Monday morning was our follow up with the Neonatal clinic at the hospital. Premature and underweight babies are at high risk for developmental delay so naturally Zoe was referred. I initially thought the appointment was for both of them, but after an awkward few minutes at the desk I was informed that they don't follow Down Syndrome babies (they leave that up to Infant and Child Development). Zoe had an appointment to herself for the first time since her surgery. This was her official 4 month (corrected) visit.
The first little bit was typical: weigh her in, measure and report. According to the scale there, she weighed 13 lbs, 4 oz which I think is a bit more than she actually does (they left her dress on, so that could have added a few ounces). Then it was meeting with the OT (Occupational Therapist) who laid her on the floor and checked out her development.
According to the Nippissing District Developmental Screening Tool, at four months of age a child should be able to do the following:
- Turn their head from side to side to follow a toy
- Glance from one object to another
- Turn [their] head towards a source of sound
- Make some sounds when looking at toys or people
- Brighten to sound, especially to people's voices
- Respond to you by making sounds and moving arms and legs
- Laugh and smile
- Finish each feeding within 45 minutes
- Lift [their] head and support self on forearms
- Bring both hands to chest and keep head in mid-line while lying on back
- Hold head steady when supported in a sitting position (ie: in an infant chair or on your lap)
- Hold an object briefly when placed in their hand.
Now, according to the OT, Zoe is scoring in the 50th percentile for her real age, not her corrected one; she can do this list and so much more (roll to her stomach, roll back to her back, hold objects in both hands, etc). This is fabulous news... albeit not terribly surprising, given "The Princess" (as dubbed by the NICU nurses) has always been a superstar.
|Yes, I can multitask. I learned it from my Mommy...|
...And on the way home I stopped traffic. Yes, you read that right. What would a "doctor adventure" be without the "adventure" part?
When we had left in the morning it had just stopped raining; it was quite possibly the first rain we'd had in a month. The stroller was packed with rain gear: stroller cover, giant umbrella, a rain coat for Quinn. At some point while we were inside the skies had cleared and the sun had decided to beat down once again. I cursed myself for leaving my sunglasses at home and forayed out into the blinding light. We were almost panting by the time we reached the bus stop and there was no shade to be found as the sun was almost directly overhead. By the time the bus came we were already very hot and in need of something cold to drink. I told myself that when we reached our connection if there was a wait we would go into a nearby store and get a drink, which we did, to cool off and kill a little time. Once we left the store I started cursing as I realized that the curbs and sidewalks on all four corners of the street were torn up. Our bus stop was missing in fact. Damn and blast! How were we supposed to get home?
I ignored the "use other sidewalk" signs as the bus I needed drove on this side of the street. I deked up into a handy driveway to hopefully cut through... and found fences everywhere. We were trapped. I had two choices: 1) walk back to the "corner", cross the street, walk two blocks down the street, cross and walk back up to the nearest stop or 2) improvise. I was also wearing strappy slip on sandals with a two inch heel that sounded like a good idea in the morning, but now were rubbing the skin off my feet as they swelled in the heat. Vanity, thy name is pedicure.
We chose option #2. Traffic had been reduced to one lane as there was an enormous digger currently gouging out the existing sidewalk and dumping the refuse into an equally enormous dump truck. At a safe distance from these behemoths was a middle aged [read: older than me] woman holding a slow/stop sign. I chose to walk right up to her through a cordoned off area and ask her where the bus stop on this side of the street had gone (it was missing too). She motioned and yelled something about a block ahead of where we were standing. I could barely hear her over the machines but eventually I made out that she was asking how old the twins were. I let her know, she looked at each of them lovingly while Quinn stood, mouth agape watching the metal dinosaurs claw at the earth. I had to interrupt her momentarily to ask her how I was going to get there and she smiled and answered "Well, I'm going to stop traffic for you".
So she did. She stepped forward, expertly held out her hand and swung that sign around to "STOP" so that I could push the stroller (and Quinn) to the nearest bit of unmolested sidewalk. On Main Street. In the middle of the afternoon. It was crazy! I sauntered down the middle of the road, the divider a foot or two to my left, past the giant machines (I have to admit I was a little spooked) and safely onto the sidewalk... a trip that had to take at least a full minute. I could feel the traffic building up behind me and knew it had to be solid cars halfway to Orangeville. I got to the sidewalk, flashed her a thumbs up and traffic started again. I wasn't paying attention but I am sure I got more than one dirty look. We opted to walk home from there; it was a hot one broken only by a few shady spots which we took advantage of. When Sean came home I regaled him with this story only to have him say "It's a good thing you had that giant umbrella with you for shade!" Yeah. Good thing. (Dammit!)
Wednesday was a big day for both babies as we followed up with the pediatrician. Zoe weighed in (naked this time) at 12 lbs 14 oz and Wyatt a cool 12 lbs 9 oz. Our mighty Micro-me has finally surpassed her moose of a brother (which is not surprising due to his hypotonia). They are exactly the same length, 58 cm (or almost 23') which is two centimeters more than Quinn was at birth. (No wonder I needed that section!) According to the charts, Zoe started her life in the 5th percentile and has now moved up to the 25th. Wyatt remains in the 5th percentile. At our last visit I asked how Wyatt was doing on the DS growth charts and was answered with "I wasn't aware there were such charts". You'll permit me the mental high-five I gave myself when she added "...but he is at the 25th percentile on the Down Syndrome Chart" this time. Score one for Advocate Mommy!
She was quite pleased at their progress over all. Zoe was in a bit of a playful mood and when she tired of rolling to her side and scrabbling to get the box of wipes, she started going after the paper on the table. Even as I was pulling her away she continued to frantically grab at it with both her chubby mitts and try to eat it. It was hysterical. I had to hold her for the rest of the appointment (which was fine as she is content looking around). When I put her down to change her she rolled over and tried to crawl to the paper mess again. Our pediatrician was amazed and remarked that it was very unusual in a preemie that age to be so mobile and it was a testimony to the amount of floor time and the kind of stimulation they got. (Mental high-five number two! Yay!)
|"Globally delayed"? I didn't get THAT memo...|
That particular trip home was easy as Sean picked us all up. I got to tell him how awesome all the kids were, including Quinn who patiently sat through yet another appointment and carefully wrote down everyone's weight and measurements. It was a stark contrast to the outburst he had before the appointment (where he threw a fit and refused to go). He's growing up too...
I know not all of our appointments are going to end so well. There will be a point in the future where Wyatt will have his AVSD operated on. However, I hope that we will continue to have good news and be validated by their development and good health. I am aware that we may be "honeymooning" with the twins right now and that is okay. With my return to work date coming fast I feel that we deserve this time together. That is okay too. We are moving forward, all of us as a family and meeting our own various milestones. Right now everything, dare I say it, seems to be all right. Wyatt is just Wyatt and his DS is just something he has, like his blue eyes. It doesn't define him, or his sister. Or us either. It simply is.
That, ladies and gentleman, is a milestone unto itself. At least for me.