14 June 2014

Chapter 1 - Talipes

Dear Molly,

The lady scanning me to look at you when you were 20 weeks old in my tummy checked your heart, your head, your arms, your legs and then she paused. She lingered. My heart stopped for a few seconds. It felt like hours. It's funny how time is long when you're scared. And how time flies away when you're having fun. Time is always the same I guess. Our perception just alters. She mentioned the word Talipes and she wanted someone else to look at the scan. 

The next stage was a haze. People talking, screens, words, but no sound. The volume was off. I was there but somewhere else. Holding you in my arms. Someone else checked the screen. It was Talipes. There could be complications. It could be a marker for something else. “Have a leaflet.” I have a good memory usually but I don't remember their faces. 

Earlier in my pregnancy, following some routine tests, we were told that there was a 1 in 8 chance of you having Downs Syndrome. That news is not something you can prepare for or equip yourself to deal with. I existed through it. I can't boast to have done anything else. I couldn't do anything. We had tests. We waited. Time slowed to a virtual standstill. Empty time. A void.

The tests we had in the those early days were the same tests that would have checked for complications with Talipes. Which is why we didn't have to repeat them. Those tests eventually came back and told us that you were fine, and that you were a she! I remember spontaneously and uncontrollably sobbing then, and every time I told someone the news after that, on the phone, in person, by text, I cried. Happy tears. A girl. 

Now we had to work out what Talipes was. I did what everyone advises against, but does anyway. I Googled it. I saw the word Clubfoot. That was a word I knew. But not from an informed standpoint. I had just heard it. Unless you've experienced it in some way, very few people know what it actually is. It means, when you are born, your foot points downwards and inwards. I worried about whether you'd walk. How would you cope? Was it a ’disability’? Would you need an operation? All normal worries but not to me, not now.

So over the coming weeks and months I read, I talked, I learnt. I explained it to friends and family and gradually to myself. Aside from a wonky foot, you were fine. I was lucky, and I felt it. 
So, on October 21st 2010 you, my beautiful Molly Rose, were born. I had my baby, finally. It may sound cliched but, I didn't even notice your foot. Your little face was just so perfect and I loved you, my tiny little girl, unconditionally.
4 weeks later and you were in your 1st cast which was changed every week for 4 weeks until your foot was in the correct position. Then just before Christmas 2010 you went into your boots and bar for 23 hours a day. 3 months later and were in them for night times only and that's the sketch until you're 5. 

I read a lot from other mummies and daddies who feel that their children suffer through this treatment and whose posts on forums are laden with pity. Sympathy and pity are not the feelings which I have chosen for dealing with this. I have tried to treat your Talipes treatment like any other part of growing up. It doesn't hurt. It enables you to walk. It's an incredible gift that we are thankful for every day. You have never had a night out of your boots and bar and have never once questioned the need to wear them. 
I feel as though your attitude towards everything you face is developing, partly, from how I deal with and respond to things and equipping you to deal with life feels like my single biggest responsibility right now.

I love you darling,

No comments:

Post a Comment