Monday, 30 January 2012

Spoke too soon

Well we were naps/night for a week but today when monkey man was standing at his play table I noticed that he wasn't standing down on his right foot as much as his left and was turning it, in a way favoring it like it is regressing in the correction.  So until he is pulling himself up more he is back in his shoes more full time.  Good thing he doesn't mind at all :)  The right foot has always been the stubborn foot and really it wouldn't surprise us if he needs more surgery on it in the future.  I am guessing he will start pulling himself up more once he has figured out the forward crawling thing as that is what he is working on now the most. That and grinding his teeth- not a sound I enjoy but he does get it from me. Likely we will be going back to ACH next month for new shoes so we will see how he is doing by then and go one day at a time for now.

January 2012

January has been a busy month for the little man- he is 7 months old now and getting so big!  Already in 12-18 month clothes and I am thinking I need to get 24 months for sleepers that I need to alter (cut the feet off and hem them). 

Monkey has been teething since he was 3 months but finally on January 20th one popped through!  Followed by number 2 just three days later!  While alot of babies get the two bottom teeth first my man decided to get the bottom left and top left central incisors together.  Have to say this teething thing sucks!  Poor little man is not the best of teethers but not the worst either :)  Right now he is working on the bottom right and top right central incisors.

Monkey man started pulling himself up on his toy table, is working on crawling forward although backwards is so much easier for him, can get himself back up to sit from laying down sometimes and is starting to eat alot more solid foods.  He is loving fruit, frozen mango, will eat his veggies if mixed with a little fruit usually but meats are a no go- until I gave him tiny bits of meat we were eating.  That he will eat but that mashed up stuff?  No way!  Cheese is another favorite these days.  Some days he prefers baby food and other days he prefers cut up stuff.  He likes to keep me guessing!

The other day I put him on the stairs to sit as I was there too and he turned around and crawled down the stairs!  We did that a few times crawling/sliding so that is exciting and scary!  He is just growing up so fast! 

Momma was his first word and while he has been saying it on and off for a month or so there was one night this month that it was a very distinct "momma"  at 5:45 am!  How sweet that was to me even at that time!

I have been doing some baby sign with him and am excited for our class to start in February. We were registered for a play group as well but unfortunately that was cancelled due to low enrollment.  We are doing a baby time at the library now too which he loves!  He loves seeing the other babies, touching the other babies and singing songs and reading books.  Books--- he will sit for so many books!  I think I get tired of reading before he gets tired of them.

He went down to wearing his shoes/bar only at night/naps this month as I mention in a previous post.  Overall he is a happy baby.

Likes- his puppy, daddy, momma, books, moving around, eating, singing
Dislikes- mashed meat, diaper changes, laying still, sitting still

December 2011

My monkey mans first Christmas!  I have never been more excited for Christmas- ok maybe when I was a kid myself but that was a LONGGGGG time ago!  I loved watching him light up when I turned on the Christmas tree for the first time!  He first turned tummy to back under that Christmas tree as he reached for an ornament!  Scared himself but after that there was no stopping my rolling link brush :) 
I loved watching him open gifts- that was an all day affair as he got bored after opening one or two so we had to spread it out alot.  Watching him be showered with love Christmas day from all my extended family showed me just how much that little boy is loved!  He is so loved and spoiled!  He got to meet his other cousins and we met our youngest nephew who is 4 months younger than monkey man!  Here is a few pictures from December.

                                                     My monkey man in front of the tree

                                                           Thinking hard

                                                   With his stocking- the one I used as a kid :)

Boots and bar

After casts came wearing a shoe/bar combination full time only getting them off for about an hour a day for bath and a little play time and massaging of the feet. For the first 2 days I was wishing for the casts back! Monkey man had become used to the casts and how he could move so he had to learn a new way of moving.  His favorite move in casts was to move his legs up and down like he was marching.  When his legs were stuck together with the bar he couldn't do it.  There was alot of tears from him and from me those first few days! I remember once calling DH at lunch time in tears because I couldn't get the shoes back on after taking them off to check for sore spots and rub his feet- monkey man was fighting so hard.  Eventually we got them back on and figured out that we needed to take them off at a more appropriate time instead of every 3-4 hours like we were told to.  I was thankful that my parents were around and it helped alot to have them come some days to help me out.  There is no pain like the pain I felt when my baby was crying and crying and I couldn't seem to do anything to help.  But after 2 days he got used to us touching his feet (remember he hated his feet being touched so didn't do well with us massaging them either), taking the shoes off and putting them back on as they slipped and we got better about figuring out how to get them to stay on.  Life became much easier once all that happened.  The shoes/bar were a part of life for us.  23 or more hours a day.  My little man is so strong and has taught me alot through this process.  Our appointments to ACH went from 1-2 a week to once a month (with needing to go for new shoes as he grows).  He is growing so fast otherwise we would be at once every 3 months! 

