We spent some time at Swedish Hospital today. We swung by the NICU to visit one of Sam’s former nurses, and then we went to his final evaluation by the physical therapy department. Before I reveal how that went, we need to review just a bit. Sam was born in February, making him about 8 months old. However, he was due in May, so developmentally, he is 5 months old. Preemies DO catch up to their actual ages, but it takes about 2 years. When the physical therapists evaluate him, they evaluate him as a 5 month old, not an 8 month old.
Okay, the physical therapist conducted a developmental test to find out how Sam is doing with his cognitive, fine motor, and gross motor skills. Mostly, the test involves giving him items to play with and putting him on the floor to see how he moves. Sam completely blew the P.T. away. In fact, she told us that of the thousands of preemies she’s worked with, she has never seen a preemie this advanced for his adjusted age. Sam now has the fine motor skills of a 6 month old and the cognitive and gross motor skills of a 7 month old. This means Sam is closing the gap between his adjusted and actual ages much more quickly than we expected. The P.T. also gave us the green light on solid food. More on that later.
We did get some bad-ish news at the evaluation, too. Sam now has a strong preference for turning to the left because the muscles between his shoulder and neck are very tight. This can turn into some big problems if not addressed right away, so we have exercises to do with him and he is now officially a physical therapy patient.
Now about the solid food! Sam is VERY interested in food. He watches us closely when we eat and tries to grab our food, so it’s time to start eating! Sam’s first food was acorn squash, and he did great! He probably ate 5-6 spoonfuls. It’s not very exciting, but we did record it for you.
Sam loves Darwin SOOO much. Unfortunately, Darwin doesn’t much care for Sam. Sam stares at her whenever she’s in the room and gives her his most charming smiles, but no luck. She won’t go near him. So it was a real treat the other day when Darwin sat down with us. She even let Sam pet her! I’m not sure it will be happening again anytime soon. Sam doesn’t know how to be gentle. He pulled her hair and grabbed her ears. Poor kitty.
These pictures are just too cute not to post!
Sam’s 2nd night without his wedge was pretty good! He woke up once, had a snack, and went right back to bed.
I think he likes the freedom of not being strapped into one position while he sleeps. He twisted and turned during the night, and when he woke up this morning, he entertained himself by flipping over onto his tummy and practicing his scoot.
If there were a baby lottery, we’d be the hands-down winners, especially in the sleep department. Sam came home from the hospital on a good schedule, he’s never, ever confused night with day, and he’s been sleeping through the night for months already. We do have one complaint in this area however. Through no fault of his own, Sam has become accustomed to sleeping at an incline. Sam couldn’t lie down flat for the longest time after he came home because of his acid reflux. 20 minutes after lying him down in his crib he’d wake up crying with milk coming out of his nose. It was heartbreaking, really. So Sam learned to sleep in his carseat, his swing, and the wedge his occupational therapist built for him.
The wedge has served us well, but it’s time to move on. The wedge was built according to Sam’s specifications back in June, and he’s now outgrown it. The straps can’t seem to hold him upright anymore, which means he usually ends up sleeping sideways on the wedge. We tried to put him to sleep in the crib without the wedge a few times, but he kept jerking himself awake. And he got mad at us! Unwilling to give up a few nights of sleep in order to help him learn to sleep on his back, we kept him in the wedge and tried to put him down flat in his pack ‘n play for naps.
Yesterday morning, I woke up to find that Sam’s head was resting against the rails of his crib. He’s too long to sleep sideways on the wedge now. So it’s time for some sleep training. Not the cry-it-out kind, but the “you have to sleep lying flat in the crib” kind. It’s hard to start sleeping in a new position! You can’t get comfortable, and you wake up constantly.
Last night was our first night, and I’m proud to say that we didn’t cave in and put Sam into the wedge. We were up and down a lot, but he made it all night lying in the crib! He got some sleep (though not as much as I’d like), and he had ZERO acid reflux incidents! We’ll have to work at this again tonight. And the next night. We may be very tired by the end of the week!
It’s amazing what you find when you look at the camera’s memory card! Here are some of my favorites.