Last week, we survived Norah's neonatal development follow-up appointment. This is always the most exhausting appointment that Norah has every six months. This appointment lasted just shy of three hours, ugh. Three hours of questions and testing for one little girl, who is sitting on her mother's shrinking lap, whose 3 year old brother is also in tow, wanting his share of attention. Whew! We survived.
Norah's adjusted age for this appointment was just over 18 months. She weighed in at 19 pounds, just making the 5% for weight. Her head circumference is 47.5cm, making the 75% percentile.
That was the easy part of the appointment. After that I spoke with Dr. Bear, a wonderful neonatalogist that we met with each time, who listens to our concerns and gives us good direction to correct them. I shared my frustration regardingg a follow-up appointment that we were to have with the geneticist in December. After many attempts to contact the office to set up the appointment that have gone unanswered I have given up. My thoughts are: Norah is doing great, the test in the past that we have done have all be normal, so why keep looking for something that may not be there, if concerns come up in the future they'll still be there so we can check with them then. Dr. Bear agreed with me, which pleased me. Norah's physical exam showed low muscle tone, with increased flexibility.
Next part - in comes the physical, occupational, and speech therapist - let the games begin. They use what's called the Bayley Scales of Infant Toddler Development 3rd Edition. Basically, we all sit at a table and test are done one after another quite quickly. If Norah passes part one of a test, the next step of the test is done, if she doesn't pass onto a new test. The further into a test, the higher rating/develomental age is given. I was impressed with Norah's ability to follow all these test. Although, at one point all she wanted to do is keep playing with a doll. So the doll ended up being involved with most of the test after that to keep her attention. She also showed off her amazing walking skills using her reverse walker. The sheer delight that beams from Norah when she is using her walker is magical. She loves the independence she is gaining with its use.
Fine Motor: 20 months
Gross Motor: 11 months
Cognitive Skills: 19 months
Receptive Language: 19 months
Expressive Language: 21 months
**not to bad for a kid whose adjusted age is 18.5 months the day of the appointment
Recommendations that we left with were to get a feeding evaluation done for Norah, which is already scheduled. We are also in the process of getting 'sure steps' which braces for her ankles to see if they will help to improve her balance. We were also given many ideas of different therapies to try improving Norah's muscle tone.
At the end of the day, I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be Norah's mom. I didn't necessarily need to go to a doctor's appointment to know that she is an amazing kid, who is delayed with walking and standing. Everyday I can look at Norah and see how full of life she is and know that she is happy, and that's what's important. But I suppose it would be nice to brag a little bit, especially to all those people who wrote her off before she was even born.
God has special plans for Norah, and I am grateful he choose me to be her mom.