I am a first time mom who recently welcomed a baby girl to her slowly growing family. If there is a level below beginner when it comes to parenting, that’s where I’m at. I may have passed an introduction to caring for other living beings as my dogs and cats have always thrived (fish haven’t been so lucky), but a baby is an advanced level creature, and a baby with a challenging condition is expert level stuff.
June was born in November of 2016 with an as yet unknown condition to us, clubfoot. We hadn’t even heard of such a condition, let alone have a family history of physical anomalies, but there was no denying that whatever the cause, our baby girl with the long curly eyelashes had very turned-in feet.
So weathering the usual sticky situations, be it due to baby’s poorly timed flood of tears in the middle of the night, mudslides of poop evading yet another diaper, unforcasted eating preferences and so on, became especially tricky. An overflow of poop on leg casts that can not be gotten wet can easily trigger a meltdown in stressed out parents and unexplained crying is cause for mini panic attacks – is it the usual baby stuff or is something wrong with the casts? This stress is enough to make any parent fought with worry, anxiety and depression past the usual postpartum blues. A feeling of isolation creeps up and even the most well balanced individual can tilt towards a crazy hormonal mess.
The thing that I’ve noticed, however, is that these challenges are far from unique. I’ve never heard anyone bring up said issues, but as soon as my husband and I started imparting our news about June, people invariably started “confessing” with their own stories. Be it clubfoot or other birth deformities, so many people have had a similar experience to our own, but we’ve learned that it’s always kept so quiet and within the family that each family going through it for the first time feels like it hit the one in a million bad luck jackpot.
This is just not true and so destructive, so all this being said, let’s talk clubfoot.