preemie PT

i promised some new posts... they're long overdue.
so here goes!

our first physical therapy appointment was in early january when wren was 7 months actual, 4 months adjusted... it took forever to get the appointment. remember we moved here in october? i guess that's just par for the course. with another 2 moves in the next 8 months i guess i've got to be prepared. the whole time i couldn't get the appointments i was a little frantic, thinking "what if we're missing developmental milestones and don't even know it?". once the appointment was scheduled i was terrified of what we might find. (generally behind on things... or even CP...)

the results were:

  • 3-5 months on everything!!!
  • except standing... standing she measured at the 6-8 month age range. what a little stander. :)
  • the only reflex that she needed to lose was the moro reflex. this is something that should be gone by 4-5 months of age. if not, there's a risk of CP. you can test it by "dropping" her back a little. if she has it, her arms go out.
here's a picture of julie about to test the moro reflex

things to work on for 6-8mo milestones
  • opening up her hands. (she clenched her fists all the time, and that prevented her from being able to push up in the belly position.) we do this by tapping her hands on the ground.. fist down. usually this worked.. if we tapped her little hand on the mat she would open up, and we would have her put weight on it.
  • sitting up. she couldn't really sit up by herself at all when we started. to work on it, the physical therapist recommended making her sit more. (she prefers to stand all the time.) to hold her at the hip...letting her wobble. anything that works her core... having her pull up holding on to our hands, laying her down without supporting her too much, and we also started letting her do some back extensions. :) the physical therapist told us that bumbos aren't actually good for this. the support in the back, that allows babies to sit up in them earlier, actually lessens the natural development of the muscles they need to truly sit up. now, don't get me wrong, we still use ours... but more to get her to reach for things from a sitting position. (which is the next step after sitting.) i put the tray on, and some toys, and she goes after them. :) the jumperoo has actually been more helpful with strengthening core muscles... since it's still so huge, she really has to work to sit up and not fall over in it... also, it has tons of toys for her to reach for.
  • belly time. frankly, she'd rather have a dirty diaper than be put on her belly. she HATES it. i can't figure out why... for 4 months of her life we couldn't get the kid to live in any other position! so, working on belly time, we started doing it many times a day, but just for short increments. we also started more superman flying. haha.. she doesn't mind that at all. it's a secret that we're actually working many of the same muscles.
  • rolling... she'll only roll belly to back to the left. kid loves her left! (remember that asymmetrical grasp she had? AND she prefers to tap/kick her left leg all the time.) so, we have to coax her by taking the opposite leg to where we want her to go, push , holding around the ankle or so, up and over... tucking her arm if we need to. we do this both ways. on both sides.
here's a rollling picture:

the best news we had in that first visit, that made momma and daddy breathe a sigh of relief, was that she didn't think there was a high risk for CP. she said she has some tension in her calves, but nothing too bad, and that she didn't see many of the markers that are typically present with cerebral palsy. *a reserved whew*

as of the last appointment:
  • her sitting up is FABULOUS! she can just about sit unassisted. and sat in a high chair for the first time tonight! :)
  • rolling is about the same. :/
  • push ups are going awesome. she pushes up all the time now. (when i took her to get weighed i put her on her belly to undo the back snaps, and she pushed right up, fully extended and looked around! momma loves it.)

this may, in fact, be the sloppiest post i've ever done. but hey.. here it is. hopefully i'll get back in the groove at making beautiful posts soon.. for now..this is it. :) thanks for sticking with me.. and thanks for checking in on my little bird. she wouldn't be where she is without the prayers of all of you.


Preemie Miracle said...

I don't want to sound negative at all. When our 25 weeker was as young as yours there were no signs of cerebral palsy either. In fact he hit his milestones when he was suppose to. And we always thought it was SO cute to have him want to stand and jump all the time. When it came time for him to walk guess what... YEP he didn't. He could stand, pull to stand and cruise but there was just something not right. He was not diagnosed with CP till way after the "normal" 2. In fact he didnt' get that diagnosis till almost 3. There are so many levels of CP that she may have some and it won't effect her. Keep up the therapy and keep working. Even with a diagnosis like cerebral palsy the effects maybe VERY minimal.

wrensmommy said...

yeah... that's pretty depressing! but i probably wouldn't have stopped worrying until 2ish anyway... thanks for sharing your story. :)

wrensmommy said...

are you on message boards somewhere?

Preemie Miracle said...

Yes I am on a few message boards. Ty walked with a walker when he was 2 but no diagnosis till he was almost 3. I am on a few national preemie ones and mommy bloggers along with a few special needs blogs. I am also on twitter and also blog myself. Preamturitywithlove.blogspot.com

Monika said...

Go Wren!!! Sounds like she is making some awesome progress!

My DD has that same whirlygig toy. She loooooves it.

Thanks for the details in your post. I've been thinking about ways to help DD (7 months actual, 5 months adjusted) learn to sit on her own. I didn't even think about little things like holding her on my hip and such. I can do that! :)

Keep up the great work Wren (and Mommy, too!)

Jessica B said...

It's great to hear she's doing so well! And, to make you feel even prouder, Hayden did not sit unassisted til 7 months (and he had 41 weeks in the womb).