Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Club Feet – first casting


club feet before casting

feet 2

We woke up pretty early to get going and get to Children’s a little before 9. With nursing, then pumping and getting ready, it takes a while. It feels right, though. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else right now than providing for this precious gift from God!

So I was holding Justin early this morning after feeding him. He was laying on his belly on my chest. His tiny legs were curled underneath him and he slept soundly. I realized that this moment would be the last where he could curl his newborn legs underneath himself. I cried silently and Brian walked in the door a few minutes later. Poor thing thought something was wrong – nothing was wrong, I was having a moment with my baby before his little feet began their journey of being corrected so he will walk flat footed!

Dr. D with Children’s in Birmingham is Justin’s doctor. First of all, the facility is great with bright colors, wagons, toys and fun stuff for kids. I can see why kids enjoy this place!

We checked in and were shortly called back to a room. Justin weighs right at 8 pounds with his clothes on. I feel that I need a “starting point” to keep up with his weight gain so this will help me later.

Dr. D’s nurse, Nicole, came in and talked to us a bit. She is one of the sweetest people either of us had met. Seriously has a talent with getting people at ease.

Dr. D came in, spent quite a bit of time telling us about his castings, processes, tenotomy and release of the heel cord, etc. It sounded so familiar and I was glad to know that what I had learned about him and the Ponsetti method was exactly in line with what we wanted for our son. He isn’t Ponsetti certified because he uses soft casts versus plaster casts. There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. The soft casts are a new concept (within the past few years). I knew that Ponsetti passed away about 3 years ago but I haven’t found anything as far as comments from him about the soft casts.

His feet were “graded”. All this entails is a resident looking at the positioning of his feet and filling out  a form regarding the same. I didn’t ask the grade yet because I want to see how he has progressed at the next appointment. It will be interesting to know. After they were graded, Dr. D said that he was going to manipulate the feet and then put on casts. He said that if I had a bottle ready, it would help during the casting. This was one nice thing about having to pump to give milk to Justin.

So Dr. D said that all mothers and many fathers cry during the first treatment. I had heard this previously from another mother in Auburn whose son has club feet. I was thinking this would happen so I didn’t wear any eyeliner :) They placed Justin on the table with me sitting on one side. Dr. D then positioned the feet and Justin squirmed but barely cried (remember I said that he didn’t really cry?). The resident held the feet in the adjusted position. I could tell that Justin was very uncomfortable. There wasn’t any consoling him (as in he didn’t care for his pacifier) at that time. When they finished, they said he could have a bottle. He took it immediately and immediately calmed down.

As his legs were being wrapped with the casts, he gladly drank his bottle. Then Nicole said, “wow, you aren’t crying”. I was surprised, too. It really wasn’t that bad BUT I realized that Justin had been through much more in the NICU. This was easy!

We arrived at Children’s at 8:45 and left at 11:15. They told us that the appointment next week and subsequent weeks will not last as long.

We have a couple of friends whose children are having their first birthday parties in the next couple of weeks so we stopped by Pottery Barn Kids (yay!) to get presents. Brian stayed in the car while I picked out gifts. While they were being wrapped, I got a phone call from my mother….she went outside with Troy and they got locked out of the house.

Where was the extra key? Inside the house! Ha! No one else had a key either. I called my buddy Tracey and asked (knowing the answer) if she had a key – duh – no! Fortunately her husband had a flight that cancelled and was able to pick up my mom and Troy, buy some diapers and food (my mom’s purse was inside the house) and take them to their house. Thank goodness we had a key with us and could let everyone back in. Troy was SO happy and didn’t want to leave Britt which was good and bad.

Anyway, Justin slept the whole 2 hours home and did great. He was hungry by the time we got home. A few hours later, the random crying began. J would lift his casted legs up in the air, his face would get red and he would cry. His pacifier helped immediately but we could tell that he was uncomfortable. This was something we knew could happen so we just told him that it was going to be okay. He will get used to it. I’m glad he’s not a huge crier (yet) and seems to tolerate all of this well.


Cast 1 @ 11 Days


Jo-Ann said...

I just caught up on Justin's arrival and time in the NICU. Glad to hear he is home already and casting went well.

I wanted to mention that my second son (Not the clubfoot one) was born early and on the small side (4 lbs) and spent time in the NICU as well. He wasn't able to nurse well so I had to pump and nurse for the first two months. I know how time consuming it can be. Hopefully Justin will be able to take on full time nursing and you can leave the pumping behind very soon.

Congratulations and best wishes!

Kendall said...

I'm so glad that he's home! I remember my son's first casting. It will get easier each time. My son was fussy for about a day and a half after each casting.

Soon the casts will be a thing from the past, along with all of the NICU stuff. The brace is definitely better than the casts. I look forward to watching his progress!