Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Toe Story

For those of you that don't know, I (daddy) have webbed toes. Technically it is called Syndactylism. They are not really webbed, just joined together with skin down to the last toe joint. In people the length of the "webbed" part can vary from 1 joint's length to the whole toe like mine. Below is a picture of one of my Hobbit feet. Krista and I have always talked about whether or not Emma would have webbed toes like me. When she was born yesterday, one of the first questions we asked (even before the cord was cut) was, "How many toes does she have?" Of course, everyone was confused and we had to explain ourselves. We then quickly checked for ourselves and saw that she did not have webbed toes (we were kind of hoping she would).

A fine example of a hairy Hobbit Foot affected by Syndactylism.
Well our early inspection turned out to be wrong in its conclusion. She does have webbed toes! This morning we looked at her feet again in closer detail and there they were. They are only webbed to the first joint. Notice the separation begins further out than the other toes.

It is even more apparent from underneath. We now know how she takes after her daddy.

We have no plans to have them separated. This feature is completely safe to live with and will not affect her in any kind of serious manner. There are a couple of things she will have to deal with though (and I know from personal experience).

First, she will constantly be asked a series of questions when people find out. These questions are listed below. I have also chosen to include the answers in parentheses for your information..:

  • Does it hurt? (NO! Why would people live with something as simple to repair as this if it was painful)
  • Can you swim faster? (Who knows. Probably not. If anything it may reduce your swimming ability due to reduced surface area/friction. The "webbed" part is not like the webbing on a duck's foot that drastically increases area when the toes are spread. Sydandactyly toes can't spread so you get no benefit while swimming. Sorry Emma)

The other thing she will have to deal with is uncontrolable toe jam collection. Those grown together toes just love to collect lint and other junk that they come into contact with. I expect her trials in this area will be less severe than mine due to the short webbed length, but it may still be noticably different. Either way, we are excited that our baby is just as weird as us. It would be a shame to have a normal baby anyway, right?

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