When did you find out about that your baby had/would have clubfoot?
Daniel – The day he was born
Cristina – at our 19 week foetal assessment scan
How did you feel?
Daniel – I was absolutely distraught. I knew the possibility was big because of the fact that my uncle and myself were born with bilateral clubfoot, but it was never picked up during our scans. I honestly did not think he would have it. I was heartbroken and went into bad antenatal depression.
Cristina – From the moment the professor told me, I could not stop crying. I was praying for the feeties to be ok. I will never forget my mom holding me that afternoon and telling me how very special clubfoot babies are.
What was the correction process like for you and your family?
Daniel was a difficult baby. He never slept and cried constantly, so the first couple of casts, the op and booties were hard. After the three months of 23 hour wear it was smooth sailing, though. He loved his brace so much. The day we stopped the treatment, he was very sad. He stopped in Feb 2011 and we started all over in April 2011 with Cristina. With her it was much easier as we knew what to expect and the fact that we had proof that the treatment worked. She has eight months left and is not too fond of the booties.
How did you find out about STEPS?
At our first appointment at Dr Mark Eltringham, I remember him giving me a CD and telling me how wonderful Steps was. I did not pick the CD up until Daniel was a couple of months old. I joined the chat group straight away. All the wonderful mommies and daddies have helped me through many difficult times.
What advice would you offer to other families going through similar journeys?
Our kids are the most wonderful little beings, with the strongest wills to get through this. They are so accepting and trust in us 100%. It takes strain on the parents more than it does on the kids. I have two children who are proof that this treatment works. If you want assistance or support, join the Steps Chat groups. The doctors are wonderful at what they do, but often do not give you any tips. Most importantly, stick to what your Ponseti doctor tells you! You can and WILL get through it with two perfect little feet!
By Adri Rego