I clearly remember the day of my scan, I was counting down the weeks to see my little one. As I laid there anxiously, my husband on one side, the doctor went through every detail.
Everything seemed fine so far. He paused for a couple of minutes when examining baby's feet and my heart sank, I knew something was not right. The rest of the scan was a big blur. I couldn't hold my tears back once we were in the car. Immediately the guilt set in, "What did I do wrong?", "Was it something I took?", "How did this happen?".
My son was born with bilateral clubfeet. As first time parents we didn't know how to react, we didn't even know what it was to be honest. My sister has 3 beautiful healthy children so this was a first in our family. I cried a few more times after that day. I think the worst thing you can do when something like this happens is to use google for research. A few weeks went by I realized how important it was not to stress on the little things, my baby was growing beautifully and appeared healthy and active, we just had to straighten his feet!
On 2 May 2016 I welcomed my son into this world. I instantly fell in love I couldn't care less about his curly feet. The only challenge in the first weeks were nappy changes but we got through that. The casting stage began when he was 7 weeks old. We are very fortunate to be living in a country where treatment is free so we didn't have to endure the extra costs. It was the middle of winter, every Monday morning I would layer him up and go to the clinic to get his casts changed. My mother was there with us at every appointment because my husband had to work. I will always be grateful of her support. At the time we were living with
my sister, so at one point her 2 year old asked me when she's getting her casts. Her kids absolutely adored their cousin and couldn't wait to decorate his casts.
The doctors assessed his feet after the 6th cast but because he was a tiny baby we had to wait till he was 6 kgs to have surgery, which he needed on both feet. His right foot was slightly worse. In the meantime he had to stay in the cast and had 16 altogether. This did not sit well with his skin and he ended up with severe eczema on both of his legs. He had a week off from casting to repair his skin but it was no help. It showed up every time the casts were on.
The back of his knees started oozing green liquid and the top layer of his skin peeled off. These were our toughest times. We were all frustrated, confused and hurting, especially my little boy.
Finally at 5 months he underwent the tenotomy surgery and into his final casts. The day those casts came off it was straight into the boots and bar, which has been the easiest part of his whole journey. He adapted to the boots very quickly, even learnt to crawl in them. At 8 months he moved to nap and night time wear of BnB.
It's been almost a year now and as I watch my son take his first steps I can say all those times were worth this moment. Yes his feet are a bit smaller than normal, yes his legs are a
bit skinnier than normal, but my little boy has straight feet and that's all that matters. Hopefully it will stay that way in the future.
To all parents with clubfoot cuties, it does get easier overtime. Everyday might not go as you planned and sometimes you will get strange looks but it's all part of the package. There are ups and downs, there are moments when it feels like it's too much but in the end it's all worth it, cherish these moments.