We all continued to enjoy the pregnancy and each other while we prepared for Enzo! Laura and Chad also began the process of researching treatment options for Enzo’s feet. At one point Laura had a spreadsheet of 59 questions that she would use when they went to interview doctors. I cannot even begin to express the pride we had in watching how they worked through all of the information. Laura told one doctor that she had been reading medical journals and research papers on clubfoot because that was the best source. In the end, they decided on a doctor at Akron Childrens.
There were so many emotions experienced during this phase…. Joy, happiness, uncertainty, love, anger, frustration, overwhelmed, excitement, nervousness…. The list really does go on and on.
Then, September came and she went into labor!!! Laura says it was the most traumatic thing ever! Because of Covid, Roger and I couldn’t be with her in the hospital. We were VERY THANKFUL that Chad could be with her! She had done many doctor’s appointments with Chad on video (including the clubfoot diagnosis one). So for him to be able to be with her was amazing!
Baby Enzo (Blueberry has he’d been known for so long) was born September 9, 2020, 6 lbs 12.5 ozs, 19 ¾ inches. He had a rough start with breathing issues so had to go to the NICU. Upon admittance to the NICU they found other abnormalities that led to more testing including a spinal tap. The FANTASTIC news is that in the end he was normal with all testing! Laura and Chad had to go home without him, but made trips back and forth for a couple of days. Then, Enzo was home!
Words cannot describe our joy! When Roger and I married, we made a list of life goals. On our list was to be parents and Grandparents. And here we are! Enzo has brought so much happiness to our world! His clubfeet are “normal” meaning they are not slight or extreme. We are thankful for this. The standard protocol starts treatment with casting at 7 days. Because of Covid, the new plan was to wait until 3 months of age. Things changed again and they were willing to start at 5 weeks. So, on October 15, he got his first casts! We were all extremely nervous. The first casting was mostly uneventful and involved a lot of holding and cuddling on day 1 and day 2. Then, he was pretty much back to his laid back and happy self! As I write this, they have completed the second casting and he slept through the entire thing! Again, day 1 involved a bit more holding.
For education and context, the short version of treatment is this…. He’ll get a new cast every week for 4-6 weeks. Then, a surgery called a tenotomy where they clip a tendon to allow the foot to flex, then back into a cast for 3 weeks (the same cast for the 3 week duration), then into boots and bar. The boots and bar are boots that strap on and then clip into a bar to hold the position of the feet both flexed and in a specific position to keep the correction. The boots and bar will be worn 23/7 until he’s ~5-8 months old. Then, he will wear them nights and naps 12 hours a day 7 days a week until he’s ~4 or 5 years old. The treatment is long and harder on the parents, but highly successful.
OK, enough about the history and his curly feet. Now, let me tell you about Enzo. He is the most beautiful baby ever!!
He is calm and laid back. He LOVES to cuddle! He hates diaper changes. Although, oddly enough, he seems better with diaper changes since casting! He was not able to nurse immediately, but Laura kept everything primed and ready and now he’s a champ! He LOVES to nurse! He loves music, (including Beethoven, that his Dad introduced!), and we’re all learning new nursery rhymes and re-learning the old ones! He’s a happy baby that rarely cries and will always prefer to be cuddled and held. Rocking is even better! In my world this is big because his Mom was always so independent and wanted to be put down to put herself to sleep and was NOT a fan of rocking! So, I’m loving the rocking and cuddling with Enzo.
Roger and I decided our names will be Coco and Papa. We don’t know if Enzo will keep the names, but for now, that’s what we all use. Bella and Logan helped us decide and they are transitioning to use the names too!
Enzo’s eyes are changing and right now they are deep blue! He loves baths (partial baths now with casts on) and loves his head to be rubbed. When they wash his hair, he rolls his eyes back in pure ecstasy!
We have been in Ohio since May and know we are so blessed and fortunate to be able to stay this long and enjoy Laura’s pregnancy, Enzo’s arrival and time with Laura, Chad, Enzo, Bella and Logan! During this time we’ve had a baby shower with mostly virtual participants (shout out and THANK YOU to Scott, Nancy, Paige and Mitchel for hosting!), we’ve assembled baby items, cried with joy and uncertainty and waited with incredible excitement to become Grandparents! For the past weeks, we’ve LOVED every minute of Enzo. He is amazing! I have to say though, watching Laura be a Mom is absolutely the best! She is smart, caring, kind, patient and balanced. She is nurturing and attentive and focused on Enzo’s health and his treatment for his curly feet. She balances his needs with her own and is loving being a Mom and we love watching her in action! Chad is a great Dad too so I don’t want to leave him out! It’s just a new level for me as the Mom watching my Daughter thrive as a new Mom!
We’ve also had great times with Bella and Logan! They are now experts at the Cricut and Bella is sewing! And boy did I feel old watching how quickly they learned to make designs for the Cricut machine and then cutting and making t-shirts. They were coaching me as we went… it was a little scary and rewarding all at the same time!
We will leave Ohio this week to head south to Florida. Laura, Chad and Enzo are coming to visit in mid-November, so we’re going down to get ready to host them. Then, we’ll come back to visit for Christmas! I will miss being so close and being able to pop over to see them, but they are set and I feel good that we’ve been able to help!
Love and hugs to everyone!