Welcome to my blog…
This is baby H
He was born happy and healthy at the end of April 2016. We were thrilled at his arrival, and as all parents do, loved him from when he was a double line on the pregnancy pee stick. Throughout pregnancy our excitement grew, with everything going well. At the 2o week scan we learned that baby H has unilateral fixed talipes. This is his feet at a few days old.
The remaining 20 weeks of the pregnancy were tinged with a little lingering anxiety and apprehension surrounding his wonky foot and treatment. Since we found out I was pregnant I had been keeping a diary (although keeping it up to date somewhat lapsed as pregnancy fatigue took over!) and was enjoying writing my thoughts, especially after our 20 week scan. So, I decided to start this blog to document his treatment, but also help support other parents who have perhaps also learned that they are due to begin on their own talipes journey.
We quickly decided that his foot was not going to be something which defined him. As such we made the decision to not broadcast about his foot too widely before he was born. At the same time it is a significant part of who he is, especially in his first months, and then years of life as he undergoes treatment to straighten his wonky foot. Hence, the name of this blog- footnotes; a significant piece of information, but one that does not impact upon the story.
So what is talipes? We had no idea and had not heard that term when the sonographer gave us the news. Talipes, otherwise known as clubfoot, or congenital talipes equinovarus to use it’s full medical term, is a congential abnormality affecting the foot, which gives the foot the appearance that is has been twisted at the ankle. Talipes can either be fixed, meaning the foot cannot be manipulated into a ‘normal’ position, or, more commonly, positional which means the foot can be put into a normal position. Positional tens to be a result of being squash in the womb, whereas fixed is a believed to be a genetic abnormality, yet the cause, and any environmental influences are yet to be confirmed. Positional can be treated with regular foot massages. Fixed requires a more intensive treatment, consisting of serial casting, followed by a possible minor op to cut the Achilles’s tendon, then finally boots and bars which hold the feet in place. These tend to be worn for 23 hours a day for 3 months, then overnight until 3 or 4 years old. Approximately 1 in every 1000 babies are born with talipes, so baby H is 1 in a 1000, but to us he is a cheesy 1 in a million!