Guest Post: Luis’ More Than Ordinary Life

I’m honoured to be hosting this post by Lauretta who blogs at Home and Horizon about her family’s journey:

Dealing with clubfoot one step at a time.

“It looks like your baby has bilateral talipes”. Those words I still remember very clearly now, some 12 years later.

The sonographer was very matter of fact; what were just words to her meant the world to me. We didn’t even know what she meant; even when she told us our baby had Clubfoot, we were still baffled.

How could my baby be deformed? What would this mean for his development? What would the treatment be? How did it happen? I had 101 questions and I wasn’t getting any answers.

All the hospital told us was that our son would have gait development problems, pains as he goes through puberty and he’d most likely walk with a limp.

To correct the clubfoot we were told that he would require at least one, maybe two or three operations on his feet.

A big black cloud

In the next few weeks following the scan, I was withdrawn and depressed. It was my family who remained positive and it was my mum and my husband who eventually pulled me through my darkest days.

I ended up having an amniocentesis, where they injected me with a long needle to take a sample of amniotic fluid. From here they’d be able to tell if there was anything else wrong with the baby.

I was also given the option of having an abortion. I couldn’t give my son up just because he had deformed feet; we would get through this and we’d all come out stronger. I was beginning to feel more positive.

It pays to do your research

I started to do more research online about Clubfoot – and once I started, I couldn’t stop. I could tell you everything about the condition at one stage.

And my perseverance paid off. I found out about a procedure called The Ponseti Method, which essentially treated clubfoot by gentle manipulation of the feet.

Every week for about four or five weeks, our son’s feet would be manipulated into a different position and plaster casts would keep them there as he grew.

Once they were in the correct position, he would then wear special boots held in position by a bar (brace) for 24 hours a day for three months. Then his time in the brace would be reduced until he was ready to come out of them when he was about four years old.

 

It was a more long-winded way of treating him, but it was pain free and they’d be no operations. Also, the treatment had a high success rate.

The treatment

We fought tooth and nail to get our son (who we named Luis) treatment using the Ponseti Method.

Fortunately we found a doctor in Maidstone – less than ten miles from where we lived – who had been trained in the procedure and once Luis was born we went to visit her.

My research online also led me to discovering a charity called STEPS. I began to email other mums going through the same thing as me – and this in itself provided a great source of support, particularly in the early days.

Throughout Luis’ treatment I wished more people had asked what was wrong with him. Maybe it was just me being paranoid, but I often caught people staring at Luis when he was in his plaster casts and boots and bar. Sometimes they’d look accusingly at me – as if I’d harmed him in some way – and that was quite hard to deal with.

Nevertheless, Luis responded really well to his treatment and he even managed to get about by crawling – and even walking – in his boots and bar. He was such a brave boy and very rarely made a fuss.

Time flies

Luis is now at secondary school and is doing really well. You would never know in a million years that he had been born with clubfoot.

Right now he’s wearing insoles in his school shoes as we noticed his ankles have started to protrude a little, but this causes him no pain – and he certainly doesn’t have any gait development issues.

I wish I could have taken a look into the future all those years ago to know that everything turned out just fine.

Just recently we took Luis to have some verrucas removed and the chiropodist was amazed to learn he had been born with clubfoot.

He then told me that some people abort their babies when they find out they have clubfoot and it was my turn to be amazed.

Every now and then I remind myself of those doctor’s words; the one who told me Luis would always have pains, would probably limp and would never be good at sports.

The reality is that Luis has been chosen for his school rugby team and is a fantastic, strong swimmer who recently completed a 5,000m swimming marathon – the only child at his swimming pool to do so. Proud mum? You bet!

What Kind Of A World Do We Really Want?

As the news once again revolves around the election, and the politicians state their cases, I cannot help but think they are all missing the point.

They argue about specific policies, call each other names and tell us what the country needs.

But as I sit and listen, I’m not really sure that any of them care about creating the type of world I want to live in.

So if any of them are listening, this is what I want.

I want to live in a country that promotes tolerance and celebrates difference. A world where individual needs are met and families are given the help they need.

I want to live in a country where education matters. For everyone. Not just those that can.

I want to live in a country where families have real choices, not just choices on paper. Where there are schools that genuinely meet the needs of those attending them. Yes even those with additional needs.

