Last week, M got approval to go down to nighttime wear for her boots (BNB). While we had figured out all of the tips and tricks by the end of the 3 months of full-time wear, I couldn’t wait to move forward with our lives. On the drive home, even the grass lining the roads seemed so much greener. That afternoon, M was so smiley and happy, and even carrying her around felt so much lighter and not just because she was missing 15 ounces of orthopaedic device. And then I went to grab a drink and when I came back I started bouncing M on my knee, thinking to myself about how wonderful life was going to be.
Until I realized every bounce squished poop up out of her diaper and all over me. Welcome back to reality, Cara!
In all seriousness, there are some decided benefits to M being out of boots during the day. When we go to the park, I put her in the swing, I can hold her on the teeter-totter. When she’s in a baby carrier I won’t have to counteract the weight of the bar. I can use any of my carriers, and even put her on my back in them now. I can dress her in anything I want since we’re no longer having to dress around a bar.
Now we have new challenges. She has no idea how to sleep without her boots on. Having untethered legs have sort of re-started her moro reflex only with her legs and not her arms. Her feet swell during the day in the heat, and so we have get them cooled down before we can put her boots on. And while she is currently thrilled when she sees her boots, since they are her favourite thing to chew on, we’re also starting to see the start of her getting frustrated with having her freedom during the day and not at night.
But the biggest challenge for me? It’s realizing that I thought it would be easier once we were done casts and full-time wear. I thought that moving down to nights only would be a significant and meaningful transition that would finally make me be able to put this all behind me. But with part-time bracing until 5, and semi-annual and then annual appointments until 16, we have years to go until it’s no longer an issue. I’d always told myself the first six months would be the hardest, and while that is, no doubt, true, it doesn’t make the next six months easy.