What I Learned About Tortoise Crossings

Attention: Tortoise crossing!

Attention: Tortoise crossing!

Trekking across my neighborhood in Montreal, I stumbled across this intriguing signage:

  • Attention: Traverse Tortue — Attention: Tortoise Crossing

Tickled, I thought to myself, “Only in Canada is the life of a tortoise valued to warrant signage!”

Though I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting a crossing tortoise, I sure am glad I slowed down to snap this photo.

What have you slowed down for lately? 

These Beautiful Feet Carry Good News

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! — Romans 10:15

We sat in the hospital waiting room—myself, hubby, 3-year-old daughter, and 11-week-old son—waiting to meet the pediatric orthopedist. This wasn’t your run-of-the mill hospital. It specialized in pediatric orthopedic care, accepting patients from all over Canada. Though I knew God was in control, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness when in the presence of so many children with varied orthopedic conditions. Some in wheelchairs, others with corrective shoes, or casts. Still, I trusted God for a positive report concerning my son.

The Diagnosis

metatarsus adductus

Metatarsus adductus. A.D.A.M 2012

Our journey began 7 weeks ago, when my son’s pediatrician had diagnosed him with bilateral metatarsus adductus, a common foot deformity that causes the front half of the foot, or forefoot, to turn inward; in my son’s case, both feet were affected. We were issued a referral to see a pediatric orthopedist and instructed to perform simple stretching exercises on his feet in the interim.

Immediately after the diagnosis, I consulted Dr. Google and terrified myself. I felt guilty that I may have contributed to my son’s condition: Many believe that metatarsus adductus results from the fetus being tightly packed inside the womb during development. This might result in holding the foot in an abnormal posture that could lead to deformity. Though treatable, this deformity comes with an increased risk of hip dysplasia.

Power of Positive Affirmations

As the countdown to the orthopedic appointment advanced, we prayed religiously, stretched his feet after every diaper change, and made positive affirmations: God’s report says my son’s feet are normal.

The Appointment 

So here we were on D-Day, anxiously waiting for the orthopedist to confirm what we believed: his feet are normal. As soon as the intercom announced my son’s name, we hurried ourselves to the patient room.

A bubbly nurse greeted us and proceeded to examine my son’s feet. After a quick inspection, she muttered, “They’re not that horrendous!” Being a clucky mother, all I heard was “horrendous,” and my face said it all: shock, disappointment, deflation. The nurse immediately corrected herself, “His feet look fine, but I’ll defer to the doctor for an expert evaluation.” 

Next up, the resident pops in for a closer inspection. He’s a friendly looking chap, oozing lots of confidence. He examines my son’s feet, concluding, “His feet look normal to me. Don’t see anything wrong with them. His hips and spine are also fine, but I’ll let my boss take a closer look.” At this point our hearts were racing with excitement. Could this be true? Are his feet really normal?

The big boss finally arrives. A tall, slender, jovial man whose reputation preceded him. The orthopedic physician takes one look at my son’s feet and concludes, “His feet are normal and beautiful.” This was music to our ears. We couldn’t stop praising God for his faithfulness.

Lessons Learned

Before embarking on this journey, I’d never heard of metatarsus adductus. I viewed my son’s crescent-shaped feet as unique and beautiful. On googling the condition, I discovered few real world stories amongst a sea of technical medical information. So I share my story to bring life to pediatric foot conditions, and to testify that there’s truth in positive confessions centered around an ever loving God.

A big lesson learned is that I am my child’s best advocate for good health. While I understand that not every child diagnosed with metatarsus adductus has the same positive outcome, I’m grateful for the specialist care afforded to my son to ensure his healthy development.

Do you have any stories to share regarding metatarsus adductus or any similar foot condition?

For more on pediatric orthopedic care:

Fresh Light of Dawn

Light breaks forth like the dawn

Why are babies so fascinated by light?
So much so that my baby boy will crane his neck just to catch the fresh morning light as it breaks through the darkness.

Babies come into this world to remind us to seek Light.

Light gives life: Can’t hide it. Shines in darkness. Directs our paths.

In fact, Jesus—the Light of the world—calls us out of darkness into His marvellous light. So let’s walk as children of Light, children of Day.

Walk into the light

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Fresh.”

Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Screw Up My Children

parenting

Dear God,

This parenting gig is hard. Raising a baby boy and feisty threenager ain’t easy.

Making decisions. Instilling discipline. Constantly asking “is this normal?” Trying to be consistent. Growing future leaders and decision-makers is a tremendous responsibility.

Guilt is a major culprit. That nagging sensation drenched in regret, accusing me of short-changing my children because of something I should have done or avoided, leaving me in a pit of inadequacy.

decisions

I’m painfully aware that the choices I make today will impact my children’s tomorrows; decisions made regarding choice of name, medical care, education, nutrition, spirituality, relationships, you name it, are laying the foundation for their future selves. I just pray that these decisions won’t require years of therapy, or lead to general unhappiness and resentment.

I cringe when I think about the times I gave my parents a hard time for certain decisions they made on my behalf. Looking back, I realize that they did the best they could with the information they had, and all in the name of love.

Lord you’ve patiently been guiding me through this parenting stuff. My children are a gift from you. Please, just don’t let me screw them up!

Never Thought Winter 2015 Would End

riverside
for behold the winter is past
the icy cold is over and gone
the season of singing is come
the cooing of doves fills the air
and blossoms spring up in the land

Where Do You Go For Answers?

When I have questions, but no answers

Show me your ways, Lord, 
     teach me your paths. 
Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
      for you are God my Savior, 
      and my hope is in you all day long. 
      (Psalm 25:4-5)

road

Car Seats and Shopping Carts: An Unhealthy Marriage

Monkey see, monkey do

Sadly, I’m guilty of being a blind follower. I’m talking about perching infant car seats atop shopping carts, a dangerous practice I performed first with my baby girl, and now with my newborn son. And all because I’d witnessed other parents doing so.

car seat safetyBut does that make it okay? Nope!

Infant car seats simply aren’t designed to be mounted on shopping carts … so I recently learned when trying to force baby boy’s car seat on top of a shopping cart. Ironically, I was even annoyed at the “poorly designed” car seat that prevented me from doing so.

It turns out that my son’s car seat was specifically designed to deter ignorant parents like myself from dangerously maneuvering infant car seats while shopping; this I learned after going back to the manual to do some investigating … boy did I feel small! The main concern of course is the risk of your baby being seriously injured in a fall off an unstable shopping cart.

In fact, according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics):

It is more common than most people think for children to be hurt in shopping carts. These injuries can be severe or even deadly. Each year, approximately 23000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from shopping carts. Most injuries are caused by falls from the cart or by the cart tipping over. Many injuries are to the head and neck (2006).

Gasp! I never realized the dangers of my reckless behavior. Here are some suggestions for a much safer shopping experience with your precious little one:

  • Use a baby carrier or wearing product for hands-free shopping. Baby’s much safer strapped to you than in the shopping cart.
  • If you bring the car seat into the store, place the car seat IN:
    • Its travel system stroller and put groceries in the bottom compartment
    • The main basket of the shopping cart; drag an extra cart around for larger shopping items
  • Do tag-team shopping: Get another adult to take care of baby while you do the shopping, or vice versa.
  • Shop online or remotely if your store offers shopping on the Internet.
    car seat

Have you witnessed or participated in this hazardous shopping practice?

Spread the word: It’s never okay to put baby’s car seat atop the shopping cart.