The last 4 weeks have been wonderful. Busy, yes. Exhausting, yes. But, as a good friend of mine put it, we’ve been enjoying the Baby Bliss of having a newborn. We’ve been soaking up every minute of Jesse’s sweetness – his skin … his soft, soft hair … his sweet baby smell … the tiny little sounds that only a newborn can make.
It has been nice to just enjoy him, and not have to worry about strict feeding schedules, oxygen requirements, heart failure, hospice, or any of the other things that made Matthew’s first months so stressful. And we have been enjoying him immensely – treasuring the small moments, and thanking God for our healthy, beautiful boy, who just needs a little help to straighten his foot.
Yes, Jesse was born with a club foot. We knew this was a possibility from my 20-week ultrasound, but were hoping it would be flexible enough to require minimal intervention. Matthew was diagnosed with 2 club feet in utero, but when he was born, his feet were very flexible and self-corrected by the time he was 6 months old. Jesse’s foot, however, is not flexible and will require casting. As you can see, Jesse’s foot is a classic case:
We’ll go to the Shriner’s hospital in Portland next week for his first cast. Then, he will need to be re-casted weekly for several weeks, then wear a brace at night for about 2 years. It is a more involved process than we were anticipating (we were really hoping to be done with children’s hospitals for awhile, but instead we get to learn our way around a 3rd one!), but we’re thankful that club feet are treatable – it is not a life-threatening or life-long condition, and by the time he is ready to run, his foot will be ready, too. However, the casting stage is going to be logistically quite difficult for us, since Portland is over 4 hours away. There isn’t anyone closer who is comfortable casting his foot, so we need to figure out how to make weekly trips across the state. (I always thought it would be Matthew who would require us to live close to a children’s hospital!)
We’ll make this first trip together as a family, (and hopefully take the boys to the zoo if weather permits), but later trips might have to be just Jesse and me, leaving the older boys with Daddy or grandparents. We’ll make it work one way or another.
Meanwhile, we’ll keep taking in every special moment. Whatever it takes – he’s worth it … and he’s already rewarding us with sweet, sleepy smiles:
Once again, we appreciate your prayers.
About 1 in 1,000 babies is born with a club foot – many times it affects both feet, as it did with Matthew. We were also once told that our chances of having a baby with Down syndrome was 1 in 1000-1500. I’m not sure how I feel about hitting those odds twice in a row … my dad says it makes us a 1-in-a-million family!