28w2d: The Other Shoe Drops
Posted by auntiem10 on July 11, 2011
So, we found out today that our Baby A has bilaterally clubbed feet. I’ve been waiting throughout all of these perfect ultrasounds for some problem to emerge, and apparently this is it. Now before anyone out there judges me, I’m fully aware that the problem could be so much worse–she could be suffering from any number of severe or even fatal illnesses. But obviously, as parents, we would not wish her to have a painful or uncomfortable beginning to her life, and it appears that this will be her reality. The perinatologist diagnosed the condition as mild to moderate, so most likely casting and bracing will be the treatment option that works best for her. From what I’ve read, during her first few weeks of life, they would begin casting her from mid-thigh to toes in a plaster cast, and change the cast (and position of the foot) every 5-7 days. After a period of time, the feet would correct themselves. Then braces will be needed until around the age she would begin walking, to ensure that the feet did not return to their original position. If this was not successful, surgery when she is a little bigger is the next step up. The peri thinks she’s had this issue all along, but she wasn’t properly positioned in utero to see it until today. We could clearly see where the feet were turning inward at the ankles.
As her mom (weird to type!), I’m taking this maybe a little harder than everyone else. My husband assumes that everything will be fine and that she won’t remember anything. I’m envisioning long nights of trying to comfort her as she struggles to get comfortable with casts on both legs. I’m thinking of many trips to a pediatric orthopedist and trying to help her through months of therapy. I’m considering the fact that having twins is stressful enough for most people, and having a twin with a medical issue will heap more on our plate as first-time parents. We will survive it, though. I need to keep things in perspective.
Besides this news, both babies looked perfect. Baby A measured in at 29.5 weeks, and Baby B measured in at 29 weeks. I’m 28 weeks 2 days today, so they are both overachievers. The sonographer described A as the “long” one and B as the “round” one, ha! They are estimated to weigh exactly the same though–2 lbs 14 oz so far! They were practicing breathing and swallowing on their own, and all of their anatomy (besides Baby A’s clubbed feet) were in perfect condition. Baby A apparently has quite a bit of hair, while Baby B may just have a little bit of fuzz on top of her head. Amazing! We feel fortunate that they are growing so well and hitting all the milestones that they’re expected to hit.
The peri I saw today said his plan would be to deliver at 38 weeks, a full two weeks later than what we had been told previously. That puts us at a c-section date of about September 16th (Saturday the 17th will be 38 weeks exactly, but I’m not sure if they schedule this sort of thing on Saturdays), unless there are medical reasons to deliver earlier. They might be big babies by then, which is great! I’m sure I’ll be totally miserable, but it will be worth it! To avoid the risk of pelvic fractures as my belly continues to grow (a risk because of my bone disorder), I’ll return to work eventually in a wheelchair and will walk sparingly until after the babies are born. We’ll also plan on doing a Dexa Scan (bone density test) closer to or at delivery to test for osteopenia or osteoporosis. If I have either condition, I won’t be allowed to even attempt to breastfeed since I will be at greater risk of fracture.
This morning we also saw the orthopedist for x-rays on my ankle, knee, and shoulder. My ankle is healed, so I get to remove the boot I’ve been wearing since my cast was removed. My shoulder requires further consultation with a surgeon who is more specialized in shoulders, so I’ll see a different doctor in 10 days for more discussion. My knee is healing really well, and my surgeon thought I might be able to remove the brace completely at the next appointment on the 21st. That would be wonderful! I’m now allowed to put as much weight on it as I can tolerate, also. We are finally at the tail-end of this whole debacle, after almost seven weeks. This week my physical therapist and I will work on getting me up and down our flight of stairs, so fingers crossed that I’ll be sleeping in my own bed by the end of the week! : )