Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Making a replica of Madeleine's leg

I have been searching for ways to replicate Madeleine's leg before the foot goes away. I want to be able to show her what it looked like and explain to her why we chose to amputate. I wanted a way to preserve that precious foot since I found out the doctor WON'T let me keep it, despite me offering to keep it at Grandma's house!

I knew that I could always do a foot print but that didn't seem to be enough. Of course it is shown in pictures but that also wasn't enough for me.

So, after discussing it with my sweet artist friend, Krista and searching around a bit on the internet. I finally spoke with the fabulous Anne Baumgartner, the art teacher at Coe (the elementary school where I work). I thought if someone would know how to pull this off with a one year old it would be Anne. She did her own research and got the wonderful Kurt Keifer in on it. He happens to be an artist, a parent at Coe, the PTA president and a damn nice guy. Kurt suggested Alginate. Who Knew!? It is made from kelp or some seaweed and it is what the dentist uses to make an imprint of your teeth, so it is non toxic.

We decided on the date, Wednesday June 13th, 3:00. I arranged for a playdate for Maxy (my super duper friend Megan and her adorable little girls, Charlotte and Annabelle). And Madeleine and I headed to Coe! Kurt was there with a nifty make-shift container for her leg. We tried to put her little leg into a box and pour the alginate into the box, wait for it to harder and remove her leg only to replace it with plaster.

Madeleine, was not so keen on the idea. It took Anne, Cindy (my friend and colleague) and myself to feed her goldfish and make silly noises and faces just to keep her still. Unfortunately the alginate didn't take and the box didn't work.

We were back at square one with a little more information. The alginate worked better in warm water, the box needed to be bigger, Madeleine had a hard time sitting still. How can we make this better?


Beverly said... husband is an orthodontist, and he made a cast of our daughter's 3 toed foot with alginate. Alginate can be hard to work with, unless you've had some practice, as you've experienced. So here's my a dentist in town and tell him/her what you're trying to do. I have a feeling you'll find one who's willing to help you get it right. I know that if someone called my husband with a quirky request like that, he'd be more than willing to help. I'm sure there are others out there who would do the same. Or you could fly here to Santa Fe and Steve will help you.

Beverly said...

OK...looks like you got it. Congrats. Beverly