We had a busy day today; it was Elsie's second appointment at the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic. This is a clinic where preemies are seen by several different providers a few times a year for the first few years of their life to make sure that they have the resources and referrals that they need to grow and succeed. That was a long sentence. You can read about Elsie's first visit to the NF Clinic here.
Today's visit was pretty great. We saw an audiologist, a nutritionist, a nurse-practitioner, and a physical therapist. All of them were thrilled with Elsie's progress and said that she's doing fantastic, of course, because she is.
She passed the hearing test with flying colors. The nutritionist said she's very pleased with Elsie's weight gain; she is at about the 50th percentile for height and the 30th percentile for weight and is consistent with staying on her curve (both height and weight here are for her adjusted age, not her actual age). She gave me some tips and resources on transitioning someday from Elsie's current breast milk-only diet to a blended food diet, which is more desirable than a formula/pediasure-only diet. Because let's be honest, if I wanted my baby to be exclusively fed formula, I would have stopped pumping a loooong time ago. Not that formula is evil. It's not.
The physical therapist's evaluation was great--remember how I said that I was excited to show her that Elsie could crawl and move out of the sitting position and prove her wrong--she was so thrilled to see Elsie mobile. Her low muscle tone is gone. She is meeting all of the milestones for a 9-month old baby (which is her adjusted age) with her motor skills. Her cognition, language perception, and expressed language are all within the normal limits of a 9-month old. A few things are above the 9-month range, and one or two things are below, so all in all, she is a typical 9-month old baby. Just not typical, because you know, she's a super special 13-month old in a 9-month old's body.
While we were at the clinic, I talked to another parent who was there with his 4 year old daughter. She was a 25-weeker and stayed in the NICU for seven months. She had a gtube, but has successfully been weaned from it and has had it removed for almost a year now. The dad told me to be patient and that it would happen for us. It was nice to talk to him and I'm happy that they no longer need the feeding tube, but the thing that stuck in my mind was that their kid was a 25-weeker and had a seven month NICU stay. Elsie was a 23-weeker. Five month NICU stay. Elsie is a pretty dang healthy baby. This little girl was . . . not as healthy. How did we get to be so lucky? How is it that Elsie is doing so well, when by all the odds, she should not have even survived? Why do some have physical or mental conditions and some do not? We'll never know the why's, but we are certainly always thankful for the miracles that we have had. We're thankful everyday for our little Elsie.
|All bundled up! We went for a stroll a few days ago. I get tired of being in the|
house all day every day. It was chilly (40-ish degrees) but we had fun, as you
can see by the expression on her face, ha ha.
|Glasses on, check. Hair combed over, check. Stogie--I mean, Tootsie Roll--in mouth, check.|
Cutest old man--I mean, baby girl--ever!
|And here we are, chilling on the floor of the clinic today. Good times|
were had by all!