|Day after she was born
My first trimester was miserable. I was sick, tired, guilt-ridden about not being able to devote the kind of attention to my babies that I felt they needed, I was worried and sad. When I started feeling better it was as though the clouds began to lift, and I began to feel hopeful and excited about adding to our family. We could do this. I began to think of baby names, and plan the girls room.
|First set of casts
|After third set of casts
Brenna had her first casts put on when she was 10 days old, and had weekly cast changes for the next 8 weeks. She had a tenotomy done on both legs in January at Children's Hospital, and she has been in the Ponsetti brace for the last 3 months.
The casts... Well, they weren't a whole lot of fun. She didn't seem to care about them much once they were on (she did scream like a banshee during every. single. cast change.) but they made things a little more tricky as far as dressing her, not getting poop on them, snuggling her, she kicked out of a pair over Thanksgiving weekend the little monkey, but by and large they were okay.
The surgery was horrible for us as parents. It was done in the hospital under a local anesthetic and was very quick, but man. Even though it was a minor surgery seeing your baby being carried away by the nurse into the OR is no fun. The rest of that day was awful for her, and again for us, and then she bounced back very quickly the day after.
The brace has been my least favorite (for lack of a better word) part of this whole experience. My girl loves to kick her chubby little legs, and we have had a lot of issues with her kicking out of her boots, red spots on her heels, and lack of sleep. On the upside, she is much easier to hold and dress in the brace than she was in the casts. Her orthopedic doctor just told us last week we could go down to 18 hours a day, and I immediately put her in a footed outfit and enjoyed those 6 hours without the brace or boots on. (Funny what you took for granted before, isn't it?)
To any parent who has been told their baby has club feet, I would say this: stay positive. Get through one issue and then deal with the next, don't worry about all of the steps right away. Be thankful that your baby is healthy, focus on that. This is a big deal, but it is treatable. Do your research, know your options, educate yourself, be your baby's advocate. And stock up on onsies, because getting pants over those casts is a pain in the neck.
Thanks to Kate for contributing to the Our Story feature for Faith Feet & Love. If you've got a story about dealing with clubfeet, or just want to share success stories, tips, or pictures, please contact us for more details.