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AFOs are AOK

Jordan’s appointments went well. We met with his dermatologist to recheck the birthmark on his tummy. He said that it had grown very slightly, but that comes along with the growth of his body. Again, he was not concerned at this point and will recheck it yearly, unless our lil’ Peanut has surgery, at which time we will request to have a doctor remove it while he is already sedated.

We met with Brian from Hanger Prosthetics to pick up and try Jordan’s first set of AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthosis). He will wear them at night to assist in stretching his foot. We have attempted to stretch it on our own, but have not had success within the prescribed time frame. Randy and I assisted Jordan in picking out a pattern for the outer portion of the AFOs. Our lil’ man seemed to be interested in the blue background with cars, planes, trucks, helicopters and a checkered flag of course.

There are three straps on the front and one on the back. The top strap on the front keeps his leg in position while the other two keep his little foot secure. The strap on the back is used to gradually stretch his feet in plantar flexion (pointed down). Whether he is able to feel the AFOs or not, he didn’t seem to mind the excitement of having someone fitting him for AFOs. In fact, he was his usual intent and curious self. He is so intrigued by watching and studying people. It is definitely a characteristic about him that we love to sit and enjoy as his spectators.

Occupational therapy went very well. He is right on track for where he should be. We believe he is a little advanced in some areas. He’s doing great at feeding himself his puffs and is starting to help hold his sippy cup, banging his toys on the table, and playing in a variety of positions (tummy, back, side, and sitting).

Other activities that we enjoy playing are peek-a-boo, splashing in the bath tub, and tag. Jordan enjoys taking his blanket, toy, or hands in front of his eyes and removing them quickly while we excitedly say “Boo.” It usually is accompanied by laughing.

Another marker we’ve made it to is sitting in the bathtub without any extra pieces to support the little man. Of course, he is very slippery and is getting used to balancing himself so we are right there to help when he starts to take a plunge. He loves his star, turtle and ducks. It’s not uncommon to find a duck has escaped with our wet baby when we get to the changing table.

As a family we love to chase each other around the house playing tag or as we say, “I’m gonna git you!” The laughter that comes from our little game is priceless.

One of Jordan’s new favorite toys is a Little Tykes® cell phone. Any advice? Is texting at 8 months old too young?

Read more about Megs’ and Randy’s journey of raising a child with spina bifida through her blog, Labor of Love.