My Journey with Baby’s Positional Clubfoot- Part 1

Back in December of last year I got very sick with Bronchitis and the nasty nasty flu. When I originally got sick, I didn’t think much of it other than, “Well this stinks. I have an 8 month old baby to take care of and I’ve got body aches, chills, and can barely breathe.” When I went to the doctor, before I had X-rays they asked me, “Is there any chance you could be pregnant right now?” I just looked at them like they were CRAZY! Me? Pregnant? With an 8 month old? Are you nuts!? But, I had them put the big lead vest over my belly just in case. And it was a good thing I did too! Because little did I know, I DID have a little baby in there!

Fast forward, I was eating Manwich for dinner one night and BAM! Sick as a dog. I thought to myself, uh oh. The same exact meal made me sick when I was pregnant with my first baby. I decided it was time to take an at home test. I never got on any kind of birth control because I was breastfeeding and I am one of those crazy moms who won’t take anything during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Not even for a headache. I also never received any “monthly visitor” because of the breastfeeding. So there was nothing for me to track! When the test said “Pregnant” I called the doctor.

My first ultrasound was pretty funny. It was one of the internal ultrasounds. Well…I was so far along already that the baby didn’t even fit on the screen. The doctor measured the femur bone and estimated I was already 15 weeks along. FIFTEEN WEEKS. That’s almost 4 months! I felt so silly! How did I not know? I kept having to explain myself over and over to people, and the famous comment was, “So that show ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant’ could be legit then? Maybe you should go on there.”

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
He doesn’t even fit!
ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
Measuring his femur to estimate a date

Needless to say we didn’t have to wait much longer to find out the sex of the baby. In fact, on the very first ultrasound in my OB’s office, we were able to see that he was in fact a HE. But it was confirmed within a couple of weeks. The gender scan is mainly for making sure your baby is growing correctly and she took all of the pictures and we got a couple of keepsakes to take home.

At my next OB appointment she told me that I would have to go for another ultrasound. That’s never really what you want to hear. She explained that it looked as though the baby may have a clubfoot, but it was hard to see so she wanted to make sure it wasn’t just how the radiologist took the picture. For those who don’t know, clubfoot is an unusual position of the foot, usually creating the foot to take on a kidney-like shape, and while painless, it can cause problems later on in life (walking stage) if left untreated. The next week I was in again. I watched as the woman tried angle after angle to get a decent picture. Both feet and his spine. I watched him squirm away and flex his feet. To me, nothing looked wrong. But again I was told that it was possible and if so, he would see a specialist in the hospital right after he was born.

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1

I had a crazy crazy labor. Seriously. Almost had this baby on the side of the road. From my first contraction to the moment he was born was a total of one and a half hours (my first took 11 hours). My husband missed the whole thing while he parked the car. CRAZY. When they handed me my new bundle of joy I was terrified because they kept saying, “emergency labor,” I thought something was wrong. But he was absolutely perfect. Strong lungs, great color, perfect little baby. They were just saying that because that’s what happens when you come in practically crossing your legs to keep them in!

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
The one he isn’t holding up is the one

The first pediatrician came in and looked at his foot the following morning. She said, “This is no clubfoot. It’s just a positional deformity from the way he grew in the womb. No surgery or casting will be done here. But follow up with your normal pediatrician.” Phew.

Fast forward to seeing the pediatrician for the first time. He agreed. It was only positional and not something he was worried about. He said with some stretching at home it would probably fix itself. So we went home and stretched and played and grew. Nothing changed. He held his foot in that curled position no matter what we did. It was still very flexible but he just wouldn’t hold it normally. I felt as though I had done something wrong during my pregnancy, I have even put partial blame on the x-rays I got even though it is silly. At our 2 month visit, the pediatrician said we should probably get him into a specialist to get a second opinion, because the foot had not changed and when he holds weight on it, the side of his foot is where the bottom should be (see picture below).

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
Putting some weight on it, he curls it under

When we took him to the orthopod, the doctor treated it like a normal club foot. He called it a postural clubfoot however, meaning that it was just positional and wouldn’t have to be treated with surgery. But then he told us that we would have to get him an ultrasound on his back to make sure that he didn’t have spinal bifida. Um, what? This was the first I had heard of anything like this! Apparently clubfoot and spina bifida go hand in hand. No one had prepared me for that and I was a nervous wreck. I scheduled the ultrasound for as early as I could and took my baby 45 minutes away to Mott Children’s Hospital. They are so amazing there. And quick, and gentle. We got the results at the doctor appointment in the room right down the hall from the radiology department. Thankfully, he was clear. No spina bifida.

