Mary Louise and David had a visit with the Kid's Team therapists today. This includes evaluations from an occupation, physical and speech therapist as well as their neonatologist.
They are now 13 months (actual) and their adjusted age is about 9 months meaning that if they were born around their due date, they would be their adjusted age right now. It is always the hope that they at least maintain function at their adjusted age level. Mary Louise and David have very consistently been a little above their adjusted age.
Today, they "scored" at about 11 and a half months for PT and OT - in the areas of gross and fine motor skills. In speech (language) skills, they scored at about 9 and a half months as they are not yet specific with their words. (They can say "mama" but they don't necessarily associate that with me.) We are just over the moon about their level of function. The therapists could hardly believe it!
We were assured that there were not really any concerns about their language at this time. They have just made huge strides in gross motor function and it is typical that a baby would make good progress in one area while simply maintaining function in another. So, they are not ready to walk and chew gum at the same time. Having said that, the therapists are looking for improvement in their speech and language skills specifically over the next few months.
The PT and OT therapists were very pleased with them saying that once they are walking, they will "graduate" from the Kid's Team program which is beyond exciting to hear. Once they are at that point, we would (gulp) be on our own for things like jumping, and climbing stairs - gross motor skills that just take time and practice to master. I just can't believe that we are already right there - ready to take that first (actual) step!
Their doctor was very pleased as well. He said how good they looked and was so excited that we made it through the winter unscathed by any type of respiratory illness. As he hasn't seen David since his hernia surgery, I explained to the doctor how much happier he has been since he had his repair. I also explained that once the surgeon saw what was happening with his hernia, that it was in fact involved much more than initially thought. The neonatologist remarked how rare a case like David's was and even said that he'd keep such an instance in mind the next time a mom says her little one seems so uncomfortable. Though we did have a disagreement or 2 in the NICU, I have to say how much I respect and appreciate this doctor - not only for keeping up with the latest in research in neonatology - but for moments like these in which he offers some validation for a mother's intuition - regardless of how far fetched it may be.
We had a little conversation about Mary Louise's constipation issues and as far as her diet goes, there is nothing that needs to change. In fact, the neo said there is little that can be done short of giving her a daily med. He suspects that she has some fissures which are causing discomfort. David had issues with them in the NICU at the end of his stay. After describing Mary Louise's behaviors, he concluded that part of what she is doing is behavioral and we'll not be able to resolve it until she is a little older. He did say that she should grow out of all of it with time though- and that it is quite typical for (micro)preemies.
As far as their size is concerned, the doctor stated that he is confident that "they will not be short" or otherwise scarred buy their extreme prematurity...but it will take quite a bit longer to see if that will be true. They have plateaued a little with their growth - but it is not concerning at this time and they continue to follow their own curve just below the "regular baby" growth chart.
So, that's the run-down for the day. Overall - a good report!! Happy 13 months my lovies!