When Brooklyn was born, she had clubfeet, a common complication associated with Spina Bifida. Her legs, knees, and feet were not in the proper position, which made it difficult to change her diaper and to hold her comfortably, but it never seemed to bother her at all.
At the time, we lovingly called her "Twisty, Twisty," but I'll admit, this was probably one of the most confusing parts of our journey. We, of course, loved her no matter what her legs or feet looked like, but I didn't know the "right way" to handle it all. If I hid her feet, I felt like I was acting ashamed, but if I let them show, I felt like I was flaunting them and asking for attention. Plus, there was so much more to my baby than her twisty legs. I wanted people to see past them -- but, honestly, I wasn't quite convinced they could.
Extensive casting, molds, braces, therapy, and a few surgeries have helped correct the position of her feet and legs, but this continues to be -- and most likely always will be -- a challenge for our rock star. However, what we have done so far has gotten her lower body ready for our ultimate goals -- standing and walking.
Based on muscle tests and Brooklyn's abilities, we don't think she has any feeling below her knees, and she is showing no signs of gluteal muscles. This means she is unable to stand independently, which has made walking more difficult than we had hoped. It also means she can't feel me tickling her tiny feet, and she has no idea when she gets a scrape on her leg.
None of this, however, has stopped Brooklyn from getting where she needs to go. Sister is making it work. She gets into cabinets, unrolls toilet paper, and (as some of you may remember) loves doing gymnastics. Her current favorite activity is pulling herself on and off her therapy bench. (Little does she know what great exercise this is for her!)
I swear, Miss Brooklyn sees no obstacles. She just sees opportunity -- a trait that will no doubt take her anywhere she wants to go.