Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In the past few days we have had several "firsts". 

1. We took our first overnight trip.

2. Travis and I bought our first pack of diapers since bringing Morgan Kate home.

3. We have started using the "big bottles" (8 ounce) for the very first time. 

4. Morgan Kate has started taking six ounces of formula for the first time.

5. Morgan Kate and I took our first shopping trip to Babies R Us.

6. The three of us went out to eat for the very first time. Mexican is so yummy!

7. Morgan Kate rolled over from her back to her tummy for the first time.

Tonight we went out to eat as a family of three for the very first time. I was a little nervous prior to going. Of course, I was super nervous about germs and dirt and people wanting to touch her. But, I have to be honest people haven't really been trying to touch her and I think it's because I have this bright red stop sign hanging from her car seat that basically says, "Don't touch me!" (Thanks Jill!) I suggest all new mothers invest in a stop sign. It really seems to work. I was also nervous because I wasn't sure how she would do. Would she scream? Would she sleep? Would she cry? Would we even be able to eat? 

It turned out to be the best idea we have had all week. It was so nice! Morgan Kate did a super job. For most of the time she sat in her car seat and played with some toys. Toward the end of our dining experience we took turns holding her. I had the best time and the food was yummy too. I can't wait to go again!

Morgan Kate also had her very first session of physical therapy. I love our early interventionist and our physical therapist. They are both wonderful and absolutely love Morgan Kate. For the next few months we are going to work on rolling over to both sides (right now Morgan Kate only rolls to the left), reaching for objects and eventually sitting up. I am really excited to start and see the progress we make.

However, I do have concerns. Ha. Imagine that. I guess I shouldn't say concerns (plural). I really only have one concern. I'll try to make it as brief as possible. So, Morgan Kate is seven months old - that is her actual age. However, as we all know she was about fifteen weeks early. Therefore the time she spent in the NICU was equivalent to spending time in my tummy. Just because babies are born early doesn't mean they automatically start doing things they shouldn't really be doing. For example, just because she was born early doesn't mean she went straight to eating three ounces or wearing clothes or being held. Most of that stuff didn't occur until December when she was supposed to be born. Based on December she is four months old - that is her adjusted age. With all that being said, here is my concern or question. Is it developmentally appropriate (teacher terminology) to expect her to start sitting up? Of course I want her to catch up to her actual age. I don't want to spend the rest of my life saying, "Well my daughter is actually three, but she only does what a two and a half year old would do." But, if that is what I have to do then fine. I just want what is best for her and I don't want to rush things. I mean if she is ready to sit up then fine, but I don't want to do anything that she is not developmentally ready for. I hope all of this makes sense. Any suggestions, comments, questions from other preemie moms? I would love any advice on this topic.


Lindsey said...

I have been following your blog for several months, but haven't left a comment yet. I am a first time mom to a 25 weeker who is now 3 1/2 years old. My son sat up at 10 1/2 months Actual age and 7 months Adjusted age. I remember the days of struggling with the two ages, but I promise it will go away...I don't even think about adjusted age anymore even though he isn't developmentally caught up to a typical 3 1/2 year old. Enjoy this time now because she will certainly grow up in the blink of an eye!

jan kessler said...

I understand your concern. It has been my experience with preemies as a home health nurse that babies do eventually get to their developmental age it has taken a little longer for some and some get there faster, it is an individual process with each preemie. It was good to watch the early interventionist and physical, speech and occupational therapist work with babies in the home. They have the fun part so to speak they get to play with them more than the home health nurses do, although we home health nurses do like to play with them too. Babies feel I am sure that it is work. It would be really cool to know what Mk and other babies are thinking while they are working hard at what they are doing. Just like Lindsey said it will go away. Glad you and Travis and MK had a good night out. I agree Mexican is yummy...


Stephanie said...

I can't give you advice on the age and expectations for her development...I think that she will do it in her own time though. When she's ready she'll do it...that's my opinion :)

I think it's great that you were able to get out and that you actually enjoyed yourself! Mexican is the best!! I can't believe you just bought your first pack of diapers...does that mean that you were given that many to get you through until now? If so you're one blessed woman :) Continuing to keep your little girl in my prayers!

Denise said...

For the first 2 years, the goal is for them to meet there adjusted age developments - they should catch up by age two.

Parker is 10.5 months but only 8 adjusted, so any development is based on his adjusted. His OT rates him compared to other 8 month olds.

