How Clubfoot treatment can be FUN!

What? How can clubfoot treatment be fun!?
I’m writing this blog post for the expecting parents who may have recently found out that their baby will be born with clubfoot. I know how scared you feel and how worried you must be for your baby. I’ve been there. (You can read about our experience here). My daughter was born with bilateral clubfoot and we are currently in the 12-hour wear phase of our treatment. It is definitely a long, hard road at times – If I didn’t mention that aspect of the treatment I think I’d be lying. At the same time, like any situation, it is so important to find the good aspects of a difficult time.
Let me start by saying that thanks to medical advances and incredible doctors (specifically, those who have been trained in the Ponseti method) our clubfoot babies can receive excellent and extremely successful treatment. That being said, I want to encourage you by telling you some of the good things you may experience during your child’s clubfoot journey!

1. Your baby will most likely want lots of extra cuddles and snuggles after cast changes. Yes, it is difficult to see them uncomfortable and fussy, but those extra cuddles and lots of loving will mean so much to you as parents.
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2. You will have the opportunity to meet lots of other clubfoot moms, dads, and babies who have gone through what you’re going through! It is so good to know that you’re not alone and talk to other parents about the journey if you have questions or concerns. I have met several parents of babies with clubfoot and this journey would be a lot more difficult without them!

3. You can dress up the casts and make them fun! (Yes, even for boys!!) We used cute little leg warmers, coband wrap, and cute socks to dress the casts up. Before my daughter was born, I was so worried that people would stare and ask me questions about her casts. Well, they did – but instead of being embarrassed or ashamed, I would happily tell them about my daughter’s condition and use the opportunity to spread clubfoot awareness. We rarely (if ever) encountered people who were rude about my daughter wearing casts on her legs. No one thought she fell down the stairs or that I did something wrong (irrational as it sounds, those were some of my fears). People were, for the most part, genuinely curious and had very kind responses.
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4. You will be so proud of every single milestone your clubfoot baby reaches. Yes, every mom is beyond proud of their child for meeting milestones like rolling over, crawling, walking, etc!! There is just something extra special about the clubfoot baby who has overcome so much in their young life in order to make progress. Our daughter is crawling EVERYWHERE now and we are so very proud.

5. You can make up cute little songs and rhymes for the “bedtime shoes” when you get down to the 12-hour wear phase – and you WILL get there. It may seem like it is forever away at times but you’ll get there. I was very worried that our daughter would hate having her feet confined to the boots and bar at night but she doesn’t know any different! She knows it is just part of her bedtime routine and she does wonderful with them!

6. Your clubfoot baby may make you laugh a lot by some of the hilarious positions they learn to sleep in. Imagine if you had to sleep with special shoes on and a bar connecting those shoes. Sounds uncomfortable, right? Well, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the clubfoot kiddos! Our daughter sleeps in some of the most hilarious positions and somehow, she finds it comfortable with her boots and bar. It makes us laugh every time!
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7. You will have the opportunity to meet and get to know some incredible doctors, nurses, and cast techs along your journey! We absolutely love going to Shriner’s and getting to see Dr. Gibson and Stephanie! We are so thankful for everything they’ve done to help our daughter through treatment!

8. You will look back at pictures of your baby’s feet before their treatment began and you will be overwhelmed with happiness for the progress you’ve seen! (Also – make sure you take before pictures, you will be glad you did). These babies are so tough and resilient. It is incredible.
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Imagine your clubfoot baby running around one day on their perfect feet! The clubfoot journey is difficult and seems impossible at times, but it will be so worth it!!

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Paisley Grace: 6 months

Happy half birthday to our sweet baby girl. Half a year. 6 months. I still remember when Paisley Grace was 6 hours old, 6 days old, 6 weeks old. Now she’s 6 months old and I cannot even wrap my mind around it. (I shared some of my thoughts about that here)

These past 6 months have been the best.IMG_0547At 6 months old she…
– Has TWO teeth. They are both on the bottom and they are just cute as can be.
– Laughs constantly. It seems like she’s always laughing or smiling (well…except when she’s overtired). She especially likes to laugh when we are at any kind of store. Her little giggles just fills the room and brings a smile the face of everyone who hears it. She also laughs at mommy & daddy all the time.
– Does this really cute thing where she puts the back of both of her hands over her eyes when she gets really tired. She’s a drama queen, already.
– Has started trying to copy us when we make funny noises and faces.
– Is a really cute sleeper. BUT she doesn’t sleep very well during the day. She’s getting better at sleeping through the night, but during the day she wants to be awake and interacting with everyone for the most part.
– Started sitting up on her own on Saturday, February 7th (2 days before she turned 6 months old)! She looks like such a big girl when she sits up and reaches for her toys!
-Is a little cuddle bug and really really loves when she gets to snuggle up in mommy and daddy’s bed.
– Has her ears pierced! She got them pierced on January 17th while her Aunt Kassidy was visiting us in South Carolina. She handled it like such a champ.
– Loves animals. Stuffed animals, real animals, pictures of animals, everything. She just LOVES them! She smiles and giggles when she sees them. She has a plush frog toy she loves to hold whenever we’re home. She’s also met several dogs who love to give her kisses and she just pets them (AKA pulls their hair) and laughs.
– Is a morning person! She doesn’t wake up in the morning crying. Instead, we usually hear her cooing and babbling in her crib and when we walk in to get her she gives us the biggest smile. Mornings with Paisley are the sweetest!
– Wears 0-3 month clothes and can fit into some 3-6 months (they’re just too long on her still, but I’m sure she’ll be wearing them in no time).
– Has some cute nicknames. Mommy calls her monkey moo moo, Grandma Deb and Pokey call her Paigie, daddy calls her monster and little one. She’s bound to have lots of nicknames as the years go by.
– Has lost a lot of her hair. She was born with a full head of strawberry blonde hair and now the majority of her hair is found only on the top of her head! Still cute as a button but I’m really excited for her hair to eventually grow back.
– Is doing so well eating her baby food. She loves bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, apples, and pears. The only thing she has tried that she didn’t care for were peaches.

