Dancing in the Rain
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A Trisomy 18 Journey

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Moving On Up

Now that Julia has hit the big 9 months, she is moving on up (at her own pace, of course) to bigger and better things. She now tips the scales at over 8 lbs. She is more than 22 inches long. She has graduated from preemie clothes to newborn clothes and now to 0-3 month clothes. She is now in size 1 diapers-- again up from preemie and newborn sizes. I'm glad for these reminders that she is growing.

Typical newborns grow so quickly and pass milestones so quickly that sometimes you don't realize they are milestones. Julia receives physical therapy and now occupational therapy services through our county's early intervention program every other week. Our therapists have helped me to see the little things that Julia does that are valuable in acquiring various motor skills. I remember doctors assessing things like tracking and grip strength with Sydney and Isaac. Julia's clenched fists assure her grip strength. She has developed her tracking skills slowly, first with her eyes and now with her head as well so that she can follow an object or person all around. Other "little things" that she can accomplish now are batting at toys (a precursor to reaching for and grasping objects), bringing her hands together and to midline (precursor to holding things), bringing toys to her mouth (precursor to self-feeding), and pushing against objects (like me) with her feet (precursor to weight bearing on her legs). We are working on strengthening Julia's core through sitting up more in supported positions. The therapists are experts at using the baby gear I have (such as a bumbo seat) and modifying it for Julia's use. We are also seeing small improvements in neck strength and head control when she lifts her head for a few seconds at a time. I have really appreciated having the therapists show me Julia's little milestones and celebrate them with me. A little bit of encouragement goes such a long way. I am very proud of my littlest one!

One of my favorite blogs is entitled "Enjoying the Small Things". The author does a beautiful job of being present everyday with her daughters and celebrating the little and big things in life. And one of her beautiful and amazing daughters has Down Syndrome. With Julia enjoying the small things is absolutely essential because the bigger things are fewer and further between. I have found it to be helpful with Sydney and Isaac, too, because they, too, grow and change in small ways every single day. Sydney's drawings get a bit more precise. Isaac's song lyrics get a little more accurate. They are learning and absorbing feedback and growing. I don't want to miss out on any of it.


jws said...

Over 8 lbs...wow! Yay, Julia!

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