With preemies, you learn to see them at their adjusted age. So be concerned about it compared to her being 4 months adjusted.

Does that make sense?

Melissa and Sam said...

Yeah for all of the firsts! So glad you enjoyed your Mexican food!

Anonymous said...

My son was born 10 weeks early and spent 100 days in the NICU due to BPD/Chronic Lung Disease. Sutton did not sit up until he was 8 months actual and 6 months adjusted so I think Morgan Kate is doing wonderful. Sutton also did not roll over until he was 5 months adjusted. Good luck


The Fricks said...

Um, my Wesley didn't sit up on his own until he was 8 months old, and he arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed on his due date. He's done everything about 2-3 months later than Josie did. What I've learned from this is that each child learns at their own pace. But eventually, most children learn it. Morgan Kate will catch up. She's got a dedicated and smart momma. And by the way, Mexican is the staple "going out" spot for us. Its so loud in there that no one notices when our babies decide that screaming at the top of their lungs is the best option to get attention. Enjoy all the firsts and look forward to the many first to come!

Heather said...

I loved this post.

My youngest was born a few weeks early and didn't sit up until she was 6 months. That give MK a few more months. Some kids don't sit up until they are 8 months. Each and every child is different. She will learn and do things at her own pace, just like full term babies do. You are a great mommy and she is lucky to have someone like you as her mom. Keep up the good work. MK is a very special little ladybug!

Anonymous said...

1 Peter 5:7
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

MK will reach her milestones in her own time not to worry- and when she does we will read all about them.
I think every new mom is concerned with their childs development but to be honest when they are young we want them to be older and when we (or they) are older we want to by younger. (Remember: "It Won't Be Like This for Long" enjoy every minute of it) AKA since technically I am 31: I would rather go by developmental age of hmmmm...lets say 25 for giggles....
You are precious!! Your worries and concerns are immeasurable but remember to simply give them to the Lord and he will carry you through them all.
xoxox chi anne

April, Mom to Heavenly and Earthly Angels said...

I know this all confuing but all will come with time. She looks perfevt. What a lil tropper she has been. Keeping you in our Prayers..

THE SPIVEY"S said...

I have a silly question for you. I may be stupid and over looking how to do it but I just can't figure it out. I went to scrapblog and made Christian a picture post for the top of his page but I can"t figure out how to put it on his blog. Can you tell me how to do it? thanks. She is adorable and isn't awesome to watch them grow and do things, like roll over. I just think it is amazing. Christian rolled over, back to tummy, the other day for mrs. kim (his nanny) but I have to seen it yet...sad.

Martha Compton said...

I struggle with the milestone thing, too. Campbell is behind her adjusted age peers with gross motor development.It's great that MK is getting PT and from my experience it will definitely help. I say you ask her what you should work on with MK. It could be that she can't sit up yet on her own but she can work on trunk control by sitting in a Bumbo or sitting propped in a corner on the couch.

Anonymous said...

I am a senior nursing student planning to be a NICU nurse and I stumbled onto your blog a few months ago while doing research for a paper I was writing on the challenges faced by NICU babies after discharge. I enjoyed reading your story and have continued to check in from time to time. I am currently involved in a program that tracks the growth and development of premature infants after their discharge in the NICU and thought I might be able to offer a little insight for you. It is true that it can be confusing to keep track of the two ages, but part of the reason we do this is to be "fair" to the infants. It is not fair to compare a baby born at 25 weeks with one that was born at term based on their actual ages, the preemie would always be behind. Therefore, we use their adjusted age when looking at expected developmental milestones like sitting up, walking, talking etc. This is a more acurate way for us to judge whether a preemie baby is "on track" with their development. So to expect your daughter to be sitting up at only four months adjusted is probably a bit too ambitious, although it's certainly a goal you can work toward.

That said, on average around the age of two a premature infant has caught up enough with growth and development that adjusting their age is no longer necessary. You won't have to spend forever with your daughter having two different ages. This is all just a guideline though, as of course each baby is different. Usually a preemie baby will be somewhere between their two ages developmentally. In some ways they behave according to their adjusted age and in others they may act according to their choronological age. This too, is completely normal for a preemie. If you continue to have concerns I encourage you to speak to your pediatrician or physical therapist and ask them about specific things you can do with your daughter to help her development. Overall though, she appears to be doing very well, and I applaud you for wanting to do the right things for her. Keep up the good work!