"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

October 23, 2012

Neonatal Follow-up - 1 year

Today was baby Katea's second Neonatal follow-up appointment and it was so much different than the first time around!  I knew it would last a little longer because since she's older now, I knew she would have to meet with more doctors than she did last time.....but man, it lasted all day long!  Makai was off track so I asked him to come and help me out....he's such a good helper!  We got to the appointment at 8am....we were the first ones there (as far as other preemies, because they schedule everyone at the same time and just rotate the kids through the doctors) and we seriously were the last ones to leave at almost 5pm.  Poor Makai was starving because I didn't even pack any snacks or anything for us.

Katea's going to be part of this program until she's 4, and they'll check up on her every year.  She was 7 months old the first time we went and she was doing amazingly well.  She was growing like they wanted and she was doing some of the things that babies her age should have been doing....like following things with her eyes and reaching for toys.  Her ROP had resolved and she passed her hearing test.  Those were the positives from the first visit and of course we learned about a few areas where she's a little bit delayed, which is expected for preemies....so I wasn't worried.  She was still on oxygen 24-7 then and it was that appointment that they determined that she needed to see a pulmonologist.  This appointment was just a follow-up to that first appointment and they wanted to track her progress and see where she stands right now.

The first doctor that we met with was the occupational therapist.  He had a bunch of toys and things and he was testing to see what she was going to do with them.  He was really impressed with her, how she grabbed and held on to things, she used both hands....she brought everything to her mouth....when he gave her a cup, she grabbed it by the handle instead of the big part of the cup.  He liked how she was sitting up by herself, and how she was clapping....and how interactive she was with me and Makai, smiling and laughing.  He said that she was right on track with her adjusted age when it came to fine motor skills.  That means that she really should only be 8 months old, and as far as her fine motor skills, she was right on track!  Yay!  He was a little concerned at her lack of movement.  She can sit up unassisted, and she can roll everywhere but she's not crawling, or even trying yet....and in fact, when she's laying on her stomach, she doesn't even push her self all the way up with her arms straight yet.  He said she's really behind with gross motor skills.  I take that information with a grain of salt because I don't know how much of that delay is from her being a preemie, and how much is just her genes.  None of my other kids started crawling until really late, like 10-11 months and none of them walked until they were 15 months.....so I don't really care if she's a little behind.....if she's delayed from being a preemie AND delayed from her genetics, she may not crawl until she's 15 months and walk until she's 2 LOL, but that's ok by me.  I'll fua her everywhere!  :)  I know she'll do it when she's ready...I don't see the rush in pushing her right now.

After the occupationaly therapsit, we saw the eye doctor.  They actually just took us back to put drops in her eyes to dialate and numb them so they could do their exam...then they sent us back to the waiting room.  We were there for like 20 minutes and then they took us back...but her eyes weren't completely dialated yet so they had to put more drops in and make us wait again.   Once they were dialated, they did the exam on her.  They didn't have to pop her eyes out like they did when she was little....he just shined a light on her eyes and said that he could see the blood vessels and veins in the back of her eyes good enough.  At her last eye appointment at Primary's....her eyes were mature and her ROP was diminishing....the doctor told me that she for sure was going to need glasses before she was 2, but they wouldn't know if she was going to be far sighted or near sighted until she was a little older.  At the appointment today, the doctor told me that most everybody is a little far-sighted, but she was really really far-sighted.  He said that she has a risk of going cross-eyed and that I really needed to watch for it.  If that happened, she might need surgery.  He set us an appointment to see him in 6 months to check her eyes again.  At that appointment, he said, if her eyes were still straight, she would get glasses.  So my baby girl will have glasses at 1 and a half.

Next was the nutritionist, she was impressed with how well baby is growing.  And after assessing her, she told me that I need to work with her on eating more solids.  She chokes on everything, and she really only eats baby food and drinks a bottle.  She told me she should be experimenting with more solids and learning how to move food from side to side in her mouth until it's all chewed before swallowing....and that will help her not choke.  She put a dissolveable puff thing in baby's mouth and watched what she did with it.  Baby struggled a little bit.  She suggested some things to help her learn that she needs to move the food from side to side in her mouth.....like giving her a sucker, but holding the stick and moving in side to side....things like that.  She signed us up for a feeing clinic, where I'm supposed to go learn how to teach her to eat....but the clinic isn't until January, and I'm sure she'll be eating by then.

Next we saw the RN, who took her weight and measurments.  She weighs 19 pounds now and I think she said 27 inches.  That puts her in the 30% of normal babies her age.  She's not even on the preemie chart anymore!  Yay!

The NNP was next and we just talked about her breathing.  She's still on oxygen right now, just because of the recent hospitalization.  The NNP was actually really happy with how well she was doing considering she was just on CPAP a couple weeks ago.  Makai was playing with her and she was laughing so hard.  We all stopped what we were talking about just to watch them...it was so cute.  The NNP didin't really have much to say except that she's really impressed with how well baby's doing, and that she'd be off oxygen in no time.  She told me not to stress that she's still on it....she'll grow and her weak little lungs would grow too.  She was super nice!

When we got back to the waiting room after meeting with the NNP, everyone had gone home.  All the parents and the other preemies were done and gone....and we still had one more person to see. Literally, the first ones there and the last to leave.

The last person we had to see was the hearing specialist.  She tried to do a hearing test on baby Katea, but was unable to get an accurate reading because she said baby Katea had too much wax in her ears.  She took us to this sound-proof room to do another test, but same thing.  She was suspecting there was fluid in her ears or something.  I told her I had an appointment with baby Katea's pediatrician in a couple weeks and she just requested that I have him take the wax out of her ears and check for ear infections....and then I have to take baby Katea back to see her in a couple months.

Finally, after meeting with all those doctors and getting all that information, we were done.  Almost 5pm.  Baby Katea was exhausted and knocked out from all the action and me and Makai were starving so on the way home we stopped and got us something to eat and we just ate in the car and talked.  Love my big helper....and my little miracle....and all my kids!  :)

Good job baby Katea, you're amazing! 

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