What a difference a year makes!
CHRONOLOGICAL AGE: 1 YEAR
ADJUSTED AGE: 8 MONTHS
WEIGHT: 13 LBS, 7.8 OUNCES
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.