CathQuillScrap, Jan 15, 2021
Layout for MOC9-11 True Story
I used BellaGypsy_BearHug kit

Journaling is 805 words. Reads as follows:
Our little miracle baby was born 2 months premature at 1.25kg and 36.5cm long. Aaron was only due on the 22nd of January 2002 but arrived three days after my birthday, on 23rd November 2001. As they were wheeling me out of theatre the sister said, “parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual and there is no return policy.” She also said to me that our son has club feet. This was really the least of my worries at that stage. It was more important that he got the best care in NICU to build him up so we could take him home soon as possible.

It was a long uphill battle of daily visits to NICU all through December. Learning all the ins and outs of the incubators. Figuring out feeding through a tube as he was too young to suck. Daily weigh-ins to see how much he had grown. Each day there was an improvement. Aaron only had to have oxygen for 6 days and then he really just had to get stronger and bigger. He got to have his first bottle feed on Christmas Day.

In January, after nearly seven weeks in NICU Aaron reached the all-important 2kg mark to be able to go home. Now his treatment for his feet could start. Dr A Robertson, the best club foot orthopaedic surgeon around came to see Aaron and chat with us about the way forward. He said Aaron would definitely need surgery on his tiny little feet but that he would start with a treatment of plaster casts first. So the day before Aaron was discharged he got his first pair of concrete boots.

Every week we had to take the plaster off his legs on Monday and then on Tuesday morning Dr Robertson would manipulate his feet and reapply the plaster. This went from January to end of May 2001. Mom and Dad used to come over each Monday afternoon to help me with the whole process. We eventually got it down to a fine art of Mom sponging and winding the casts off and me feeding Aaron at the same time so distract him. Once the cast was off I would apply pressure to his foot till the pins and needles subsided a little. Then it was time for his weekly bath in the basin. Every other day it was just a wipe down sort of bed-bath as we couldn’t get the plaster wet.

On the 1st of June Aaron had his first operation to straighten the bones in his right foot. A week later he had the op on his left foot and the plaster changed on his right foot. The next week he got his permanent casts put on which he then had to wear for a full two months.

Having a little baby going through all the developmental stages is amazing on its own. Having one with two legs in plaster can be a little more challenging. Aaron never let this get him down. His upper body strength was amazing. Even at such a tiny age (and size) he could push himself up and drag himself around. He learnt to crawl and sit with plasters on. Once they came off in August he had to relearn a few skills as his centre of balance was now slightly off. There was definitely an improvement after the operations in the foot alignment. Dr Robertson said that he wouldn’t need any special shoes or other treatment and just to keep him healthy.

We had six monthly follow up visits and then when Aaron was two Dr Robertson decided to redo the operation on his right foot to see if there would be more improvement. So just as Aaron was beginning to become more mobile he was back in a cast. This didn’t stop him getting around.. in fact he was almost walking even with the cast on. Two months later and he had to again find his balance and learn to walk a bit more. There hadn’t been as much improvement as Dr Robertson had hoped so he decided against doing the operation on Aaron’s left foot. Also he said that any more manipulation and surgery would only really lead to greater pain the older Aaron got. So the feet he now has is what he will have for life.

The one blessing out of all this is that both of Aaron’s feet were affected. For him he has two perfect feet. He can walk, run, climb trees, kick a ball, and lots of other things like any normal child. Just looking at him you would never even know he had club feet. He just has really skinny legs. The only downside that has come about is that Aaron will never be a ballet dancer… he can’t point his toes!
    • jenn mccabe
      oh my goodness, that is so much for him and for you to go through! i love your humor at the end of your heartfelt story - hopefully he is OK w/not being a ballet dancer? :) i love the way you documented the story with not only words but with the photos too! you and Aaron are rock stars!
    • bestcee
      The shapes on your page are fantastic! I love how you documented the hard as well as the positive. Thank you for sharing your story, and thanks for playing in my challenge!
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    Month of Challenges 9
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