Our photoshoot this month was filled with lots of giggles, smiles, silly faces, and big belly laughs. (Even more so than usual – Enjoy!)IMG_0552IMG_0546IMG_0541IMG_0536IMG_0534IMG_0455IMG_0528IMG_0530IMG_0526
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IMG_0505 IMG_0512IMG_0454IMG_0451Happy half birthday, little one. We love you so much!!

Paisley Grace: 5 months

We are so blessed to be the parents of this beautiful baby girl.

IMG_0207Paisley Grace is 5 months old!!
At 5 months old she…
– Has a TOOTH. What?! It came in on December 29th when we were on vacation in Florida! And…it’s pretty adorable.
– Started rolling over from back to belly with her boots and bar on. This also happened while we were in Florida!
– Has started eating some fruits and veggies! The first vegetable she tried was carrots. She loved them right away
– Loves the Johnny Jumper her Aunt Holley let us borrow. Right now, it’s probably her favorite thing to do!
– Has started to use her hands purposefully (reaching for things, picking up her paci and toys, etc)
– She watches EVERYTHING and is very in-tune with her environment
– Is almost always smiling and laughing. Except for when she’s extremely hungry or tired…then she sure can throw a fit!
– Enjoys going to any kind of store where we can put her carseat in the shopping cart and she can look around. She just laughs and laughs!
– Weighs 13 pounds, 10 ounces and is 24 inches long
– Doesn’t quite sleep through the night…yet. But we’re hopeful!! We have a good bedtime routine and some nights she gets a full night of sleep, but most of the time she decides to wake up to eat around 3:00-4:00 AM.
– Is such a goofball. She’s constantly making funny faces and hilarious noises.
– Tries to put everything in her mouth
– Is wearing 0-3 month clothes and is starting to fit into some 3-6 month clothes (but we have to roll up the sleeves and pants cause they are still quite a bit long on her)
– Definitely knows who mommy & daddy are. We love it.
– Makes every day an adventure.

Our monthly photoshoots have become quite the task now that Paisley Grace constantly wants to be moving around and making silly faces. Enjoy!

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Mommy & Daddy love you so much, Paisley Grace

Happy 5 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 4 months

We absolutely LOVE this age. For real. It’s so much fun!

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At 4 months old she:
– Started eating oatmeal cereal on December 10th. Right now we are just giving it to her before bedtime so that she will (hopefully) sleep through the night.
– Has slept completely through the night for 4 nights in a row. That’s her longest record so far. Here’s to hoping it will be a routine soon!
– Can roll onto her side. She doesn’t quite know how to roll over yet but she’s working on it.
– Interacts with all of her little toys and loves to play in her activity jumper.
– Giggles a lot! She will laugh for a little while and then abruptly decide that whatever was making her laugh is no longer funny at all. At that point…good luck trying to get a giggle out of her!
– Can put weight on her feet when she stands with help (this is a HUGE deal)!
– Weighs 12 pounds, 7 ounces! She’s getting so big!
– Chews on her hands and fingers constantly.
– Kicks out of her boots and bar on a daily basis…sometimes multiple times a day.
– Wears 0-3 month clothes
– Loves listening to the Baby Einstein Pandora station and singing along with mommy in the car.
– Is intrigued by the lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree
– Cannot sleep unless she is tightly swaddled. if she breaks out of her swaddle at night she cries until we re-swaddle her!
– Still really, really loves that paci. You won’t see Paisley without a pacifier clipped to her.
– Proved herself to be an incredibly well-behaved baby in the car for a long trip to Missouri and back. She handled it even better than I did.
– Still loves bathtime
– Has started to scream-laugh all the time. It’s adorable and slightly confusing. She will scream as loud as she can while smiling. We think she just likes to make noises!
– Interacts with her environment so much.
– Has really started developing her own little personality.
– Seems to recognize voices and people. As soon as I walk into her classroom to pick her up from daycare, she just lights up and starts smiling when she sees me. I love it.
– Has some of the funniest facial expressions I’ve ever seen. This baby girl is very animated.

