My name is Jennifer. My daughter’s name is Hannah. We were both born with clubfeet. She has one clubfoot. I had bi-lateral clubfeet.
Hannah’s story is just beginning. Even in the haze after I gave birth to her I remember seeing how tightly her little right leg still stayed tucked under her even after I unswaddled her. I also noticed that they never did stamp her feet (as they did my son). I was told by a hospital pediatrician in a sad tone that she had a “clubfoot” and that she would tell the head pediatrician right away. Honestly, I was nearly elated at the time because I spent most of the pregnancy under the impression that she would be born with Down’s Syndrome, which she wasn’t. This might be terrible to think, but I was like, “Clubfoot? Is that all? Thank goodness.”
Another reason “clubfoot” didn’t seem so daunting to me was that I had bi-lateral clubfeet when I was born. I don’t remember any of it so I am relaying what my mom told me. My mom still thinks I got my clubfeet from being way overdue. She massaged my feet every time she changed my diaper for several minutes at a time. I also was given the corrective shoes with the bar. I had no surgeries. Also, I learned how to swim before I could walk. I grew up with a “normal” childhood, except I do remember an extremely painful growth spurt in 6th grade. I had an awesome experience in High School Track and Field…running the 400 meter “sprint” , being Varsity Captain 3 years, and earning an All-American Award with my name forever up in the High School gym. I think having clubfeet as a baby may be why I love to fall asleep rubbing my feet and relaxing by stretching the tops of my feet against the floor with my toes pointed inward.
Back to Hannah. I hope to update Hannah’s story in the future, but currently she started getting her cast at one month of age. She has had 4 weekly cast-changes. Her calf and heel are noticeably smaller than her unaffected foot. She has no hip issues and her foot has been very pliable. Although, my husband says you can hear her crying in the waiting room as the doctor is stretching her foot, the castperson is wrapping her, and I am holding her in my lap and trying to keep the pacifier (not doing its job) in her mouth. For the rest of the day she is a sensitive grump, but rightfully so. I hate driving through LA morning traffic to UCLA Medical Plaza, but knowing my daughter has a chance to walk normally is worth it.