As Joy Belle undergoes treatments, I plan to document her clubfoot journey. (Notice the new link at the top of the page!) In part for me, I want to see her progress – but also, I hope to encourage other mother’s that face this challenge with their little ones. Because this scripture has spoken volumes to me, I’ll begin each update with Romans 10:15 to remind me that the Lord has big plans for my little girl.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things! Romans 10:15
At one week old, Joy Belle had her first appointment with a specialist in Atlanta. He’s treated clubfoot patients for the last 15+ years and won this mommy over at our consultation. We knew ahead of time that treatment (aka casting) would begin at the first appointment. So at one week old, Dr. B casted our sweet girl’s legs – from her toes to her thighs.
We’ve continued weekly appointments for the last four weeks. Each week, they recast her legs after stretching and setting her feet. Here are photos of each weekly casting.
We don’t have a great photo from week 1, because her tiny toes started swelling due to the stretching. Because of that, we had to remove the casts early. This was a nightmare, because Justin and I had to remove the casts ourselves. Possibly one of our most stressful parental moments to date.
Week 2 was better. She cried a bit during the casting, but didn’t seem to be bothered by the casts at all. However, she put up a good fight whenever the doctor casted her on week 3. She may have given him a good kick or two!
Week 4 was alright, only because we were prepared for her to be a bit sore so we gave her an infant dose of Tylenol. That seemed to help her relax and let the doctors work. However with this set of casts, we had two slip ups. On Thursday (two days after casting), her left cast came off. So it was back to Atlanta for a re-casting of the 4th phase of casting. Then on Monday morning, around 4 AM I noticed that our little miss had somehow kicked her cast off. So it was back to Atlanta on Monday. This time, they began phase 5 and re-casted both legs.
Overall her progress has been great! Already, we’ve noticed a tremendous difference in her flexibility and the progress appears to be moving along right on schedule. Right now, we believe she will have a total of 6-7 casts, a possible surgery to lengthen her Achilles tendon, followed by another cast for 3 weeks. It’s so hard to believe that we’ve already gotten 4 casts behind us!
Update: On Wednesday, I asked you all to pray for our family as we traveled back to Atlanta for another re-casting. Unfortunately, the cast from Monday came off. From what we understand, this isn’t uncommon with this phase of casting. Right now her feet are positioned downward, so the casts are very straight – making it easy for the casts to slip down. Because of the casts slipping off, we’ve made 3 trips to Atlanta in the last 6 days. To say this mommy is discouraged and frustrated would be an understatement. However it’s days like today, that I find myself crying out to the Lord for mercy and am reminded that I am not in control.
Only 5 weeks into this journey, it has already been emotionally and physically draining – for both baby and me. However with the encouragement from family, friends, and all of you, we’ve kept our chins up. Although we can’t see the big picture, there is no doubt that the Lord will use this journey and our girl for big things!
Please continue to keep Joy Belle in your thoughts and prayers. We need it!a Heape of love and gratitude, Justin, Brianne, & Joy Belle