Theodore’s legs have been in casts since he was 3 days old. He is being treated with the Ponseti method. The casts cover his tiny feet and half way up his thighs. We call the casts “astronaut trousers”.
I was devastated when I learnt about his clubfoot condition. No matter how many times doctors reassured me that the treatment will produce excellent results and that Theodore will be no different from other children, I was heartbroken.
Every week we had to bring him to the Orthopedist to change his casts. Each week, his feet were bent at a certain angle. And each week he cried his heart out when his casts were changed. Doctors told me that the treatment wasn’t painful; just uncomfortable for Theodore.
Thankfully, his condition wasn’t too bad so he needed only 4 sets of casts to correct his feet. I used every opportunity during casts changing days to feel and kiss his legs. I don’t think anyone whose babies were born with normal feet understands what it’s like for me to carry my son and being able to only feel the warmth from the top half of his body. It is not simply a strange feeling. It’s heart wrenching for me and I’m constantly being reminded of it.
Theodore was a very brave boy. Apparently he didn’t cry during the operation (maybe he did but the doctors didn’t want to worry me, especially when they probably knew that Mama is a cry-baby!). We had to stay one night at the hospital to ensure that he didn’t develop an infection.
A countless amount of tears has been shed since his birth. Just the sight of other babies’ chubby thighs and feet at our Monday Baby Massage class was enough to make me fight back tears. However, Theodore doesn’t seem too bothered.
He definitely lives up to his middle name, “Isaac”, which means “He smiles”. While I worry about him being in pain/ discomfort, he’s usually smiling away. He kicks around forcefully and playfully even with the casts on.
As his Mama, I think it’s only natural for me to worry about the future, his development (although doctors say he won’t be slower than other kids when it comes to crawling and walking). At the back of my mind I’m always thinking about the treatment and praying that it WILL work and how I can prevent any relapse.
Next Tuesday, his final casts will be taken off (Hello feet!!!). I’m excited but nervous at the same time. We’ll be moving on to the bars and braces stage which requires full compliance on the part of the parents. Goodbye casting phase…