My CCRM IVF Journey

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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! : )

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12 Responses to “28w2d: The Other Shoe Drops”

  1. Josey said

    Wow.
    Okay, so I just re-read this entire thing a couple of times. You have so much going on!!

    (1) SO glad that you are healing up finally. What a long process!
    (2) Definitely scary about BabyA, but how wonderful that it is a treatable condition that hopefully won’t involve more than some slight discomfort for her as they reposition things. It could definitely be worse, but luckily you have healthy babies in every other respect. Hang in there!!

  2. Maggie Fuller said

    Hi. Congrats on getting to the 3rd trimester! Glad you are healing – keep it going!!

    I am sorry about Baby A. I know I would take it very hard as well – she is your little girl. I am not an expert by any means, but 32 years ago my parents were very surprised when I was born with a clubbed foot. Dr’s said there was nothing to do – I would not walk normal, etc. Well, my mom didn’t believe it and fought for me and found Dr’s that would help. After casts, braces, etc my foot is completely normal. I grew up playing all kinds of sports and still run for exercise. I can only imagine that now – 32 years later – the treatment is even better and more efficient.

    On an even more personal note, Charlotte was born with a funny shaped head (crazy labor) as well as torticollis (stiff neck). We ended up having to get her a helmet to help shape her head……it was so much harder on me than on her. She didn’t mind at all!! And I feel so great that we stuck to it – no regrets. We got soo much attention that I used it as a way to educate people.

    September 16th – Yay!!!!! Can’t wait!!!

  3. Littlediiorios said

    Oh my goodness my dear. Between your injuries and worries and now for baby A, you have a lot on your plate. You sound strong and plowing through it all one day and one issue at a time. good. Nice to see you healing. I know you are worried about baby A, but I’m glad it’s something that has a solution and will correct itself. You will be dealing with braces for her while taking care of her sister, but you’ll do great….and so will she.

  4. Pie said

    You are healing so well, I’m so glad. I don’t know much about clubbed feet, but it sounds like with early intervention and her mild case, she’ll be ok. I know as a mom it is so hard not to worry though. If you start with the treatment early though, she may not even be fussed about it – she won’t know life any different, right? Keep up the good gestational work!!

  5. Jen said

    If it’s not one thing it’s another, right?

    I am sure the docs will do everything for her that they can and she won’t remember a thing. You will just have something to torture her with when she’s 16 and being a 16-year-old girl! Next to all the fractures, bed rest, pregnancy stories to torture the girls with…

    It sounds like you are healing quite well – it’s amazing how resilient the human body is, especially growing little ones. But it sounds like they are doing terrific. I can’t believe you have only 10 weeks to go!

    Thinking of you! Many many hugs!

  6. Cassie said

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet little Baby A. I have a feeling that she is going to be just fine – she will be straightened out in no time and won’t even really notice it. They are so malleable at this age, and chances are when she comes out, they will find that her feet aren’t even as bad as they think now. Our little guy was all crunched up because he was transverse, and when he came out one of the pediatricians thought he had too much of a curve in his foot (as in, almost a club foot), but the next pediatrician to see him in the hospital, as well as our own once we got out, said that it would straighten out on its own. And indeed it is way better than it was before. They have just been all squished in there and need to get out and stretch out!

    I’m glad that you are healing well!

  7. Sara said

    I’m so sorry to hear about the complication. My husband had the same condition, and wore casts – he has NO memory of it and was grateful that it was fixed! It’ll be much more painful for you than for her, I promise – if that’s any consolation…

    Congrats on healing!

  8. LisainSK said

    Oh my Em!! That’s a huge load on your plate coming up…but I know you will be able to handle it. Not much longer…you are into single digit weeks to wait!!

  9. Wishing and Waiting said

    As a pediatrician, I have seen many babies with this condition and they are usually fine with casting. They are not as miserable as we think they would be. I am glad that you are healing well. Continued blessings to you!

  10. flygirl555 said

    Em – So happy things are progressing with the girls and you are recovering. Hope you can make it upstairs soon. I bet you miss not sleeping in your own bed.

    I am glad other posters were able to put some perspective on clubbed feet and solutions. Glad you were able to take a moment to digest the news, take a step back and start to put things into perspective. I would be just like you – thinking how I can help and minimize my child’s discomfort.

    September 16th will be here in no time! Enjoy these last few weeks of your pregnancy!

  11. LC1 said

    Keeping you and your girls in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to heal and you adjust to the news of baby A. It is a scary thing, but so glad it is something that is treatable. It will be hard at times, but you will all get thru it and grow stronger because of it. Glad everything else with the girls is perfect. Hoping you make it to your bed by the end of this week!! Keep us posted!

  12. Rambler said

    Overall I am happy to hear that things are progressing so well, and even this pothole in the road isn’t going to deter your journey. You’re going to have two beautiful girls in your arms in just a few more months (did you know my birthday is in Sept, just a few days from your EDD? Now that would be fun if they came on the same date!). I’m sorry that you have to start planning for this unexpected medical complication, but I agree with other commenters with experiences that it will work out in the end.

    I’m sorry I haven’t been around or supported the icky parts of your journey. i have always silently cheered you on, slowly followed along and kept you in my thoughts. I’ll never forget the first emails back and forth from your other blog and how easy it was to email back and forth. You’ve come a long way baby, and a lot more (fun!) to go. Continue to make yourself stronger, get out of that wheelchair and get ready for some running around!! 🙂 Lots of love…..

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