We waited to put her ponseti shoes on until we got home and had a chance to give her a real
bath. During the bath we suddenly noticed that the tops of her feet looked very bruised, which they did not look that way while at the hospital. I quickly asked around to my clubbed footed support groups and so far it sounds like it's pretty normal so long as it goes away in a couple days.
When we first got home from the appointment we showed our son the baby's new shoes. He immediately ran away and started sucking his thumb. I then realized he probably thought the shoes were for him! He's been without his braces for about 4 months - but he must still remember them. Once we put them on baby sister and
explained that they were baby shoes only he calmed down.
We had some trouble getting her ankle down into the boot as she was resisting bending. I think next time we redo the shoes (usually just after baths) we'll try putting the shoes on while breastfeeding her so she is relaxed.
First night with the ponseti bar on was a bit of a struggle. My daughter had been sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at a time, but last night she was up probably every 2 hours. She is a side sleeper, and I think the new angle of having her leg up in the air was making her upset. Plus I discoveredin the morning that her left foot had slipped out a little bit, so the heel was raw from rubbing on the shoe. :( Oops. I've made them tighter now and she hasn't done much complaining since then.
All night I had two angels on my shoulders. One telling me that the baby was complaining because the shoes bothered her and that I should take them off to relieve her pain, and the other one reminding me that I have to suck it up and leave the shoes on as it's the only way she'll ever get used to them. Second angel won. I left the shoes and bar on all night, even though my sleep deprived angel really wanted me to cave. I think tonight will be easier because I was so strong.