Here he is on the first day in his shoes/bar

In November our doctor said he could have a Christmas present and go down to wearing the shoes/bar just at bed and naps.  We went in hoping for that but knowing that it might not happen.  So just before Christmas we were told that no he couldn't go down to just night/naps but could have a bit more time out in a day- maybe 2 hours instead of 1.  It was not a big deal as we were used to them and really Monkey man didn't mind them at all by this time but the extra time would mean we could do things like taking him swimimng or in the sled without worrying so much about how long he was out of the shoes.  We were told once he started pulling himself up to standing then we could go down to night/naps but the right foot just wasn't ready for it yet.  In the end we need to do what will hopefully prevent relapse in the future so we accepted the news.  One thing I did buy and we finally used this month when we went out was a "my little chair"  I will have to post a picture when I take one off the camera or get my phone pictures up but this allows us to have a high chair whenever we have a chair.  Because of the boots/bar system he can't sit in most restaurant high chairs because they have a bar across where the legs go so with the my little chair it just threads between his legs!  Well worth the money spent!

                                                     He would often sleep with his legs up

My monkey man amazed me with what he could do in the shoes and that he was right on track with his peers for reaching milestones. He learned to roll over, crawl backwards (still working on forwards), pull himself up to sitting, and pull himself up to standing.  Which brings us to mid January 2012.  Since it looked like his shoes were getting too small and he was pulling himself I made us another appointment with Dr.Joughin.  Turns out his shoes were still good and she said- "well we like to keep them in until they are a little older" but took off his shoes and looked at his feet and said "they are beautiful!"  OMG let me tell you that was music to my ears!  Then she said "so think we should go down to nights/naps?"  To which I replied- "I don't know you are the expert but he isn't pulling himself up alot"  But she said that is ok- both feet look great and she is comfortable with him going to night/naps even if I wasn't lol  So January 23, 2012 my son graduated to only wearing his shoes for naps/night! I am definately enjoying the freedom this allows as until this point I could only use a wrap carrier for when he was in his casts (only short periods of time or it would cut off circulation), a mei tai carrier for boots/bar but it was sometimes tricky to get on since it had to be threaded through his shoes.  I always wanted to be able to use a carrier with my baby - now the Ergo is my friend :)  And he likes it which is great as I worried he wouldn't.  He can also wear ANYTHING now!  Although pjs with snaps is still useful.  I don't have to look for really stretchy pants, or snaps in the crotch- I can see something cute and not worry about those little things :)  I do still put him in the shoes/bar earlier than neccessary- it is just easier to do it when he is happy not when he is tired and grouchy already.  So I guess he is probably in them 16-17 hours a day.  I thought he was a squirmy baby before but now that he can move any way he wants he is 10X more squirmy!  Never sits still :)  That's my boy and man do I love him!

Sunday, 29 January 2012


The first step in my monkey's journey with correcting his clubfeet was castings. These began when he was 6 days old!
                                                                  His first casts

After first casts were taken off

It was hard to go to those first few appointments as my little baby had no idea that this would help him in the long run and would scream as they put the casts on. It didn't help that he hated having his feet touched because in the hospital he had to have his heels pricked for blood and he did not like that at all! Made having to get casts on hard as he would scream if we even touched his feet never mind casted them! After our first casts were off the doctor said it Looked like he would only need 4 sets before the tendonotomy. That was nice to hear! In the end he was in casts for about 13 weeks. The left was ready way before the right.  It was frustrating at first but the weekly (sometimes twice weekly) appointments to ACH became a part of life and I knew in the end it was what was best for my boy.  There were some casts that monkey man really didn't like and we did discover there was a huge difference when we had early morning appointments and took the casts off the night before or the ones we did the morning of.  It meant waking up early to get a bath in since he could only have a bath when the casts came off but it did make a huge difference how he reacted to the castings.  Oh ya the casts were a wrap sort of like a tensor bandage which I was so thankfull for!  I remember my brother being nicked by the saw when he was a kid getting a cast cut off and I cannot stand that sound since!  It was a question I asked Dr.Joughin when we first met actually as I was scared my baby would need the casts cut off and wasn't sure how I would handle that- it was bad enough when I needed to have it done when I broke my ankle I couldn't imagine how I would deal with it when it was my baby.  Although I have come to learn that being a Momma makes you able to handle things you might not think you can :)

Here is a picture of Monkey man with one cast off since he kicked it off (slipped a bit) so we needed to unwrap it and go get another put on

When we first started the journey I came across a few other people online who were going through the same thing I was with their babies close in age of my monkey man.  It was so great to be able to talk about what we were going through with someone who was also going through it at the same time!  While we have never met (hope to some day) I consider these ladies great friends. They have been there for me through the ups and also through the downs!  There to encourage me and make me remember that in the end this is all worth it. 

