I can’t believe it has been 2 months since my last post. A lot has happened since Austin’s 1st birthday and time got away from me. So let me fill you in on what I have been up to. This is probably going to turn into a ridiculously wordy post, you’ve been warned!
Austin had his 1 year well-check appointment shortly after my birthday post, and although everything is just fine, it didn’t go as well as planned. I have debated whether to post about it or not, but have decided that maybe my experience will be of comfort to some other mom out there who might be going through something similar. So where to begin. . .
The first concern was a mom driven concern. At 1 Austin wasn’t crawling, or pulling up, or sitting up from laying down, all things that his peers were doing. Of course, I know all kids develop at their own rate and learn to do things in their own time, but at what point should I be concerned? So I asked the doctor and she agreed that at this point it was a little concerning that he wasn’t even showing interest in doing these things. She put me in contact with the Help Me Grow Program.
Help Me Grow is a state funded program for early intervention. They came to my house and interviewed me on my concerns. Next they sent an evaluator who spent time with Austin playing and observing him. She looked at everything from his cognitive and problem solving skills, to verbal and motor skills. There is a point system and at the end of the evaluation she added his score to determine if he was eligible for early intervention. Just as I had thought, he was behind in his gross motor skills (ie. crawling, pulling up, cruising etc.). At least I wasn’t crazy and being that overly concerned first time mom.
We now meet with a Physical therapist weekly for 45 min sessions to help improve his muscle tone and teach him how to start moving around. She has given me many tips and explanations of why he isn’t crawling and ideas of what I can do during play time to help him. It has helped tremendously and after only a few weeks, Austin is crawling. He is still very cautious and won’t go to far or too fast, but every day he is getting better and braver. He even pulls up to kneeling now.
At the one year appointment, they take blood to test for lead and anemia. The lead came back negative, but he did come back severely anemic. Although anemia is fairly common in 1 year olds, his numbers were so low they decided he needed to see a specialist. So over the last 2 months he has been on the max dose of Iron supplements and is being followed by a hematologist. His numbers are slowly improving and he is getting back to where he needs to be.
The next problem that came to head at his 1 year appointment was that he wasn’t gaining weight. We have struggled with weight gain since the beginning (probably because he was premature), but this is the first time that he fell off his weight chart. The doctor wasn’t initially too concerned, but wanted us back in 1 month for a weight check (story of our life since day 1). Well in that 1 month he hadn’t gained any weight. On top of that he suffers from chronic constipation. So with the poor weight gain, chronic constipation and anemia, the doctor felt he needed to see a GI doctor. Mind you, his constipation got so bad that he ended up vomiting. After a few visits to GI and meeting with their nutritionists, Austin is starting to get back on track, pooping and gaining weight. We are still going through some tests to make sure that there isn’t any underlying issue, but we have a plan and are heading in the right direction. He gets 1 cap-full of Miralax a day to keep him regular, is on a 1000 calorie/day diet and gets a high calorie drink called Pediasmart before bed.
So needless to say, we have been very busy the last 2 months, going in and out of doctor’s offices, and figuring out a new routine to help Austin continue to grow and thrive.
I hope now that we’re on the right track, I can start keeping up with the blog as it is much-needed creative time for me.