Archive for July, 2013

30
Jul
13

Getting Started with EI: Developmental Intervention

Today we’ll have our first visit with our DI. She’s going to work on various things with D, and I’m excited about this meeting.

I have seen amazing changes in him just from the little bit of focus we’ve learned how to spend on some different things. I was really frightened about Early Intervention at first.

It made me feel like a failure that he’s requiring additional oversight, and it brought back all those old feelings from the start of our preemie journey. The actual experience has been very empowering. Even when I was stressed that he might not qualify after some areas of improvement were identified.

Last week, I had a huge set of meetings and projects at work so D spent a couple days with the “grandmas,” his Great Granny and my M-I-L. During that time, he had his first playdate with a little boy we know. This little boy and D had due dates within 3 days of each other. Drake is chronologically older by about 3 months. I had a rough weekend contemplating this conversations with my MIL. 

Me: So how did it go with, B?

MIL: They didn’t really spend much time together at the playground.

Me: Oh?

MIL: Well, B can run all over. D just can’t keep up.

Ouch, another one right in the preemie mama feels. Now I have to decide is more interaction with his peers a good idea? Do we hold back more and just concentrate on therapies for a while? He loves other kids, but I don’t want him steamrolled. I’m definitely having second thoughts about the 1-2 days of school we were planning on in the fall with other 18 month olds.

I think I’ll just plan on taking him on a tour when the year starts. If they have a spot left and being around the other kids goes ok, it’s meant to be. His pediatrician thinks healthwise it’s time to try him out. 

Preemie mama zen. I got this. 🙂

26
Jul
13

Exciting Times

I love the point we have reached. We’ve received our six month EI plan. August appointments have been set for therapy and other follow ups.

It feels good to know what we have been working on well and what could be adjusted.

It is hard to deal with those who assume we weren’t doing things right when there really is no right or wrong with developmental delays.

We can’t answer when he’ll be “fine” or “caught up” whatever that means anyway. But the three of us and our therapy/medical team are doing our best. And we’re going to enjoy learning together.

22
Jul
13

17 Months Old Adventure

Saturday D turned 17 months actual, so we woke up early and had a morning zoo adventure. It was the first time we managed to make it to the zoo right at opening. We scored a premium covered spot in the main lot.

We have a zoo membership so we skipped the ticket line and headed for the map to see what we’d like to do for a few hours. We decided on the Insect House, Carousel, and Manatee Springs as our main attractions.

The Insect House adventure started out with a scale that gives your weight in bugs! Wouldn’t that make a fun change from NICU stays measured in grams?

Drake was 2 million bugs.

Daddy was 32 million bugs.

Mommy was 20 million bugs.

We took our first family ride on the carousel. The elephant was a bit too big, but the zebra was just right!

I didn’t take any pictures in Manatee Springs. I was too fascinated by the zookeeper presentation. Confession, I ADORE going to the zoo. 🙂

Cincinnati Zoo is one of only two zoos outside of Florida that host manatees. They are a manatee rehabilitation center which means their manatees stay for a short time to get well and get reintroduced to the wild. Betsy and Woodstock are scheduled to leave sometime this fall. Manatees have small eyes and live in water that is hard to see in, so they have tons of hairs like cat whiskers all over their bodies that help them navigate in the ocean. Yay fun facts!

After the manatees, it was time to head for lunch. I have to say the nursing/family suite at the Cincinnati Zoo is also an amazing space. It’s air conditioned has comfy sofas, a great changing space, and toys for toddlers. We made a side stop for a diaper change before heading to the car. As we left, we noted the LOOOONGG lines that we avoided by going early.

We finished up with some lunch at Izzy’s Deli, and shopping at Tuesday Morning where we scored this fun plaything…

This afternoon is our first PT visit. Time to get to work! It’s hard to believe he’ll be 2 in 7 months, and then we stop adjusting for prematurity.

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18
Jul
13

THE Look

Pet Peeve, time.

We can’t go ANYWHERE lately without being asked how old D is. Then it’s followed by that incredulous look and sometimes with a spoken, “Really?