I want to live in a country where children do not sit on waiting lists for years, waiting for diagnoses. Diagnoses they need to access the support they need to help them to achieve.

I want to live in a country where we care about all of our citizens, where class and ability do not define the choices that are given. Where equality for all is a reality not a dream.

I want to live in a country where there are toilets that everyone can use. It should be a right, not a luxury.

I want to live in a country where children who need speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy get it as a right, not because their parents have fought for it.

I want to live in country where the needs of my children are recognised, respected and recognised. A country where they are wanted. A country where we as a family are wanted.

I want to live in a country where these issues are spoken about. A country where they matter.

I don’t want to listen to politicians arguing.

I don’t want to hear what the other side are doing wrong.

But I do want to hear what will be different.

I want to know who cares about everyone. Not just about gaining votes.

After all, the kind of world we live in matters to us all.

Why Not Join The Hasbro HotSpot Community?

If like me, you’re always wondering what to buy your children for their next birthday, trying to figure out the next big thing and hoping they will love what you choose, Hasbro has an opportunity which just might interest you:

It’s an opportunity for U.K. Residents with children aged 12 years or younger to be on their panel. They want you to provide feedback on their toys and games whilst giving them information about what inspires your purchases.

The panel will form a private online community, which will act as advisors to the company whilst giving you as parents a chance to interact with other mums and dads of children under the age of 12.

Hasbro knows the importance of play and are passionate about inspiring children and encouraging their imagination. They now want this special group of parents to give them a greater understanding of the lifestyles and needs of their customers. Essentially they want you to help them create the best possible toys for your children.

Hasbro want to reward the commitment of parents on the panel and as such Family HotSpot Members will be rewarded with monthly $10 Amazon gift codes for participation.

Why not give it a go, and connect with other parents interested in having an impact on the toys their children play with?

To see if you qualify please go to: http://bit.ly/2ovK9cO

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
*Please note: this opportunity is for UK residents only*

When One Child’s Needs Supersede Another…

If there is one singular reason why it took me so long to get around to having a Number Two, it would have to be that I worried about being able to meet the needs of both children.

I was worried what would happen when one child’s needs supersede another…

Number One and I were on our own a long time before the Other Half came along, and however much she loves him, learning to share me with another took her some time. So despite her constant nagging for a sibling, I was wary of what the impact of having one would have on her.

And in the spirit of total honesty, I was also worried what impact her needs would have on a sibling.

Quite simply I wondered how I would ever split myself in two.

Of course ultimately as many of you know, we took the plunge and did it anyway. And I’m glad we did.

You see I was wrong.

Number Two’s first year has not been easy. In fact if I am honest that is an understatement. But never once has Number One resented him. Us yes, without a doubt, I was in big trouble for the fact that he was in hospital on the day that happened to be both Pancake Day and Parent’s Day. But him, never. She has loved him unconditionally throughout.

She has accepted that quite simply, as much as we wish it wasn’t the case, right now his needs supersede hers.

We need to spend hours trying to get him to eat. We need to drive for miles to take him to see specialists. And somehow despite the worry and lack of sleep we need to survive.

She could have been angry, accused us of putting him first, distanced herself from him. In the old days she probably would have done all three.

But she hasn’t.

Instead she has entertained him on car journeys (yes even at the extent of Minecraft), encouraged him to eat, and accepted that sometimes she has to wait.

One day it won’t be this way. There will I am sure be times he is the one taking the backseat to her needs. Times she will supersede him.

But maybe despite my initial worries about this happening, I have learnt something important. This is what family is about. It’s ok to need to come first at times, but it’s equally ok to learn to come second.

After all, sharing is important for more than just toys.

Posts From The Heart 24th April 2017

Hello and welcome to Posts From The Heart, hosted by myself and fellow blogger Becci over at The UnNatural Mother.

We love to read blogs about things that matter to people; whether it’s something your child did that meant a lot or a political event on the world stage, from the smallest of details to the grandest of hopes, if what we write about means something to us its light shines bright.

We wanted to create a Linky to showcase those posts, to make sure that those posts which mean the most to us are seen and read, and this is the result of that dream.

Whether you’re here to link up, or here because you like us you love to find out what people care about, welcome and thank you for joining us.

Each week, we’ll read, comment and StumbleUpon each post as well as each choosing our three favourites to highlight the following week.

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