Shelbie’s Clubfoot Story

Shelbie was born on July 31, 2003 with bilateral clubfeet and amniotic band syndrome. I had had a pretty stessful pregnancy.

  • My triple-screens numbers were in the range where it looked like she was going to have down-syndrome. I opted not to have an amniosentices as there is high rate of miscarraige. We were thrilled to find out we were having a girl as we already had a 3 year old son, Sean. Sean was late to deliver and I had stress tests and quite a few ultrasounds with him. He was an emergency cesarean because the cord was wrapped around his neck and cutting his pulse down so with Shelbie my doctor wanted to make sure all was well.
  • At 24 weeks I had my second ultrasound and it revealed that she would have one club foot on the right side.
  • At 26 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
  • At 31 weeks I was put on insulin.
  • At 37 weeks I delivered by emergency cesarean because Shelbies’ cord was wrapped around her neck bringing down her heart rate. I was on the table when, right after delivery, the doctors are talking really fast and about 15 more people were in the room. .

Shelbie was born with ABS that affected her whole left hand, in which the tip of what little thumb was there was connected to the tips of her first, middle, and ring finger by a webbing of skin. The fingers she does have on that hand were ‘naturally’ amputated just above the knukle in her hand. We lovingly call it her ‘paw’ because of the resemblance. ABS also affected her right hand with which the first, middle, and ring fingers were webbed together. She had her first hand surgery in October of 2003. This was to seperate the thumb and fingers on her left hand and seperate her ring finger from her middle finger. On halloween that year we had a 4 month old with casts on all her limbs. In September of 2004 she had a hand surgery to deepen the ‘channel’ between the first and middle finger on her right hand. We’re waiting for a surgery date for this year to deepen the ‘channel’ between the middle and ring finger also on the right hand..

Shelbie was also born with 2 (bilateral) severe clubfeet. She has only the little toe on her right foot and band impressions on both of her ankles. We casted for 12 weeks, with cast changes every week. The doctor performed a ‘perk’ as he called it in which they cut the Achilles tendon with a scalpal and cast for another consecutive 3 weeks. This procedure helps when the tendon is to tight. It releases it and because there only 4 months old the tendon will grow back together only longer. We work with a physical therapist once a week and have one morning of group therapy with kids her age called ‘early movers’.

Shelbie is almost 2 now (22 months to be exact) and she is wonderful and very independent. She just started walking last month. We have her in an AFO on her left foot to help her hold her foot flat and in a Ponsetti Bar (looks like the Brown Bar but the bar is slanted upwards at the end) at night. I have to say thank goodness for the nurse I had in the hospital right after I had Shelbie. She was the most informative women and spent an hour in the room with me explaining what had happened to my little angle. I thank her so much because it took away the fear of what your next plan of action was. She also informed me about the greatest hospitals in the US (my opinion), The Shriners Hospitals in Mass. The people there have been great support.Shelbie is an excellent inspiration to all in our family because there is nothing that she won’t try. So far so good. Thanks for reading.


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