Ouch. Right in the preemie mama feels.

I was there for his birth if a bit groggy from the no sleep and meds to stop labor. I think I KNOW how old my child is. I have to count every calorie that goes into his mouth, and I still know what his exact weight is.

I usually offer a “he was early” and move on.

I do know someday in the not-too-distant future he’ll start to answer for himself. “I’m this many.”

Will he be questioned, too?

Saturday is 17 months day. We’re going to go to Big Bone Lick State Park and see the fossils and baby bison.

Friday is goal setting day. I’m looking forward to having a more formal plan to guide us for the next 6 months.

15
Jul
13

Getting Started with EI: Routines

Our second in-home Early Intervention visit was this past Friday. They sent a prep sheet about our daily and weekly family routines.

I was curious about this meeting. Our family routines are the heartbeat of our daily/weekly/monthly life.

I wasn’t expecting how I’d feel at the end of our hour long interview. Drained.

Being asked to rate how your child’s medical conditions/behavior/gross motor & fine motor skills affect your daily life really starts to bring out the little issues. The ones you ignore day to day because you’re the mom and you would go to hell and back for that mini human.

The questions about my me time and when I get stuff done also caught me off-guard.

The one that kept me up Friday night was “What are your concerns for your child that worry you the most? What keeps you up at night?” Are you really sure you want to open that bag of worms, lady? I’m awesome at worrying something to bits. 🙂

I’m very happy with 9 preliminary “goals” that came out of the meeting. I think it will do a TON for D’s quality of life to start working on these things.

I learned how hard it really is to think that your care/teaching isn’t enough for your child. You would think that lesson would have been made abundantly clear to me in NICU days. I am by no means a “kid” expert. I didn’t babysit. My youngest sister is only 4.5 years younger. My only kid experience was being one. I really appreciated our coordinator taking the time to point out that I was doing great with him and his needing additional therapy was no reflection on my teaching/guiding abilities as a parent.

I’m still a little sad that this is all necessary for him, but I am hopeful that I will enjoy this team and our work together for D’s well being as much as I enjoy working with his NICU follow up and medical team.

Initial recommendation is PT twice a month and Speech/Feeding once a week for the next six months, and then a follow up evaluation to see how things are progressing. We also received a list of where he’s at with various development and some goals and exercises to work on ourselves.

Our next meeting is scheduled for the end of this week and it will be the “goal setting” meeting.

 

 

 

09
Jul
13

Back From the Desert

The mounds of laundry are washed but not put away, work has been returned to, and our EI letters arrived yesterday.

Back to reality…

We had an amazing week. D travelled amazingly well for a 1 and few months year old that’s been mostly isolated for much of that time. We got a lot of eyebrow raises about his size at his age of 16 months, but also a lot of compliments on his mellow ‘tude.

There was the first plane ride, first gummi worms, first hike on mama’s back, and first swim. We had a blast.

The final word on EI is that he does qualify for gross motor and a speech delay. Gross motor is the walking issues, and he’s not progressing on the ‘typical’ speech path apparently. Our next meeting is to review our daily routines and concerns at the end of this week.

Sadly, the county we were staying in AZ had a tragic loss of 19 firefighters. Thank you to these brave men and their loved ones. It’s a beautiful savage country out there.

Our Grand Canyon day, it was 98 degrees at the top of the south rim and a balmy 145 at the bottom. Hiking down Bright Angel was discouraged that day. (Especially for plump easterners)!

I did have some elevation sickness. That’s what happens when a bred below sea level Louisiana girl goes up to 10000 ft.

I’m relieved about EI and relieved to be home!

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Trying to push the attendant light

 

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Swim gear! Red Headed fair skinned people need lots of coverup-ing in AZ

 

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Hiking, 5 ft from the GC. Also, ignore the fact that I still look pregnant. wtf

 

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Views, kinda obscured by smog and smoke, but still amazing in person

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Montezuma’s Castle

 

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Mom chasing adventurous son, I felt an amazing kinship with this mini Native American mama after trying to keep D off the condo stairs all week.

 

 




Drake’s 3rd Birthday

February 20th, 2015

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