Monday, July 1, 2013

Growth and Development

June was filled with many ups and downs. Doctors appointments here, friends, family and travel there, we have been going non-stop and have been counting our blessings daily. It's sometimes hard to explain to people the constant going (and going and going) of our schedule. So today I'd like to try.

Blake has physical therapy at the house every week, and has occupational therapy at the house every other week. With that he also has Hanger appointments for his helmet....that I am sure one day we will be able to get rid of! He also has a developmental pediatrician, a regular pediatrician, a neurologist, an audiologist and an eye specialist. Being the parent of a preemie is already a lot of hard work, but being the parent of a micro preemie with as many medical issues that Blake had is even more so! One we wouldn't change for the world, but none the less busy! Blake is now almost 15 months old, however is only 11 months adjusted...his adjusted first birthday will be the 29th of July, and its creeping up on us. Which in turn seems to be very bittersweet.

Although Blake is adjusted 11 months he still has deficits that unfortunately have pushed him back a little developmentally. However, still, we are surprised at where he is everyday when in the NICU there were times they said he 'might' not do a lot of things! Everyday is a miracle, and everyday we are reminded of the power of prayer.

So my developmental update. We met with a new doctor at the beginning of this month, a developmental pediatrician that came to Evansville from Riley! So much better than driving 4 hours to see the doctor he had prior to this one! And of course WE LOVED HIM! Unfortunately, this will be the only time we see him due to his relocation to Seattle! (And although we loved him...that is way to far away-haha!) At this doctors appointment we got an official diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy. Although early, and unable to stage, it was important for Zach and I to hear the diagnosis mainly for our peace of mind. Sometimes you just want to hear it said than just thinking it...if that makes any sense. At the moment, it seems only his left arm has been effected from his brain bleed. If you pay close attention to Blake you will notice he does not use his left arm for much of anything, and during playtime on the floor at times his left arm even hinders his movement by getting stuck underneath him. He has however started to use his left arm 100% more than he used too. He now can fix his "stuck" arm, and will use it if forced to. We will be experimenting even more and more with constraint therapy as he gets older.

Blake can sit by himself, but seems to only hold it for long periods of times for his physical therapist Mimi, why? I'm not quite sure but I think it's cause he loves her and tries to show off! He will sit for Zach and I but will throw himself backwards or fall to the side minutes into it. (Stubborn...I have NO idea where he gets that from-said with sarcasm)
Blake can not crawl, pull up or walk yet. But has recently become very dedicated in trying to crawl around. His left arm seems to tuck under him enough it frustrates him to the point of him giving up and just rolling about the room.

YouTube Video

Blake sleeps well...GREAT! He goes to bed around 7:30-8:30 and sleeps until around 7:30-8:00 however would keep himself occupied in his crib playing and babbling all day I think if I let him! Even though the past week or so boy has been waking up a 4-5am to talk to himself for about 30 minutes then he falls back t sleep. Zach and I tend to wake up, look at the monitor, laugh and then go back to sleep. Silly boy just loves talking to himself!

Blake is eating, what seems like, all the time! He has just started dabbling in more table foods. We had been eating puffs and yogurt melts in between mealtimes of some baby food I've made and now have introduced small cut up pieces of bananas, strawberries, and other soft fruits and veggies.. Our current favorite meals are zucchini/banana, always fruit and oatmeal and then spinach/pea/pear. He still takes milk (now cows milk) from a bottle as he hasn't quite figured out the sippy cup thing. I think he thinks its a teething toy more than anything. We still try daily, just haven't got there yet. We did have some issues this past month with the switch to cows milk, all poopy problems or lack there of more so but that problem seems to have passed and his belly has gotten used to it. We have started giving Blake miralax every once and a while to help with his GI motility, because with all of Blake's belly surgeries and his shunt going into his stomach the last thing we need is a backed up system!

Blake is still a thumb sucker, and although I know it will be hard to break the habit, seems to be the best self soother ever!

Our current words are dada, hi, he constantly mumbles "a" sounds, "g"s and and has just started in with the babababas....still no m sounds no momma quite yet! (Bummer!)

Blake's last weight check has been quite a long time ago but he was 19 pounds, and don't quote me I think 29 inches. (I know great mom there knowing his size) He Is wearing 12 month onesies, shirts and 9 month to 12 month pants. Although he is going to be a tall skinny thing just like his daddy!

Although its a daily struggle trying to keep up with therapies newest stretches to do daily, a new adaptation device, an appointment here, and all that comes with Blake's day to day life we couldn't be happier. I feel very blessed. There are days I have messy hair, no makeup, in pajamas, and tears developing in my eyes out of pure exhaustion. There are days that I wake up fearing the future. Will I ever be able to have that fairy tale pregnancy? Will I have to go through all this again? Will we lose another child...because I don't know if my heart could handle it. My heart has never fully healed from losing Conor, and I still have bad days, but then I look at Blake. Appointments and therapies, and this and that. I wouldn't have him any other way. He is my constant reminder. My faith. My hope. My happiness is all because of him. My whole heart is his and even if every hour, every second of everyday I have to do something for therapy, or take him to this appointment or get fitted for this brace it would be for him and to help further his development and his future! And because of that it would be completely worth it.

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