I Was a Premature Breech Baby
I had been born premature, as well as in whats known as breech position.
In most scenarios, before birth, most babies are in a headfirst position in the mother's uterus. Sometimes, the baby is in a bottom-first (also known as feet-first) position. The bottom-first posistion is referred to as a breech baby. (“Breech Babies: What Can I Do If My Baby Is Breech?”). It is estimated that 3–5% of pregnant women will have a breech baby. Breech babies are considered at higher risk with a number of complications through vaginal birth.
A nuchal cord is known as a condition when the umbilical cord will become wrapped around the baby’s neck. Nuchal cords are known to interrupt the flow of blood to a baby, and can be wrapped around more than once. Luckily for me, my mothers nuchal cord didn’t affect my oxygenated blood flow. Chances are the cord wasn't wrapped tight enough around my neck to cause any damage. The diagram below shows the difference between a normal babies anatomy, compared to nuchal chord condition.
A typical healthy baby, doesn't have a nuchal cord.
umbilical vein, there is oxygen-rich blood and nutrients readily exchanged.
umbillical arteries, waste products and carbon dioxide flowing back to the mother.
A baby with a critical nuchal chord condition is suffering from asphxia. Asphyxia is the result from decreased oxygen and decreased blood flow from the umbilical cord to the fetus. A tight nuchal cord will subsequently not allow the proper oxygen and blood exchange from mother and fetus.
Then I was diagnosed with a condition known as clubfoot. (I know it sounds strange, I was even more embarassed about it.. than you'd know.) “Clubfoot is a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inward and downward” (“Clubfoot”). It is estimated that around 50% of cases of clubfoot affect both feet. (both my feet exhibited club foot.)The exact cause of clubfoot is typically or unusually known. But, environmental and genetics are believed to be involved. The doctors told my mother that I may never be able to walk correctly. This doctors opinion was over 20 years ago..
The Ponseti Method
The Ponseti method is known as a treatment in attempt to correct clubfoot over the course of several stages.
"The Ponseti Method is highly effective with short-term success rates of 90%. However, anywhere from 14% to 41% of children experience a recurrence of the deformity. The most common reason for this is inadequate adherence to bracing, such as not wearing the brace properly, not keeping it on for the recommended length of time, or not using it every day. Children who do not follow proper bracing protocol have up to 7 times higher recurrence rates than those who follow bracing protocol, as the muscles around the foot can pull it back into the abnormal position" ("Clubfoot").
- Serial casting: The foot is first physically manipulated into an better-quality position and kept in place with a long leg cast. The cast extends from the thighs, down to the toes. After about a week or so, this cast is removed. Upon being removed, the foot is then re-manipulated, and will be placed into a new cast. This is a repetitive process until the foot is progressively reshaped. Typically, serial casting will be prompted over the course of around 4-6 serial casts. Some feet may involve additional casts.
Going forward with the Ponseti Method of serial casting, the doctors had changed their reaction of my feet towards my mom. Instead of not being able to walk again, and corrected their statement: "Your daughter will never be a dancer". But this was relief to my mother who initially was led to believe I wasn't going to be able to walk correctly. I'll probably edit this more in the future.
Pregnancy Birth and Baby,
Health Direct, 20 Mar. 2020, www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/breech-pregnancy. 4 Aug 2020
“Clubfoot.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 July 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clubfoot.
Staff, Familydoctor.org Editorial. “Breech Babies: What Can I Do If My Baby Is Breech?” Familydoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians, 7 June 2018, familydoctor.org/breech-babies-what-can-i-do-if-my-baby-is-breech/.