When we found out we were pregnant my husband and I were ecstatic. And then came the pause. The pause that happens right before you start to think of all things that are the opposite of excitement.
What if there is something wrong with me and the baby doesn’t make it? What if there’s something wrong with the baby and they’re not healthy?
Then when found out that she was a girl. We were over the moon! And then came the pause.
What if something happens and she doesn’t make it? What if there’s something wrong and she’s not healthy?
Then when had the ultrasound where we could see our baby girl. They showed us her head, her heart, her arms and her legs. That’s when the technician paused. We assumed it was just so she could move the wand around. At the end of the ultrasound she paused again, before informing us that the doctor was going to come in and talk to us about our little girl.
Those few minutes waiting for the doctor were excruciating. What had they seen? What was wrong? Our baby girl looked perfect and we couldn’t wait to meet her. Would we get to meet her?
The doctor came in and smiled at us. We took that as a good sign. He told us our baby girl was healthy and there was nothing to worry about. Then he paused.
“But it looks like there’s an issue with her right foot. It looks like it’s turned in. I want you to see a specialist”.
Pause. Our whole lives paused. There was something wrong with her foot? Her perfect, beautiful foot? We hadn’t really seen anything on the ultrasound, but we’re not doctors, what do we know?
We went through the entire pregnancy aware of her club foot. We met with a specialist – for her club foot as well as for a slight issue with the umbilical cord that could affect her growth. We met with an orthopedic pediatrician that explained how he would address her club foot once she was born, everything that he would do to put her foot back to facing the correct way.
I went into labor. And when she was born there was that pause again. That pause right before we saw her foot. It was beautiful. I loved it. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. It was of course a club foot but it was my baby’s club foot and I loved it.
We have spent the past five weeks of her life getting her casts that pull the foot around to the correct direction. It doesn’t hurt her too much and it was pretty awesome to see the progress as her foot came around. There were some hiccups with the cast not staying on like it should but after a few panicked moments and a little adhesive that issue was worked out.
Then came yesterday’s casting appointment. The orthopedic pediatrician was examining her club foot. And he paused. He wanted to take an x-ray. During the x-ray though he smiled. He was happy with what he saw. Her bones were straight like they were supposed to be. The problem was her Achilles, it was too tight and inhibiting the progress. It would have to be cut.
This wasn’t a surprise as cutting the Achilles is part of the process. It was a few weeks early but that wasn’t too bad. The issue is that the doctor will be continuing the weekly casting after cutting the Achilles instead of leaving her in a cast for three weeks as is usually done when it’s cut at the correct time. I paused. I knew what this meant.
Pain. My sweet baby would be in pain. She was so little I knew that she wouldn’t remember the pain. She wouldn’t even remember the casting. When we get to the part where she will need a brace she will have it only at night by the time she gets to the point where she will be able to remember anything. But she would be in pain. At the time of cutting and for the subsequent castings.
And now I feel like I’m on permanent pause.