Caleb, now in grade three, just finished his first rugby season playing for his school, he swims during summer, runs in the annual athletics, plays, jumps, and rides his bicycle just like any other boy his age. Just by looking at him one wouldn’t guess that he was born with both feet turned inward and downwards, a birth defect that took us completely by surprise. Two twenty-one year olds having our first baby, eagerly looking forward to our first scan, excited to hear our baby’s heart beat, and catch a glimpse of the little human form in my just showing belly. Instead, our excitement crumbled at the concerned look on the ultrasonographer’s face combined with her once upbeat tone changing, and in that split second we just knew that something was not right. She’s quiet for a few seconds while studying the screen and moving the probe, as we wait… The next thing we’re told is, “It appears your baby may have clubbed feet” she tries to reassure us but I’m no longer listening… my mind’s racing, “Is my baby okay?!” “What does that mean?!” “clubbed what?!” I force myself to focus again, and she continues, she shows us that the whole foot is visible at that angle and it shouldn’t be, I’m not following, thinking “wait, what? Aren’t you supposed to see his feet?” the sonographer realizes our confusion and she demonstrates with her hands, showing that from the top view with baby’s leg bent like it is in-utero, we should only see the knee and then the bit of the top of the foot and the toes. She points at the screen showing us that the angle of the foot and it’s relation to the leg is wrong, it’s turned inward and again shows us using her hands, turning them inward with her fingers facing each other while her arms remain straight. I felt consumed and downcast at the news that something was wrong with my baby. It’s a moment and picture in my mind that I will never forget, and yet an action I often find myself replicating when I’m explaining to others what “clubbed feet” is.
We walked out of the MOU (Midwife Obstetric Unit) and got into the car and just sat there for a moment. Jonathan and I had no words, one look at one another and all we could do was bow our heads and pray together. We prayed for God to give us strength and guidance, that everything would go according to His will. We prayed that the doctors, nurses or whomever we came into contact with or handled our case, would be doing so under God’s hand. We prayed for an understanding that only God can provide so that we may understand and find comfort in whatever may happen. We felt the burden of the news lift because we had given it to God and put our trust and faith in Him. It’s all we could do, it’s all that we knew. Strange how in times when we have no where to else to turn, nothing we can do and no control over what’s happening, we can but only turn to God. That’s exactly where we found our selves at that point, we didn’t have much to go on except the news we had just heard, but we knew that we needed to remain positive and rely on God. I resisted going to Dr. Google for I knew I would research to no end and expect the worse case scenario. Instead we decided to wait until our appointment with the doctors, we had been referred to a bigger hospital for more scans and tests so that more experienced ultrasonographers and doctors could assess Caleb’s feet and to rule out any other birth defects or associated conditions.