Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Like a Rebel.

We met with Ryan's pediatrician on Wednesday as a follow-up to his stint with RSV.  She actually turned it into his well baby visit and gave him a hepatitis shot he needed so he won't have to go back in until after his birthday in March.  She said his lungs sound great, and he's gaining weight like a champ.  He's up to 15 pounds 7oz on their scale.  He was such a good boy and only cried after the shot. 

Here's why I feel like a rebel:  I asked her about starting solids since we hadn't been able to get an appointment to meet with a feeding therapist yet, and she said since he had the swallow study done at the NICU before he was discharged, we could give him a little bit of rice cereal to see how he does.  Like a spoonful a day.  I swear I did the whole solids thing with Dani, but somehow everything I did with Dani has left my brain.  Plus, of course things will be different this time around.  Part of me feels like I'm breaking the rules by not waiting for a feeding therapist, but the other part of me remembers that he's a baby and I'm his mom and if he's showing us that he's ready to start with solids, I shouldn't hold him back just because there isn't an opening on a schedule somewhere.  So, we started that day.  I gave him one tiny spoonful of the thinnest rice cereal you've ever seen.  It was actually probably just breastmilk with a few flakes of dissolved rice on a spoon, to be honest.  He did exactly what he was supposed to and pulled it back into his mouth and swallowed it.  I cannot tell you how encouraging that was!  On Thursday, I tried it again, and this time I thickened it and made it more like cereal and less like rice milk.  He still did great!  I only gave him one spoonful because I didn't want to push him.  Today I made it thick-ish (I still wouldn't call it THICK), but this time I let him take as much as he wanted until he started to act like he was over it.  He took 3 spoonfuls today!  I think tomorrow I'm going to be REALLY brave and try some pureed sweet potatoes.  He's always had a love of eating, he just doesn't have the jaw/tongue strength to suck and transfer milk from a bottle.  That doesn't mean he can't EAT, though, right?!  I am really praying that this will be one area he can really have success with. 

Also on Wednesday, Julie from the Braille Institute came back to work with Ryan on his visual development.  He was doing great looking at her toys and playing.  She had lots of great things to say about how he's showing signs of good brain development since he can grab things and bring his hands to mid-line, and he can pass toys back and forth from one hand to the other.  He also loves to kick his legs while he's lying on his back and she said the fact that he can bring both legs up and down together simultaneously is a good sign as well.  We love good news, so we were thrilled to hear all of that!

Other than that, we had a physical therapy appointment yesterday and Ryan discovered his toes!  He did such a great job after she moved his hands to find his feet a few times, he would just grab on and feel all over his feet.  Then she was holding him cradle style and he decided he wanted to grab them again so he went for it all on his own!  She was really impressed.  He is still pretty delayed as far as lifting and holding his head up when he does tummy time, but we're working on it and he's definitely improving slowly but surely.

Today I took Ryan out to Arcadia to see his contact lens doctor.  She was very pleased with the improvement in his vision.  The contacts do seem to be helping him a lot.  He is looking at toys and tracking them side to side.  He reaches out and grabs things that are close to his face.  And his eyes are definitely less "shifty" which means that he's able to focus better on what he's looking at.  So we'll go back to see her in 12 weeks to make sure the prescription of the lenses is still good for what he needs.  In the meantime, we'll be following up with Dr. Sami here in Orange, and we may be starting him with patching one eye since he seems to prefer the left eye and they want to strengthen the right eye.

I met with someone from the Regional Center today to talk about Early Intervention services for Ryan.  They usually wait until after the NICU follow up evaluation which we have next week, but he is qualifying early based on his hearing loss.  For all the teachers out there, he'll have something similar to an IEP called an IFSP every 6 months until he turns 3.  This is such a great resource because we only qualify for 20 therapy sessions (physical/feeding/speech/etc) per year through our insurance, so once we use those up (which for Ryan will happen in a few weeks), the Regional Center will take over and cover those services for him.  So thankful this service exists because I when I first found out we only got 20 a year I had a minor panic attack and called our insurance case manager right away, lol.  And what a blessing she is because she helps calm my crazy when I have these minor freak outs. :)

So, it sort of feels like we're moving into a new phase for Ryan where we aren't concerned as much about his health as we are his development.  I suppose that's a good thing because he's showing us how strong he is, and he's growing every day, but now we could use some good thoughts and prayers for him to strengthen those muscles and start reaching those milestones.  Poor guy is getting so chunky and his head is SO big now, I can only imagine it's getting harder and harder to try to lift that thing up!  But we believe in the power of prayer!  You've got this, Ry-Ry!

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1 comment:

Johanna said...

It's so amazing to think about Ryan moving out of the "worried about his life/health" and into "working on his development!!" So so so happy to continue to see his amazing progress. Can't believe he's going to be a year old soon :)