Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why the casts?

First of all – we have an announcement about Mike!  He has officially passed his first milestone since his birth.  This past Sunday, his cord stump fell off!  Now he has a completely normal looking belly button!

That would usually mean that he could begin taking a “normal” baby bath since we no longer have to worry about getting the stump wet.  But we can’t get Mike’s casts wet so it’ll be sponge baths for a little while longer.

Casts?  Yep – that’s right.  But before we go into all of that, we would like to fill you in on the “Best Baby on the Block” progress!  Last night was “evening three” of our little experiment.  And we are EXTREMELY happy to report that it was Mike’s third night of normal sleep!  In bed at 11:00, a feeding at 2:30, then up at 6:30 for breakfast!  While we hesitate to proclaim this a success (we wouldn’t want to jinx it), it is certainly the first time that we have had three nights of sleep all in a row!  Or stress level has been dramatically reduced and we have been able to enjoy and love Mike even more!

But why the casts?  Back during the ultrasound around week 23, the doctor told us that there was a possibility that Mike had clubbed feet.  We thought it meant that his feet and toes were fused together making his leg look like a “caveman club”.  But we were looking at the ultrasound and could clearly see 10 toes on the end of his feet.  Obviously, we had no idea – so we asked the doctor…

Turns out that club foot is simply when the foot is turned downward and inward (more like a golf club rather than a caveman club).  It is also the most common congenital disorder of the lower extremities.

Sure enough, when Mike was born he had “bilateral clubbing” (both feet were turned in).  So we scheduled an appointment with a pediatric orthopedist, Doctor Crawford at Knoxville Orthopedic.  He took a look at Mikes feet, and told us that the clubbing was not bad and that successful treatment was almost certain. 

And the treatment?  A series of casts put on weekly to turn the feet upward and outward then braces to hold them in place until the bones are set.  Mike had his first cast put on almost two weeks ago and will get his third cast on Thursday.  Already his feet are turned outward and we are hoping that he will only need 2 or 3 more casts before he is out of them…

The first casts bothered him for a couple of days, but now he doesn’t mind them at all.  He will actually bang his heals together with a loud “clack” when he gets mad! 

So we will be certain to keep you posted on his progress.  And if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by the house and sign Mikes casts!

IMG00010-20091210-1445 Mike at the doctors office just before his first cast.  See the feet turned in and down…

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The second set of casts.  See how my feet are already turned out?

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