The casts didn't slow him down at all!  Some of them actually helped him- the set he was wearing at 3 weeks allowed him to crawl :)

People looked at us quite funny at times as it looked like my boy's feet were on backwards but they have to over correct with the casts. You can see that in this picture and also see that we used baby leggings to cover the casts.  Loved Baby Legs and Agoo and others as it is hard to fit pants on over top some of those casts!

Before we were done with the casts he needed to have the tendonotomy done- which they did during a casting.  Only difference was that we weren't in the room with him and he had some local freezing done so they could cut the tendon.  It felt like forever waiting in the waiting room and not being with my baby!  But he was in good hands.
                                                  The day of his tendonotomy- happy man

After the tendons were cut he had 2 weeks of casts before we moved to the boots/bar system.  That is the next step after the castings.

June 7,2011- one of best days of my life

June 7,2011 was an amazing day! My monkey man decided it was time to enter the big world. For a few weeks up to this day I had experienced per labour so I sent DH to work incase it was just another false alarm. After waking from an afternoon nap I knew it was the real thing and DH came home from work arOund 3:00 pm. We played some card games and labored at home for a few hours. Around 6:30 it was time to go to the hospital. We called our amazing doula on the way and let her know we were heading in. We got to the hospital although on the way I did worry we were going too early as some contractions were 5 minutes apart but others were doubled up. We arrived and I had about 8 contractions on the way from the truck to the L&D. They checked and I was 8 cms so DH called our doula to let her know and she made her way in. A couple hours after we arrived at the hospital our beautiful baby boy was born at 10:23 pm weighing 7 pounds 9 oz. I had an amazing team and was able to have the natural birth experience I wanted! Seeing my boy was love at first sight! He was perfect to me. Yes he had bilateral clubfeet just as the ultrasound showed but that doesn't define him or slow him down at all. He is so strong and amazes me daily!

A picture clearly showing his clubfeet

Before monkey man was born

I will start this journey going back to October 3,2010 when we got the positive pregnancy test! How amazing that was and I will never forget that day! The pregnancy went good even Through the stress of losing my first baby- my baby bear on November 19, 2010. He is missed every day and never forgotten. The sweetest thing happened a few weeks before he passed and I truly believe he knew I was pregnant as he came over to me as I was laying on the floor, put his head under my sweater and kissed my belly! I see it as his kiss to his little brother :) shortly after we lost him we knew our house wasn't a home without a dog and we'd puns our second fur baby Who came home just in time for Christmas this allowed us 6 months to work on training (still working on it) he reminds me so much of fur baby one yet he has his own personality and habits that make him unique, love him so much and lucky to get a second amazing pup! At the end of Jan we went for our 19 week ultrasound and was told in a very unprofessional way(if you haven't heard the story here it is) after getting the images they needed the tech sent me to the change room (aka hall) and DH to the waiting room then proceeded to talk about me using my name for 5 minutes. "no she doesn't know yet but both legs are definitely affected" I remember hearing and thinking WTH is wrong with my baby and why am I finding out here. They came to the hall and told me there alone! I went and told DH it was time to go and told him outside As we took our own vehicles since the pup was still little and DH wasn't allowed in for first while anyways. We were told our baby had bilateral clubfeet but that was it! We went home to google it to see what it meant. Google was a friend in this situation as was going to a different ultrasound place a few days later who were better at explaining what this meant for us and our baby.  We had a meeting with the genetic team as well who after looking at our results from the screening done at 12 weeks said it was most likely a case of isolated congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfeet) and that our baby was unlikely to have any other problems although there was still a slight chance of course that this wouldn't be the case. Of everything we could be told was wrong I am glad it was this- fairly common and correctable. We researched drs and found a great one whom I asked to be referred to. We met Dr.Joughin before baby was born even! Fast forward to June 7,2011 and I became a Momma for the first time to a non fur baby (although he was born with lots of hair! My monkey man!