Teeny Tiny Truman

This page is all about Truman, born Aug. 8, 2006 to Kara and Ben.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What a difference a year makes!


Truman turned one on Wednesday. I stayed home from work to spend the day with Truman and Ben. I had been feeling increasingly blue as we got closer to Truman's birthday because his birth is not exactly a memory I wanted to re-live. However, when the actual day arrived, it was easier than I expected. We took Truman to the aquarium, went swimming, and all three slept in together. All in all, it was a very nice day.

Part of what I had been feeling so blue about was Truman's lack of progress on milestones. We have several friends with babies around Truman's adjusted age or younger, and they all seemed to be passing him by. Although I expected that with regard to size, I wasn't really prepared for that with regard to milestones. Somehow, I was under the delusion that Truman would reach his milestones mostly on track for his adjusted age. He hasn't. But perhaps Truman sensed my worry and as you can see from some of the posts below, he has just had an explosion of development in the last two weeks. And this week, he adding pulling up to the milestones. He's still behind in some areas, particularly in speech, but we're working on it, and I feel a lot better about things since his developmental "spurt" this month. His OT still wants to consider adding another session each week and adding speech therapy to the mix as well to tackle oral fixation and manipulation issues, but all in all, things are really looking up developmentally lately.

It's amazing how far he has come in the past year. When he was born, he only had a 50% shot at survival and almost statistical certainty of serious problems. Now, a year later, even though he's been through a lot and still faces issues, it seems that "issues" are all that they are. Maybe the other shoe will drop some day, and there's still a chance of that as he grows and learns to read and other similar cognitive tasks that major challenges will arise as a result of his extreme prematurity and brain bleeds, but so far, he seems to have escaped many of the complications that plague many of his micropreemie peers. Even though I still struggle with feelings that it's "not fair" that my child had to suffer so much and struggle so much harder for each step than full-term babies, we have so much to be thankful for. In the last year, he has:
  • Grown from 1 lb, 4 ounces to 13 lbs, 7.8 ounces.
  • Grown from 11 5/8 inches to at least 24 inches (it's been a while since we measured).
  • Recovered from one heart surgery and two bowel surgeries and has only scars as reminders.
  • Gone from receiving IV nutrition because his bowel was blocked and couldn't process food to nursing well and taking up to 8 ounces at a time by bottle and eating stage I baby food with ease.
  • Gone from being on a "no stimulation" order to being a very hands-on, high-touch baby.
  • Gone from being silent due to intubation to expressing his moods verbally and making a number of happy coos and not-so-happy squeals. His favorite sound is "eee."
  • Gone from still-fused eyes to beautiful, expressive blue ones.
  • Recovered from a flat spot and an umbilical hernia with no medical intervention.
  • Learned to sit unassisted and play at the same time.
  • Learned to roll over.
  • Learned to pull up.
  • Learned to get up on all fours and rock.
  • Learned to smile.
  • Learned to laugh.
  • Learned who his parents are and grown very attached to us.
  • Learned to hold his breath under water.
  • Learned to love bath time.
  • Learned how to look at a book and the fact that pages turn.
  • Learned to grab anything and everything and put them in his mouth.
  • Sprouted two teeth.
  • Developed a really, spunky, head-strong personality.
  • Picked favorites among his toys and developed a love for paper.

I am sure there are more, but this is the list I came up with today.

This is where we started. This picture was taken in the first week or so of Truman's life.
This photo was taken during his birthday party on Saturday, August 4. My, what a difference. We invited family to help us celebrate his birthday and had a lovely party. As expected, Truman was mostly interested in the wrapping paper, but he tolerated the hat and the party and didn't have a meltdown. Because Truman isn't ready for the consistency of cake and is still too young on his adjusted age for the eggs in cake (and because we want to avoid sugar as long as possible), I soft froze baby yogurt into a cup cake paper and inserted a candle. It seemed to do the trick, but we had to feed it to him with a spoon since he is isn't eating with his hands yet.
Here's Truman assisting with the unwrapping of presents. The wrapping paper was one of the best parts about the party for him.
Truman shows off his sitting skills and demonstrates one of his favorites -- blocks. What the picture doesn't show is that Truman was reaching down and picking up new blocks as he dropped them and returning to the sitting position on his own. Here we are at the Dallas World Aquarium. His favorite parts were the orange birds, the leaves, and the turtles. He could take or leave the fish themselves.

