We went to Kid's Team today...MUCH MUCH MUCH better than last time. The babies "scored" at or just above their adjusted age of about 5 1/2 months on speech, PT and OT. Their actual age is just under 9 months so technically they are exactly where they should be. The overall goal is to never let them drop below their adjusted age. They are expected to "catch up" to motor function, etc. during their second year. Their size will likely remain significantly under other children their age for quite some time though. In general, preemies tend to catch up in every area (including size) during their first 2 years, however, when they are micro preemies - and small for even that category of premature baby, it can take up to 7 years for them to really catch up to their peers. At this point, however, there is no reason to believe that our little munchkins won't reach their genetic potential at some point.
The neonatologist seemed very pleased with their progress as well. But, the poor guy couldn't catch a break with Mary Louise today who SCREAMED hysterically every time he tried to interact with her or hold her. He was sitting on a stool when we walked into his exam room. He had a big smile on his face and beamed a "how are you?" to Brent and I. I immediately held out Mary Louise as if he was some sort of blessed being and I was offering my young (ha - in our book, he really is some sort of blessed being). He took Mary Louise while gushing about how good she looked and how big she and David had gotten. Mary Louise took one look at him and opened her mouth wide and let out a horrible scream as if she'd just been given a shot. Oddly, she's the one that usually doesn't mind others holding her - but she has been really clingy lately. David did beautifully, grinning and cooing the whole time. Oh well, maybe she remembers something from the NICU...
Otherwise, the babies "performed" beautifully! I think they displayed a pretty good overview of their skill level and I got some helpful hints to promote further development.
In addition, Mary Louise and David have been showing very strong signs of readiness for finger foods. They reach for just about anything we have and make the whiny "I want that" sound while trying to get it from our hands. They don't have teeth, but I can see banana slices, soft potato cube, a little avocado and whatever else I can think of (or whatever some of the long term breast feeding sites recommend)in their future.
Which brings me to my funny thought / observation of the day...I think it's funny to watch the reactions of others when I tell them I pump/ breastfeed. Their eyes instinctively stare at my chest - some look puzzled or nervous as if they're expecting me to somehow hose them down or at least seep through my shirt at any moment, some (most who have breast fed before) give my chest a nod - as in a "hat's off to you" gesture as props for my perseverance. I always giggle (on the inside at least). I'm sure I've done the same thing a time or 2. Just funny from this side of the fence.
So back to the original topic, the babies did very well today. We still have our work cut out for us, but have a focus on specific areas and seem to be on the right track. We will be working on the "ma-ma and da-da sounds", sitting up more steadily, and tripod sitting. After that is fine motor pinching with 3 fingers, getting up to all fours and rocking back and forth.
Hang in there babies! We (you) can do this!
P.S. I forgot to mention - Mary Louise is now 11 pounds 2 ounces and 23 inches long; David is 9 pounds 12 ounces and about 22 inches long (I didn't get the length today, but got it last week with the home health nurse). I once joked that I'd have 2 foot walking little ones around here...not such a joke anymore! Just to refresh...their birth sizes were: Mary Louise 12 inches long and 1 pound 6 ounces; David 10 and 3/4 inches long and 14 ounces - my how they've grown!!