We had a follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. Birdie came home with only one cast. Yay! It’s far easier to handle her this way, and she really kicks that leg quite furiously. She’s obviously making up for lost time AND making up for not being able to move the other one. Ha ha! The only negatives to the single cast are that she has to wear pants now (it’s been too cool to be pantless, so one leg would get cold), and that her uncasted knee likes to pop out of her Miracle Blanket all the time. Dude, those Woombies cannot get here fast enough! I’m also worried about writing all over the cast in Sharpie because now that she’s wearing pants, I’m concerned that she’ll end up with sharpie all over the inside of the pants, you know? Oh well. It’s not a huge big deal. I also feel like the cast is smaller/thinner this time, so it fits under clothes better.
So, in short, her left foot responded very well to treatment, and is pretty much perfect. Yay! The doctor thought that it would be fine to come off yesterday, and it was. So that makes me think that she’s good with guessing her dates. Hurrah.
Here’s what I know from asking the doctor when we were there: Birdie has metatarsus adductus, which is basically being pigeon toed. Her’s, specifically, is the curve of the foot itself, not due to twisted leg bones (this is a good thing, actually). Pretty much everything I’ve seen online says that the doctor will do serial casting and that usually takes care of it. Nothing I’ve read indicates that any one does surgery for it. I asked the doctor, and she said it would be very unlikely that Birdie will need to wear any kind of braces or special shoes after the serial casting is done. So yay for that, as well. I also asked if this would be considered a mild form of club foot, and she said no. Apparently there are three things that need to be wrong for it to be club feet, and Birdie only has one (metatarsus adductus is usually a part of the problem, but there are two other issues as well – I think one has to do with the heels and the other has to do with the ankles, but I didn’t ask).
We weren’t able to get a pink cast because the fiberglass materials that they use for this type of cast is considered a “soft cast”. The coloured casts are hard casts – assumably for broken bones or whatever. It’s possible that the soft cast stuff is available in different colours, but this hospital only has the white. ::shrugs:: Disappointing in some ways, but I’m ok with it. The coloured cast would have been nice, but whatevs. I’m not going to be all mopey about it.
The best news, though, was that we go back again next Monday, and the doctor suspects that we will be casting her foot one more time. So it’s looking like a little over 3 weeks total. She can’t say for sure – it’s possible that we’ll get a fourth cast (she’s on her second, so next Monday will be her third, and the Monday after that *might* be her fourth), but we’ll see. I’m hoping not, but I’m not getting my hopes up too high. Even better news is that in the morning before our appointments, I’m supposed to take her cast off so I can give her a bath, clip her toe nails, and just let her have some free, mobile time! Super Yay! Her feet were really stinky (well, technically the right one still is stinky, as it’s back in the cast already), so this will be awesome! I’m so excited. The casts are pretty easy to take off. You just pick up the edge of the fiberglass (like the end of the tape roll) and unwrap it. It takes a bit of effort, but it’s not too bad. The worst part is you feel like you have to apply lots of pressure when you’re holding the cast while the other hand is ripping the cast off. Birdie doesn’t even squirm that much, so it mustn’t hurt. But yes. VERY happy about it. Rob and I got to remove her casts when we were there the other day, and let me tell you – it’s rather cathartic!
In other Birdie related news… She’s become very attached to me. I don’t know why, exactly, but she has. When she was very little, she wouldn’t take a bottle. Then she would, and now she wouldn’t again. We’ve tried both breast milk and formula, and a variety of bottles/nipples… including the Adiri bottle, which I refer to as the Boobie Bottle. To be fair, when I tried to give her the bottle today, I don’t think it was quite warm enough and I am not entirely convinced she was hungry at the time. I’m very grateful that breastfeeding has been so easy on me this time, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want her to take a bottle because I want to wean or anything… it would just be nice not to have to worry about her if we go out or whatever. At this time, I wouldn’t be able to go out for more than about 5 hours without having to come home to feed her. She’ll take a little bit from a bottle, but not enough to fully skip a feeding, you know? On Monday night, I went to knitting night, but ended up having to come home early because she wouldn’t stop crying. And wouldn’t you know it? She stopped very shortly after I got home. Grrr… This isn’t something I was expecting, or am used to experiencing. Sure, Kitten was attached to me as a baby, but never minded if I went out without her. What a different little character this Birdie is!
She’s not really doing much developmentally. She really hates being on her tummy, and the cast(s) don’t help. I try to put her in her ladybug toy (similar to this) as often as I can, but she ends up scootching back to far because her legs aren’t comfortable. She can lift her head up when she’s in it, but won’t lift her head up when she’s just laying on her belly. It’s very much about her terms. She’s not showing any signs of trying to roll over (Kitten was at this point), nor pushing up with her arms. ::shrugs:: I know that one day she’ll just decide to do it and shock us all… but she’s really not trying. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the casts, but I have a feeling that she’ll reach some significant milestones once her therapy is all done.
She is talking a TON though! She’s rarely quiet unless she’s sleeping or watching TV. Not that we let her watch TV in the sense that we allow Kitten to watch TV. More like Kitten’s watching TV and I’m changing Birdie’s diaper, and the change pad is near the TV and thus she looks at it. Anyway, she loves the TV. But yeah. She is constantly vocalizing and jabbering on. Oh, and she learned to suck her thumb. She has a definite preference for her left thumb, though. Actually, she does most things (reach for toys, etc) with her left hand, so we’ll see if that’s any kind of sign about her future preferences 🙂
We’ve started to put her in the crib in Kitten’s room at night now. So far, so good. Kitten usually falls asleep before Birdie goes to bed, and Birdie typically gets up to eat before Kitten wakes up for the day. After I feed Birdie, I put her in the bassinette by the bed instead of back in Kitten’s room… just in case Birdie doesn’t settle well (like this morning), or in case Kitten wakes up early and starts fooling around/yelling that she’s awake/etc.
Birdie’s favorite things right now are sleeping while holding my fingers (nap time only!), and having a conversation with Rob and I. She’s a very social baby – she already gets upset if she’s left alone too long or if I leave the room when she’s watching. She’s going to be veeeeerrrrry interesting as she gets older. She is pretty enamoured with Kitten as well, and I hope that bond grows stronger as time goes on.
Kitten is well – she’s half way potty trained, which is a huge success, in my mind. She rarely has pee accidents, and is not night or poop trained yet. She can nap without a diaper, but night time is too long. We’ve had a bit of a regression recently, but we’re trying to ride it out and get her back on track. Tonight, Rob was informed that “peeing in a diaper is fun!” Yeesh. You would think that peeing in the potty for M&M’s is fun… but no. I think she’s realizing how independant she is, and is missing the closeness that comes from having people tend to you. We’re trying hard to get her ready for preschool by having her learn how to dress herself, and hopefully she’ll be able to use the potty by herself by September. I know that the helpers do assist with bathroom breaks in the 3 year old class for sure, but it would be nice if Kitten was able to do things like pull up her undies and pants by herself. One step at a time, though!
All right. It’s super late again, and I really aught to get to bed. Birdie will be up at the ass crack of dawn again to eat, so that doesn’t leave me very many sleeping hours left!
Birdie, Monday morning after getting her right cast re-done.