Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Charlotte underwent surgery for her club foot this morning. The procedure, known as an Achilles tenotomy, was very quick and everything went well. We arrived at the hospital just past 5:00 this morning and she was scheduled for the first surgery of the day at 7:30am! We spoke to several people in the holding area regarding the procedure itself as well as anesthesia. The doctors and nurses we talked to had to discuss all the risks associated with this type of surgery. 

Mommy & Charlotte before surgery.

Had to wrap Little Miss to keep her calm. She was definitely getting hungry by this point since she hadn't nursed for over 4 hours. 

I walked Charlotte back to the operating room and laid her on the table. They put a gas mask on her and she was asleep within just a minute or two. I gave her a kiss and was escorted out to the waiting room. It was such a surreal feeling leaving my tiny baby behind in the (very capable) hands of complete strangers. Thankfully, the surgery was very quick and we were back together within an hour. 

Finally resting. 

Charlotte was NOT a happy camper upon waking from the anesthesia. She wouldn't even calm down enough to nurse and I felt so helpless! I think she wore herself out because she eventually dozed off for a little bit. They monitored her oxygen level for about 30 minutes and then moved us to another area to wait for discharge papers. In the second area, they removed the IV from her hand and she was much more comfortable after that. 

The IV is out and she is much more comfortable!

We were discharged around 9:30 and headed home. She is now resting peacefully and I hope we can all get some rest this afternoon (it was an early day for Mom and Dad, too). 

Resting at home. 

I am thankful to have this over with, and I pray that Charlotte isn't too uncomfortable over the next few days. She will be in this last cast for 3 weeks to allow her tendon to heal and complete the correction of her club foot. Thanks to everyone for thinking of us and praying for Charlotte! We appreciate and love you all!

Her 6th and final cast!

P.S. Happy birthday, Daddy! Love, Charlotte

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Letter to my Baby Girl

My precious Charlotte,

I love you. I tell you that hundreds of times a day, but I want you to know that I mean it with every cell in my body. You are a perfect gift from Heaven for whom God trusted me and your Daddy to care. We are so thankful He chose us to be your parents. 

This journey with your feet is going by so quickly. I'm so grateful for all that God is doing through the doctors and I know that He will continue to see us through this process. I'm praying, especially, for Him to be with us in the morning as you go in for surgery. I'll admit, I'm nervous. You're so little at just over 10 pounds. You're so fragile, so innocent, so perfect. It's hard for me to think about placing your life into the hands of strangers and just "hoping for the best". If God is teaching me anything through this it's that I must trust Him with things that I cannot control. Someday you'll understand just how hard it is for a woman to give up control. 

My sweet girl, we're nearing the end of the first leg of this journey. You've been so amazingly strong and brave. I can't tell you enough just how proud I am of you! You have made this process easier than I ever dreamed it would be with your strength. I know we still have a long road ahead, but I trust that God is with us and I know that He has given you the power to overcome this. I love you, sweetheart. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Last Serial Cast

Charlotte and I returned to Walter Reed this morning for what we hoped would be her last cast before surgery! We removed her current cast and I nursed her in order to, as Dr. Jex puts it, fill the tank. I had also pumped some milk again and brought a bottle along to give her should she get fussy during the casting. Dr. Jex came in to evaluate and stretch her feet and our hopes were realized when he decided to schedule her for surgery next Wednesday! 

Charlotte's feet after the removal of her fourth cast. 

Her foot is looking great!

Dr. Jex placed her new cast and talked to me about her procedure next week. He explained that they will use a needle to cut the Achilles' tendon in her right foot and place her final Ponseti cast. She will wear that cast for about three weeks to allow the tendon to heal from the surgery. He also discussed with me the risks associated with this type of procedure and the possibility of relapse. While he said it's unlikely, if we slack on brace-wear, relapse is a possibility that I should be aware of. 

Charlotte's last serial cast!

After talking to Dr. Jex and filling out some paperwork, Charlotte and I headed upstairs for a pre-op appointment. It was pretty simple and consisted of meeting with an anesthesiologist and a pediatric nurse to discuss some little details of the procedure. 

I'm excited that she is "ready" to move forward in this journey (progress is always a good thing), but I'm also nervous about the surgery itself. My baby has to be under anesthesia and she can't nurse for 4 hours before the procedure. I'm worried about how she'll handle the "sleepy gas" and also how she'll feel afterward. I know I need to give these fears over to God and He will protect her. She is, after all, His child and He wants nothing but good things for her life. Knowing these things gives me peace in this situation and there really is nothing better than feeling God's peace. 

Just because I can, here is Charlotte's 2-month picture complete with stats!

As always, your prayers are appreciated so much! I'm so blessed to be surrounded (both physically and via the Internet) by such supportive and loving people! God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moving On Up!

Charlotte's treatment is going so well! Praise God for His faithfulness in this process! She had her third cast removed this morning, and aside from some minor skin irritation, her foot is looking great! Dr. Jex even mentioned the likelihood of moving up her surgery! He thinks she will only need one more cast (after the one she had put on today) until her tenotomy. I'm so excited!

Charlotte's foot after the removal of the third cast. 

Her fourth cast: 8/6/13

Right now, the timeline looks as follows: next cast on August 13th, removal of cast and tenotomy surgery on August 21st at which point she'll be placed in her final cast for 3 weeks. Then she'll go into her Mitchell boots & bar for 3 months of 23/7 wear. All of this is still tentative and may be pushed back slightly depending on how the next couple of casts go. 

Thanks, as always, for your continued prayers! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Third Time's the Charm

Or not. Charlotte cried again today while getting her third cast put on. Fortunately, she did great (again!) for the removal portion of the appointment, but as soon as Dr. Jex started stretching her foot for the new placement, she got upset. She wasn't as upset this week as last, and we didn't have to stop halfway through to nurse. 

This is her foot after the second cast. 

This picture shows how her foot is starting to point more towards the outside of her leg. 

The correction process is going really well as far as I can tell. I can see that her foot is starting to rotate toward the outside and pointing down and out more than up and in. This is very encouraging and Dr. Jex said she may only need 2 or 3 more casts before her tenotomy. I'm so relieved to know that her foot is responding well to the treatments.

Charlotte in her third cast. Her feet are starting to look more alike!

Contrary to the first two weeks, Charlotte has been feeling pretty well today. She had periods of crankiness, and I could tell she was a bit uncomfortable at times, but overall she was fairly pleasant all afternoon/evening. I just kept her close to me (an excuse to use my new homemade woven wrap) and enjoyed her sweet little cuddles!

Using our homemade woven wrap for the first time!

As always, thanks to everyone who has been praying for her and for us through this journey. Your support and love are helping us stay strong and have a positive outlook on the situation that God has put us in. We are truly blessed!