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Paisley Grace: 3 months

Our sweet baby girl is 3 months old already! Somebody just stop time for a little while, please!!!IMG_9307

At 3 months old she:

– Smiles. A LOT. We absolutely love it!
– Really, really loves to be swaddled when she sleeps. BUT…because of her boots and bar we are only able to swaddle the top half of her and her little arms. It’s kind of adorable.
– Is a paci baby. This momma is definitely thankful for that! (For now, anyway)
– Wakes up smiling in the morning. Some mornings we even have to wake her up to get her to daycare and she is all smiles even after we wake her up! I only wish I could be so friendly first thing in the morning.
– Is a WIGGLE WORM. Always. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
– Finally has her nighttime/sleep routine down and is currently at the point where she only wakes up once (or not at all) during the night!! We could not be more thankful!!
– Had her first Halloween – she was Snow White! We are very excited for next year when she’ll be able to go trick-or-treating!
– Is wearing 0-3 month clothing and is in size 1 diapers. It’s unreal how fast babies grow!!
– Has the cutest crying face. How is that even possible? Sometimes, Gus will just watch her when she starts to cry because it’s that cute!
– Is completely enthralled by anything that moves, makes noise, and/or has lights. Ceiling fans, the TV, her mobile, lights…you name it! It’s so cute to watch her “interact” with her environment.
– Has adjusted unbelievably well to daycare. I’m telling you – our little girl has the ability to adjust exceptionally well to different situations.
– Coos and babbles. This is one of my favorite things about this age. She’s so interactive! She makes the cutest little noises and faces as she tries to “talk” to us!
– Doesn’t like it when mommy has to focus on homework. She also doesn’t like it when we’re at a restaurant and the food arrives at the table. Both of those scenarios result in her loudly requesting our full attention. Maybe it’s just a phase?
– Is finally used to her boots and bar! This is a huge accomplishment for all of us!
– Laughs in her sleep AND cries in her sleep sometimes. Do babies dream? Either way, it’s entertaining.
– Is overall a very, very happy baby. She is exceptionally content! Obviously, there are exceptions…but overall we have been very impressed with how well-behaved she usually is.

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I never knew that a 3 month-old little baby could teach me so much. So much about myself, about life, and about God’s grace.

We love you very much, Paisley Grace.
Happy 3 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 2 months

Our little girl is already 2 months old! We are just so in love with her. She’s our whole world.

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At 2 months old she:

– Has chubby, chubby cheeks
– Weighs 10 pounds, 2.5 ounces!!
– Loves to go on walks in her stroller
– Likes to stay awake and interact a lot during the day
– Uses Tommee Tippee bottles only. She’s kind of a bottle snob
– Is on a pretty good schedule. Eating 3 or 4 ounces every 3 -3.5 hours
– Is wearing size 1 diapers. No more newborn diapers for our little girl!
– Really enjoys her bath time! She got her first full bath (without her casts on) October 7th!
– Spits up a lot after she eats…yuck. Hopefully a recent formula change will help this little problem!
– Has had visits from so many amazing people who love her and traveled a long way just to see her!
– Loves to lay on her changing table and look around her nursery with the cutest little expressions.
– Is wearing NB and 0-3 month clothing. Mostly 0-3 months…but there’s something challenging for this momma about putting away those tiny newborn clothes. We’re slowing transitioning, though!
– Has the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen. She also smiles and laughs when we talk and interact with her!
– Has slept through the night 3 times. Well, slept for a good 6 hours straight, anyway. We’re happy!
– Got her last set of casts taken off on October 7th! She now is in the boots and bar stage of treatment for her clubfoot and it’s been a little rough. When she adjusts it will hopefully be a lot better!

She’s just the sweetest little baby and we are incredibly blessed to be her mommy & daddy.

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We love you, Paisley Grace.
Happy 2 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 1 month

I can’t believe our little girl is already a month old. Where in the world does the time go?!

At one month old she:

– Loves her tiny hands and is always moving them around
–  Makes the most adorable little squeaking and grunting noises
– Loves to sleep in her MamaRoo and really, really likes to be rocked
– Keeps mommy & daddy awake…a lot
– Stares off into the distance for long periods of time and does these cute, slow blinks
– Has had 4 sets of casts on her little legs
– Wears newborn clothes and diapers (putting the preemie clothes away was hard for this momma)
– Weighs 7 lb 8 oz without her casts (8 lb 4 ounces with her casts on)
– Smiles in her sleep…and smiled once at Gus & I while she was awake!
– Really, really knows how to throw a fit. Including kicking her casts and punching herself in the face
– Has already been to Chick-fil-A with us 7 times
– Always decides to pee while we’re changing her diaper (little stinker!)
– Loves it when we give her a bath. She doesn’t even cry!
– Already tries to suck her thumb
– Makes the cutest, silliest faces

We love our sweet Paisley Grace so much.

Happy one month of life, little one!

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