Friday, October 31, 2008

A Rollercoaster of a Day!

Well, as you can probably tell, I'm catching up on blogging. This will be another long post. : ) (I can never make a long story short!) Today has been an emotional rollercoaster! At work I was caught up on everything and started reading a blog of another 9 month old. She was eating spaghetti, drinks sweet tea and eats cheese. She was also crawling a MONTH AGO. Given, she is not a preemie But I felt like Avery was months behind her. Avery only eats Stage 1 baby food and drinks milk! So then I went over to the Gerwer Quads blog and they were born the same weeks as Avery, the same size. They are all sitting and one is crawling now. Avery is not sitting at all longer than a few seconds. All of a sudden, I just felt so sad. It's easy to logically understand that developmentally Avery will be behind. That for those first two months, we shouldn't have been looking at her and changing her diaper - she should've been growing inside of me! BUT, knowing and understanding all of that, it is still very hard not to feel like if I just do enough - get her enough therapy, spend enough time with her, know enough to help her, feed her the right things, etc. that she will grow and catch up to all the normal 9 month olds. I had this overwhelming feeling that I was failing her as a mother. So, I started to type my mom an email because she is who I always ask for advice and sitting there at work I started to cry. I quickly realized I needed to get my mind off things for a little while before I had a meltdown at Chase (lol), so I had lunch and started looking for the perfect vacation spot for the millionth time. (More on that later!)

Fast forward a few hours and we are at our first Physical Therapy appointment. Walking in the door I was immediately impressed. I watched a therapist work with a child and kept wondering if it was her mom or her therapist. You could see the love and genuine interest she had in helping this precious little girl. (Btw, she was the therapist - not the mom!) There were encouraging scriptures posted everywhere and everyone was super friendly. Avery's therapist, Karl, came out and I knew I recognized him. Turns out, he is a life group (a.k.a. Sunday School) leader at our church -First West! He spent some time with Avery and listened closely to all of my concerns (wow, this is starting to sound like a commercial!) and determined that her flexion (sp?) has not developed. He said he spent a long time working in a NICU with the positioning of babies so he realized that this was not done in most NICU's and I know that Avery did not have a Physical Therapist at St. Francis. He explained that because she was 2 lbs she never got very squished in my belly. Then she came to the NICU and was sprawled out in her Isolette 24/7. Because of this, NICU babies tend to like to 'sprawl out'. I have noticed lately that Avery's arms are constantly back and half the time she is laid all the way back when she eats her bottles. The best way I can describe it is being completed 'sprawled out'. As you can imagine, babies can't learn to sit if they like to constantly lean back and stretch out. He showed me some techniques of how to walk around the house with her to discourage her from leaning back and also to build the muscle tone in her abdomen. Then he sat her down. I thought to myself "she's either going to fling back as usual or if he forces her to sit she'll throw a fit." Neither. Avery sat. She just sat and played. While I freaked out. I only had my cell phone and these are the best pics I could get. Again, I almost started to cry - happy tears this time! God knew that I needed that today. Reassurance that I halfway know what I'm doing, that Avery is normal and that everything will come with time. Thank you Jesus! And thank you Melanie Massey Physical Therapy! When she was doing that I said quietly "Thank you, Jesus!" as I so often do not even realizing I'm saying it because it is 2nd nature. Karl looked at me and said "Thats right...Praise the Lord...give him the glory...thats what I pray every morning." Isn't it amazing when you can find a staff of people who's prayer every morning is to help babies and children like Avery and not so they will be honored, but so He will. Isn't that what it's all about? So, once again I will say it. THANK YOU JESUS, FORGIVE ME FOR WHEN I QUESTION THINGS....I GIVE YOU THE GLORY FOR THE MIRACLE YOU HAVE GIVEN US!!!

Here are the pics of the miracles I got to witness today:

Avery and Karl, this is the technique of how I need to hold her - see her arms inside? And he lets go little by little so she is supporting herself!

And then a miracle happened, she sat and played, no crying, just sitting!

Did I mention she leaned FORWARD and sat and most of you that is perfectly normal. To me that is a miracle!

She loved this Tigger~!

Even mommy learned how to help her sit!

Doesn't she seems so proud of herself?


The Glenn Gang said...

Oh Casey...don't ever doubt your abilities as a mother. You are one of the best I have ever seen. The love and concern you have for that little girl is so evident. I read you posts many times and are amazed at your strength and wisdom. Avery is a little miracle and you can't compare her to anyone else. That little miracle has given you a megaphone to proclaim God's grace and faithfulness! What a gift!!!

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

Yay! I can't get over that smile she is so pretty. Have you had any luck finding a sitter?