Happy Birthday, Truman!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRUMAN!!!! i cnt believe a year has past already!! hehas come so so far and wat a spunky boy!!!! i hope he had a lovely day! i loved the idea for the cake!!!! huggs to truman!!!

kainesmum,kylie snowflake

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Truman! Its just so amazing to see how far he has gone from a year ago. From worrying if he'll make it to wondering what his next new trick will be. He is such an inspiration.

His adjusted age is two weeks older than my son, and as for developement goes I think Truman is right on target. I'm still waiting for my little one to hit that developement boom.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!
I wouldn't worry about the milestone issues, all babies are different and the range can be wide. My three ran the range from my oldest, who crawled at 4 1/2 months, to my youngest, who was almost 10 months old before he crawled. He didn't walk until he was 14 months old when the girls walked at nine. My husband was also late in walking - 15 mos - and he is very successful, bright and motivated so it obviously doesn't predict the future. As for drooling, my two year-old is a veritable font as were my nephews, making me wonder if there is some truth to the elementary school jeer "girls rule, boys drool". ;o)
Steph Anderson

2:14 PM  
Blogger amelia said...

The birth pic is so heartbreaking but the one year is just wonderful!

Keep up the good work and lets hope for no more complications.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Delurking to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRUMAN!! Gosh I remember coming to this site from I don't even remember where and reading from the beginning. WOW look at you now. A miracle and a fabulous, spectacular success. Enjoy this baby age that he is savouring for you a little longer than others. He seems to be showing that in his own time he will get there. In a blink of an eye he will be running around and you will be fighting back a tear or two for the baby he once was. He is amazing.

Thanks so much for sharing his journey. It has been such an inspiration to watch his development.


10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever left a comment here before. I've been following your blog for since you started it. I think I learned about it from a bulletin board I post on. I've been praying for your family for this whole time as well. I am so excited to read how far he's come and how much he's learning. Congratulations on how healthy he is and the milestones he's reached.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Truman!

A Lurker from Illinois.

12:37 PM  
Blogger mumlollipop said...

I have been reading this blog for the last year and have been amazed by your courage and by the strength Truman has shown. My own little boy was born December 24th and since then I have even more insight into what a challenge the past year must have been in many ways.

I just wanted to take this oppertunity to say a huge well done to all three of you for battling the odds. Truman looks to be a gorgeous, happy boy who obviously has all the love and support he could ever wish for.

I am so glad to be reading about his frst birthday party - Happy Birthday!!!
Laura x

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Truman!
You have been an inspiration to my family and me and it's amazing to think that a whole family of strangers thinks of you so often! Congratulations on one year and all of your new "tricks"!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Chris and Chris said...

Happy Birthday Truman!!!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a difference a year makes. God is so good. I am praying for all of you and sending Truman (((Angel Hugs))) and butterfly kisses.


4:21 PM  
Anonymous Sara Samul said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRUMAN!!!! I can't believe it has been a year already- and boy what a difference a year does make! Like my former 24 weeker that I took care of (he turned 12 in May) you not necessarily forget how tiny they once were- but when you put the pictures side by side- you realize you do forget just a little- but then are also so amazed by this little person that you have in your life! Way to go Truman- you keep growing and amazing us all- and again thank you so much Kara and Ben for sharing your amazing little man with all of us- he has been so precious from the first day I started following him last year- and he remains even more so today! Many blessings to you and your family on a bright and very happy future! Sending you lots of love- Sara

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Truman! What a wonderful inspiration you are. I am so glad that you are doing so well. When I started reading about a year ago, I so hoped to read about your 1st birthday. You made it! Lots of warm wishes are sent your way.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRUMAN! For the last year I have been checking in on you, and praying for you.
And now here you are, a year old. That is fantastic. Keep growing, and getting even more cute with every picture.

Keep em coming mom and dad.


1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Truman !! I have been following along your blog since a friend showed it to me. Kara I am in tears reading what you have written about worrying about Truman and his reaching his milestones. As a mom of 5 boys I have to tell you this and I really want you to take it to heart. Kids reach "milestones" at different ages some do them earlier some later. reaching a milestone early does not make a child smarter or better than a child who takes thier time. I have one son who learned to walk at 9 months and another who did not take his first step till he was 16 months old nothing was "wrong" or "right" with either kid both walk now I had one kid who started talking first word at 8 months and another who did not speak well till he was almost 5

again both kids are normal average range
Enjoy and celebrate the things he does as he does them in his own time and dont compare this remarkable child to anyone else Truman is in a league of his own!!

Sue mom to 5 boys
Alex age 14 Tim age 12 Zach age 8 Nik age 2 1/2 and Quentin 4 months

4:55 PM  

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