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
This is how he holds his foot normally
ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1
When he gets excited and kicks, this is as straight as he can extend

Our journey in this is just beginning. My baby is scheduled for his first cast in a few days. He will be in a full leg cast for one month, and it will be changed every week. After that he has to wear a special pair of boots that have a bar connected them for 22 out of 24 hours a day for 3 months. Then they will reassess his foot and see if further treatment is needed. He may have to wear a special boot on one leg for up to 4 years at night only. I am worried about his development, since we are just now at the rolling over and sitting and soon to be crawling stage (he will be 5 months January 14th). But as my mother in law constantly reminds me, “Kids are amazing at the way they heal and adapt. He will be back on schedule before you know it.”

ultra1-e1419783020190 My Journey with Baby's Positional Clubfoot- Part 1

I will update you after our first round of treatment is over and done with.

Do any of you have any experience with club feet or any other gestational deformities? Let us know your stories below!

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Lauren is a stay at home mom of 2 boys under 2 out of Michigan. She is learning day by day that raising boys is definitely not for the faint of heart. Lauren loves anything baby, crafting, baking, and talking…to anyone who will listen. She also loves spending her husband’s money. Following family tradition, she can’t wait to take her boys for their first fishing trip “up north.”

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12 Comments on "My Journey with Baby’s Positional Clubfoot- Part 1"

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Mary
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Thank-you for sharing
I just recently found out at 19+5 weeks found out my baby has a club foot but my ob is doing another ultrasound to confirm.
I’m nervous & scared for my son
Your baby is absolutely beautiful and it brings so much hope to me.

Kristen N
Guest
Hi Lauren, I have 8 month old twin boys and one of them was born with positional club feet, one foot being more severe than the other. It came as quite a surprise considering I had quite a few more ultrasounds than a singleton pregnancy would have. It was never mentioned or noticed by the US Techs. I’d be happy too share with you what we’ve done from about 8 weeks old until even now to correct it. I have lots of pictures too! I added in my email to post this comment so hopefully you have access to it… Read more »
Ashley Whalen
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Hi, Lauren! My 2 1/2 year-old son was born with a left clubfoot. I found out about his clubfoot when I was 18 weeks pregnant during the ultrasound. I remember being totally caught off guard, confused, nervous, scared, overwhelmed, etc. It allowed me the time to do tons of research and learn more about the Ponseti method…I even met with the orthopedic surgeon before my son was born to discuss the treatment plan. Within the first week of being born he had his first cast applied. I believe he had a total of seven casts (including the “holding” cast after… Read more »
M Kass
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My son was born with club foot I had no idea what it was and I was terrified that there was something wrong with my son. we found a great doctor in New York city. My son had casting and then got the shoes and bar. He is 3 years old and still wearing his shoes and bar to sleep. He doesn’t know any different and can’t fall asleep without them on. I think I’m more anxious for him to stop wearing them than he is.

Ariana
Guest
My daughter was born with unilateral congenital clubfoot. She went through 5 weeks of casting, a tenotomy, then her final cast for 3 weeks. She wore boots and bar for 4 months 23/7, and is now down to night time wear only. I will be honest, the first week of boots and bar was miserable for everyone, but it does get easier, and she now sleeps better with them on, believe it or not! We have chosen to travel to St. Louis, MO so that she can be seen by one of the (2) top clubfoot doctors in the country,… Read more »
MaiMee M.
Guest
Don’t worry, he’ll be fine! I found out my baby had bilateral club foot (both feet) at our 18.5 week ultrasound, which was also when we found out it was a boy. We never heard of clubfoot before this. No family history of anyone with Clubfoot. I cried of course. We did lots of research and had another ultrasound a couple weeks later because they couldn’t see the end of his spine which was important with babies who have clubfoot. The ultrasound tech still didnt see it because baby would not move but assured my husband and I that he… Read more »
Nanette
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I also have a baby that was born with positional club foot!! At 18 weeks we went in for a ultra sound where all the nurse said was “excuse me while I go get the Dr…it appears the baby may have a deformity. I of course was nearing histarics thinking the worse. The Dr came in reviewed the ultra sound and finally told me she had a positional club foot. Which was quit the relief after the millions of possibilities that went through mind. I then was told I needed to schedule another more in depth ultrasound to ensure nothing… Read more »
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