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Saturday, May 3, 2008

One year old? You don't look a day over 9 months...

Miller had his first birthday last Wednesday! We decided not to have a party since Miller's still not a huge fan of crowds. We did, however, have cake with a candle, a party hat, a gooey mess, and the big finale...tears! I'm not exactly sure why he was crying here, but I'm pretty sure it's in the babies' manual under 'what to do when mom's trying to get a cute picture of you for her birthday memories'. The rest of the day was very happy!

On Sunday we met up with the family at the Salt Lick to celebrate Grampaw's birthday. Here's a picture of MLP + Dad (above).

A lot is happening with Miller right now. At our one year/9 month checkup we confirmed that Miller's had a bit of a growth spurt. His head is still growing at a normal rate so we're not currently worried about hydrocephalus. Yes, this is still a potential worry, until about 18 months.

Recently, Danny was in charge of getting Miller in his jammies & ready for bed. Obviously, he's grown out of these! Being the great problem solver that he is, Danny found a quick solution to Miller's growth spurt. Take a look at the photo...

He's doing a great job eating, too. This can be a BIG problem for preemies, but Miller's been defying the odds on this one since the first time we gave him a bottle back in the NICU. He still eats 20-28 oz of milk everyday, but he also has solids twice a day. Just like his momma, he's no fan of the green veggies. Sometimes we give him a 'cookie' (biter biscuit), but we do it more for motor skills than food. Lately he's showing lots of interest in our food when we're eating, so we'll give him a taste here and there. When we go to take a bite of something, he'll smack his lips together and stick his tongue out...sometimes he opens his mouth. It's so funny! We learned that he likes pickles, peanut butter, toast, potato salad, and oreos. No, we don't feed him any of this on a regular basis, but a teensy taste here and there is good for him. He needs practice 'integrating' new tastes and textures...another potential challenge for him. On Wednesday we discovered a new tooth popping through-this makes three!

After Miller's pedi appt we decided he'd outgrown his infant carrier/carseat. So, we got him a big boy carseat that's supposed to last up to 65 lbs. I picked 'Mossy Oak''s sooooo cute! He looks like such a sweet little man in it.

Recently we've noticed a lot of changes with Miller. He seems to be turning a corner developmentally, which is very encouraging. However, we are also beginning to recognize what could end up being some potential permanent challenges for him. They are definitely challenges right now, but we are hoping that with the right kind of attention/therapy/etc., he'll have a great chance of overcoming many of these challenges. In the past couple of weeks we have really begun to focus on what additional things we might be able to proactively do for him, rather than just 'wait and see'. We're pretty much over that.

On Friday we went to see a new physical therapist to have Miller evaluated. He's actually not new to us, but he's new to Miller. Mark is Danny's former 'body guy' from his baseball days who is a manual therapist, and Danny trusts him implicitly. Back in the day, Mark helped Danny avoid surgery. As it turns out, Mark has worked with some kids that have some pretty significant challenges and has had some great success with them. For us, he brings a perspective that we are desperately seeking. He's both basic and innovative, and he assessed Miller as an individual rather than a 'preemie, 26.5 weeker, grade IV hemhorrage'. No kid is the same, and no preemie has the same course. We have been feeling lately that the traditional protocol with preemies and children with birth injuries are more observed than anything. Like they are waiting for him to 'not crawl/not walk', etc. and then use therapy to help his situation. Not to say he's being neglected, but the individual plan seems to be missing. Within moments, we felt like Mark had a pretty good understanding of where Miller is now (as opposed to where he maybe/possibly/could be/might be headed). In addition, we really felt like he had very basic but thorough explanations of what we can do for Miller right now, and why these things are important. We are not looking to Mark (or anyone for that matter) to 'fix' Miller. We are simply looking to find more ways to help Miller right now.

Next week we are also getting an OT evaluation. It might be a little early, but we'll see. He's quickly developing both fine and gross motor skills, learning balance, learning to sit, learning to crawl, etc....these are things OT may be able to help us with.

On top of all of this, we are going to see a neurologist on Tuesday for an evaluation. I am so nervous and excited! It's our first time meeting with a neurologist and I am anxious to hear what he has to say about Miller. I am definitely OVER hearing how good he looks. While this is encouraging and we do feel incredibly lucky, it doesn't mean we'll settle. We're shooting for the best possible outcome for Miller. We owe this to him! So, whatever his opinion is, we are prepared to take that information, process it, and use it as a tool to move forward with formulating a plan for Miller's success.

That's it for now...below I pasted the worst picture of me EVER. However, Miller looks so funny & cute, I had to take one for the team..He LOVES to get on my shoulders!


Teri said...

Thank you for continuing to post, I love reading about Miller!

Chad said...

Thanks for the update, he's doing great.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie and Danny - I can't believe he's one year! He's just so stinkin' cute! What an amazing journey you've had! Love reading this update!

Bonnie Best in Tyler