Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The "N" Word

Crew had two doctor visits this morning. One was to the eye doctor. Beyond all expectations, we received a clean bill of health from Dr. Larsen on Crew's little peepers. So clean, in fact, that we are no longer considered active patients. Done. See ya. Ba-bye. 'Don't let the door hit you' and all that. Crew's eye development is now "normal", as if he never had ROP and had been born full term. I told him that we just love the "N" word.

In other good news, we visited the pediatrician and got great news on Crew's weight and height. He is 13 pounds, 4 ounces, which is actually a spike in the charts. He has made the exact same spike with his height and head circumference. We haven't had him weighed in more than 2 months and I was feeling like he might be plateauing in his weight gain. He is still in 0-3 month clothes, after all... Imagine my surprise and delight to know that he has finally hit the charts. He is officially in the 5th percentile for his adjusted age of 6 months! Yay, little fatty!

That was the good news. I don't have any really bad news, but I do have a bit of chagrin and conflict of heart.

I am very protective of Crew (like I need to tell you that). And in general I don't get all that worked up about milestones with my kids. Kinley was quite late in her gross motor skills, but was an early talker. Tanner was a late talker but his gross motor skills followed a more average time table. That being said, Crew is a different story and remains at high risk for delays, etc. and we've had to be more concerned about his progress; nevertheless, I still find myself resisting getting all worked up over the fact that he isn't sitting up yet or doing a few other things "normal" 6 month old babies are "supposed" to be doing. I find myself defending his right to take his time.

It's a hard balance for me to strike because I want to help him all that I can, not be in denial, nor neglect his needs, but I have a hard time forcing him before he's ready because, generally speaking, this stuff just isn't that important to me unless it's a really big delay. When people start freaking out about how tense his muscle tone is, all I think is "yeah, he has high muscle tone... just like his brother and sister did." In most cases, babies will cross their bridges when they feel like it. It's difficult for me to admit that Crew is not most cases, because that feels like a huge overreaction to his "delays". I hate it when people overreact to Crew's complexity. No, I am not in denial of his risk factors nor am I afraid of the possibilities, but can we all just calm down and stop seeing boogeyman shadows under the bed?

That brings me to the chagrin. We are now entering a critical stage of Crew's development, where we are requiring more of him. He's starting to fall "behind". It took a lot of convincing from our pediatrician, but I can see that Crew needs more intervention than I'm currently giving him. We play a lot and get a lot of high-fives from our OT on his overall progress, but I'm not "working" actively with him regularly and it's starting to show in the details. Crew and I will now be entering a phase of more intense physical therapy, 30 minutes a day of Mommy/Crew time. Less play, more therapy. I'm conflicted, but resigned. I can see the need and Justin's been singing this song for months, but you know how I feel about being a slave to the development charts and this feels a little like that.

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