Friday, January 30, 2009

Creepy crawler

I took a video of Alex crawling with his braces on. You can certainly tell that they do NOT slow him down in any way. He is only in them for 12 hrs a day so this was taken right before bedtime. He was "army crawling" for the longest time but now he is starting to crawl on his knees. He definitely gets where he's trying to go, though - no doubt about that!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I thought I would post some pictures of our journey with Alex's club feet...

This one was taken right after he was born. His little feet were turned in at 90 degree angles. Since we knew ahead of time that he was going to be born with club feet, we had plenty of time to prepare and research. Our pediatrician immediately said that he would refer us to Scottish Rite Hospital, and we have received wonderful treatment so far. We are using the Ponseti method, which was created by Dr. Ponseti, from the University of Iowa. He is 94 yrs old and just recently stopped seeing patients on a regular basis. He is such a blessing to all the thousands of little feet he's corrected!

Alex was put into his first set of casts at 7 days old. This picture was taken when we got home from the hospital. They told us to elevate his feet, which is why there is a folded towel under his legs. Wow, what an emotional day this was for us. I was fine on the way to the hospital, and I was fine until the dr said, "Ok, let's roll some casts." I will never forget that moment. My little 7 day old baby was lying on that table, and he was about to have his little feet turned and manipulated and put into casts. It was my job to protect and care for him, and there was nothing I could do. Luckily my husband was in the room, because I had to excuse myself and said I had to go to the restroom. Instead, I went to the waiting room and cried. Cried like a big baby. But I had a turning point while sitting there in the waiting room at Scottish Rite Hospital, where children are treated for much worse deformities, burns, etc. I saw a few children wheel by in their wheel chairs, and some did not even have limbs, or they had artificial ones. Then I suddenly felt very selfish for crying for my baby, who in the end, would be completely normal, and would have no memory of this. The memories would stick with me and my husband forever, but at least it is a blessing that Alex will have no memory of it.
It only took a few minutes and the casts were finished. I looked up and saw Dan carrying Alex down the hall toward me, and I went to them. Then I started feeling guilty for not being there for him. Motherhood is just one big emotional rollercoaster ride, I suppose.

This is Alex after we had his 2nd set of casts put on (14 days old).

This was after we got his 2nd set of casts removed.

After 5 set of casts, Alex was then put into his braces (technical term: Foot Abduction Brace (FAB)). He wore then 23 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a 30 min break in the morning, and another 30 min break at night for baths.

Fast forward 11 months to today. Now he only wears the braces at night time and he is totally fine with us putting them on. The most difficult part is getting him to lie still long enough because he is becoming so active! He stands up a lot now, even while wearing his braces. I will post some pictures soon of that. I also have a video of him crawling with them on, so I'll try to get that on here, too.

We were watching the news this morning and they mentioned something about President Obama and the Oval Office. Emily asked Dan, "What's the Oval Office?" He said, "It's the President's office, where he works." Then he asked her what shape she thought it was and she said, "Oval. It's kind of obvious, daddy. Why else would it be called the oval office?" HAHA

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Children are such blessings ...

It's been icy/wintery weather here this week, so I've been working from home the last 2 days. I've had Alex home with me, so I didn't get as much work done as I would like to, but I have LOVED being home with him. He is changing so fast, every day, and I know one day that these "baby days" will be gone, so I am trying to soak up every single moment of it/him that I can. He is standing and pulling himself up all the time now and I know it won't be much longer before he's taking his first step and walking/running. It is so hard to fathom, but I know it's just right around the corner. But I tell ya... after everything we've gone through with correcting his feet this first year, I will never tire of seeing him standing on his perfect little feet.

At one point today, he was playing on the floor and started crawling away from me (very fast, I might add). I "caught" up to him and started tickling him. He was laying flat on the floor, laughing as hard as I've ever heard him laugh. It was such a WONDERFUL moment. And I was honestly laughing just as hard, if not harder, than he was.

I thought I would have a theme to my blogs by adding a funny quote/story at the end. Here's the one for today ..

Emily and I were driving home from the store tonight and I asked her if she was going to watch the Superbowl this weekend. She said, "Why would I watch the 'superball'? I said, "For the commercials - remember you told me one time that's why girls watch it, to see the new commercials." She said, "commercial, schmercial. Besides, after they show them on the 'superball' they'll show them on tv all the time, so I'll see them again." That girl CRACKS me up. As we pulled into the garage, we were both singing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" at the top of our lungs - which resulted in some funny looks from Dan as he came out to the garage to meet us. :)

Our kids are such a blessing to our lives, and I thank God every single day for them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First time blogger

I have considered starting a blog before, but have never actually done it. I have a few friends, and now my husband, that have started one, so I figured what the heck. My biggest "dilemma" was where in the world do I start??? And who knows if anyone will actually follow or read this blog.. but it should be fun to have one, so again, what the heck?

The most obvious place is to talk about my family. My wonderful husband - I am definitely the luckiest girl in the world. We have been married for a little over 3 years and life is good. And I have a beautiful 7, almost 8, year old stepdaughter that is such a joy to have around. She keeps us in constant laughter, and sometimes tears, but every day we are amazed to watch how smart she is and how quickly she is growing up. At least once, usually more, times a day, I sit in amazement after having a conversation with her, because I can usually not believe how intelligent she sounds, at such a young age. The years are going by way too fast... she's not so much a little girl anymore and seems more like a little lady. And we have an 11 month old son that is also quite an amazement. He is growing and changing every single day and I find myself constantly just staring at him, thinking, "Wow. God is good."

So, a little about our son. He was born with club feet; we found out at my 22 week sonogram and neither one of us knew nothing about it. Our case was called a "genetic fluke". But we were referred to Scottish Rite Hospital and have received excellent care. Our orthopedic dr told us on day one that he will be able to "run, jump, play, and be normal." And he repeats that same sentence to us at every single appointment. When our son was born, both of his feet were basically turned in at 90 degree angles. That is called "bilateral talipes". He was put into casts at 7 days old, that were changed out every week and turned out at a higher degree each week. After 6 weeks of that, he was put into an FAB (Foot Abduction Brace) that he wore 23 hrs a day/7 days a week. We took them off for 30 min in the morning to give his feet a break and check for pressure sores, and then another 30 min in the evening for bathtime. After 3 months of that schedule, on July 4th (coincidence?) we got to go to 16 hours a day. Wow! What a difference just those few hours can make. He is almost a yr old (in 18 days!) and we are now only wearing the braces 12 hours a day - so we put them on at bedtime and take them off a little bit after he wakes up. He is able to have a somewhat normal "infant-hood". He is starting to stand more - pulling himself up on the furniture, and wow - after everything his little feet have gone through - what a site to see!

And he finally had his first teeth (yes, that's plural) break through yesterday! His two front top teeth. After 11 months, we were beginning to wonder if/when those boogers were ever going to break through! So we are keeping a supply of Orajel closeby because our normally happy baby becomes Mr. Grumpy Pants when those gums/teeth start hurting. 2 down... lots more to go!

So as I type this, my husband is sleeping on the couch and it's time to go wake him up and check on the kiddos before I turn in myself. Bye bye for now.