Yesterday, I finally received a copy of Drake's PT evaluation from December. Yes, it took CCS four months to send me a copy! But, I forgot to be annoyed when I re-read the 6-month goals they had set for Drake. By June, he would be able to get from sitting into a 4-point crawling position, 3 out of 5 times. Yeah... it's APRIL, and not only can he get from sitting into a 4-point crawling position EVERY TIME, he is CRAWLING on all fours now. And pulling to high kneeling, and sometimes even to standing! I felt like putting a gold star on his report and sticking it to the fridge!
Drake has been in speech therapy for a couple months now. His therapist comes on Thursday afternoons, which means I am at work, so I don't get to see what she does with him. My sister is with the twins that day, and she is great at filling me in on what they worked on and what we should continue to work on. Like singing. The therapist has been singing "Old MacDonald" with him, and now if you sing that song, he will do the "ei-ei-oooo" for every verse!
And she taught him the baby sign "more", to request "more" food when he eats. Drake is a very demanding eater, and will pretty much start fussing the second he gets in his high chair if there isn't food on his tray at that moment. She wanted to give him a way to communicate without fussing. This morning he finished his pancake and started to fuss, and I said "Do you want more?" and did the "more" sign, and he did it back!
Now that Drake is crawling and pulling up to high kneeling on furniture, my legs, whatever, he suddenly seems like a typically developing kid. In fact, it is within the normative range to crawl at 17 months. I think the age range to walk is 9 - 18 months. I know he won't be walking at 18 months or 24 for that matter, but today he seemed like any late blooming baby. I took him to get fitted for his glasses (which by the way are going to be so cute. he looks like a baby hipster as they are thick and square), and he sat quietly on my lap while the eye doc measured him, then he got squirmy so I let him crawl around the floor. The eye doc (who knows nothing of his PVL or delays as the prescription was just for the glasses) was fussing over how cute he was. She kept watching him crawl around and pull up on things and saying "He'll be walking in no time!", etc. The fact is Drake looks so typical to look at him. If you saw him in a stroller, high chair, swing, whatever, you'd never think, here is a kid with CP. And now that he crawls so well, it's like he aged 10 months in a few weeks. A few weeks ago, he rolled like a 6 month old would. It's amazing how a single physical feat can "catch him up" so fast. I know we will back on the downslide when he doesn't walk in the next 6 months. But today, I am enjoying his relative age appropriateness!
After trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for two years, my husband and I went down the IVF route and got pregnant on our first try with the twins. Yes, I have gone down that dark, dark road where no one wants to wander where I wonder if I was ever meant to be pregnant. I have wondered if "forcing" it with IVF and subsequently having twins and my body not being able to hold the pregnancy past 30 weeks somehow makes me responsible for Drake's brain injury from being born 10 weeks too early. But I haven't had enough wine to really go there tonight, so I will move on...
We were able to freeze two embryos when we did IVF, and there they have sat, frozen in a lab in San Ramon, CA. I just got the "rent" letter for the embryo storage and my husband and I have decided it's time to donate them to research. In the back of my mind, since learning about Drake, I have sort of held on to the thought that we could keep them for 10 - 15 years and use their stem cells to help Drake, once stem cell research has become more researched and accepted. But the place will only keep them for 5 years and the stem cells aren't Drake's, they are some unborn sibling and I don't think that they will be able to help him. I think in the long run, they will help Drake, and countless other people, if we donate them to research now. But even though I know I will never go through IVF again (meaning using them for future children), it's hard to let them go.
That brings me to the other thought of the night. More kids. My doctors could never find out why we couldn't get pregnant naturally. So after the two years of trying like bunnies to no avail, and the IVF and the twins, BANG, I got pregnant naturally when they were 7 months old. Go figure. I subsequently lost that pregnancy to a miscarriage and was secretly relieved, as I was in no place to have a third child when my twins (one of whom had been diagnosed with PVL and his outcome so unknown) were little infants.
But now that they are 17 months and we have a better idea about where Drake is headed developmentally, the question of three has come up again. As I mentioned, I would never do IVF again, but if it were to happen naturally, and the pregnancy stuck, I think I would welcome it now.
I don't know about you other twin mama's, but do you ever feel that having twins is like a 1.5 in terms of pregnancy and not a 2? I feel like my babies are growing up so fast and I'll never get these baby moments again like I would if I was able to have a second child a couple years after the first. I feel like I'd be so relaxed with the next kid, having it not be my first. I feel like I'd definitely have a singleton, so that would be great, too. Maybe I could make it past 30 weeks! But I am also terrified of the dark thoughts I alluded to earlier. I don't want another pre-term baby.
Of course all this is completely hypothetical, as I don't know if we can have a successful pregnancy naturally. But the letter about the embryos and my best friend being pregnant naturally after 6 years of trying and two unsuccessful IVFs, makes me have baby on the brain.
I took Drake to the pediatric opthamologist today because his pediatrician noticed at his last visit that he sometimes has a "lazy eye". I sort of notice it. It's very mild. I mostly notice it in pictures. I have seen some kids with CP wear patches over their good eye to strengthen the bad one. I sort of thought that an eye patch would be what the doctor would recommend. But no, he gave Drake a glasses prescription!
The doctor said he had a very mild "lazy eye" and that the glasses would correct it in one to two years. So, these are not permanent glasses. He said that he wouldn't attribute his PVL to the lazy eye, that lots of typical kids have it. I remembered that my little brother had a lazy eye, too, and wore a patch for a while. The good news is that the doctor said his optic nerves are perfect and sometimes the PVL incident causes damage to the optic nerves. So, we dodged that bullet!
Anyway, GLASSES! On my beautiful little boy! :) I know he will be so cute in them....
It seems yesterday Drake woke up and said to himself, "Today is the day I will crawl!" (for the record, he is 16.5 months adjusted). I put him down in the living room and when I came back in a few minutes later, he was gone. Yeah, he had crawled into his Auntie's room, about 15-20 feet away.
That was yesterday. Today, I can already see he is getting faster and more coordinated. His crawl is kind of like a modified bunny hop/shuffle, shuffle right now. My hubby has taken to calling him "Hop-Along D". But, he is figuring it out, getting that reciprocal movement in the legs. I am so proud of my little guy. He so badly wants to be where his sister is, follow her around, get in her business.
Which leads me to the next point...getting in trouble! So far, we haven't had to discipline Drake much, because he hasn't been able to do much that warrants it. But this morning, he bunny-crawled over to Lucy and promptly ripped the book she was 'reading' out of her hands. I scolded him and took away the book, like I do when Lucy steals toys from him. "No, no, Drake. We don't take books away from people when they are reading them. When Lucy is finished, you can read that book". I handed him a different book, but it was too late. He was hysterical. I don't think I'd ever said that to him before. I (happily) think I'll be saying it a lot more.
I am the mom to 4 year old boy/girl twins, Drake and Lucy, and a 1 year old boy, Everett. Our twins were born at 30 weeks and spent 2 months in the NICU. Our son, Drake, was diagnosed with PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia) at 8 weeks old and Spastic Diplegia CP at age 3.