CURRENT WEIGHT: 12 LBS, 10.6 OUNCES
CURRENT LENGTH: 24 INCHES
ACTUAL AGE: 10.5 MONTHS
ADJUSTED AGE: 6.5 MONTHS
After his doctor's appointment last week, Truman was given the go-ahead to wait until after his first birthday to return. At that point, he will have all the one-year shots, blood work, etc., and a full developmental work up. The pediatrician did a quick developmental work-up at the last appointment and pronounced Truman anywhere from 5 months to 7 months in various developmental areas. He seems to be a little ahead on gross motor skills, but behind in speech and fine motor skills. The doctor is pleased with his cognitive development as well, which is the part we are clearly most concerned about.
He didn't use the term cerebral palsy, but I am kind of expecting that term to be applied after the more extensive one-year workup since the doctor and occupational therapists keep referring to the stiffness and extension in the limbs Truman has. I believe the phrase the pediatrician used was "issues" stemming from the brain hemorrhages Truman suffered in his first weeks. The good news is that everyone seems to think all such "issues" are correctable with therapy. So, it's not really a matter of whether he will achieve most milestones, it's when. Of course, learning challenges are still likely for most preemies, particularly those who suffered brain hemorrhages, but remain to be seen for many, many years.
An interesting note is that Truman's head seems to be outpacing the rest of his growth quite a bit. In fact, I think he may even be on the growth charts for his head. While this is most likely good news because it would mean that his brain is growing, it does raise a slight red flag with his history because it could mean that there's more blood buildup on his brain. At one point, it was suggested that Truman get an MRI shortly after his first birthday for long-term diagnostic purposes regarding the brain hemorrhages. Considering how well he is doing developmentally, I would be surprised if it's done because it's my understanding that it requires anesthesia. However, it will likely depend on the head growth and whether it concerns the medical personnel that it's too divergent from the rest of his body.
He is continuing to lag on his growth rate, but the pediatrician said that most babies slow down some in the second half of their first year, and he is 6.5 months adjusted, so we were told not to change things, but just to push as much Neosure into his breastmilk and solid foods as we can. Speaking of solids, Truman has now tried rice cereal, which he didn't seem to like; sweet potatoes, which were a big hit; and bananas, which were also a hit, but seem to be causing some allergic symptoms, so will be discontinued. Next on the list is carrots. After three weeks, he seems to be getting the hang of not pushing the food back out and opening his mouth for a bite. We still only give 1 TBSP or so a day and try to mix Neosure in with it. We've also given him a sippy cup to try with just an ounce or so of water. He's not sure what to think about that yet.
We are still working on sitting in physical therapy and have made little progress. The stiffness and extension I referenced earlier really seems to be getting in the way. However, his rolling has definitely taken off, and he's discovered he can use it to travel around the room. He's also scooting a little, but fortunately doing less of the scooting on the head behavior. The rolling has also really increased his tolerance for tummy time, which he now is doing on his own.
He's starting to reach out to show that he wants something and has learned to squeal in protest when something is taken away or when he doesn't want to do something, like sit. Swim lessons aren't going quite as well now that we are making him submerge. He knows when he gets perched on the side that he will be going under and gets scared, but he recovers after a short period of clinginess. I feel bad at times about it, but I know with a pool in the backyard that getting him able to hold his breath and not panic in the water is imperative. No matter what kind of safety fencing you get and precautions you take, you can never be too safe with a pool.
He has discovered his tongue and has lots of fun sticking it out and using it to lick the pages of his board books. It's quite hard to read a book to a child who is licking it, by the way. Paper is one of Truman's new favorite toys. We've learned that the pages of the Preston Hollow Presbyterian newsletter are perfect because they are slick enough not to get too soggy and too slick to tear into bits that he can actually eat. Truman had fun leaving his mark the envelope to his grandfather's birthday card this way, too.
Another wonderful development is that he now plays by himself for a few minutes when he wakes up. We leave a small stuffed cow and a flexible loop toy in the corners of his bed now. When he wakes in the morning, he often finds these toys or talks to his mobile for a while, which gives me an opportunity to lounge a little bit in waking and listening to him play. This morning, he played for a half hour before getting up to nurse. It was really nice and fun to peek over and watch.