Developmentally Delayed

One of the noticeable variations between Roo and other 9 1/2 month old babies are developmental differences.  Because she was born at 33 weeks and 5 days, she has many physical developmental delays.  I haven’t written about them much here other than her torticollis (head tilt) because they just seem so normal to me.  She’s like a “normal” baby to me until I stop to compare her to the other babies in our mommy group.

Since last October, we’ve been going to an occupational therapist once a week.  Her name is Tammy (changed slightly) and she is wonderful.  I think people who go into these professions are really called to it for a reason.  Tammy helps Roo with her gross motor skills, which is where she is struggling the most.  She is not only behind for her birth age (9 1/2 months) but also slightly delayed for her adjusted age (8 months).  Tammy teaches me different exercises that I incorporate into our daily play and activities such as eating that helps Roo and her muscles to learn how to move properly.

She has been tested twice and each time does really well for fine motor skills but her gross motor skills are very delayed.  For example, for an 8 month old, she should be able to sit without support and might be making moves towards crawling.  She does neither of those.  She can sit with support and can sit on her own for only about 5 seconds before toppling over.  She pulls her legs up while she’s on her belly as if to crawl but doesn’t do anything further.  About two weeks ago, she really started rolling around on the floor as a means to get from point A to point B.

We are not too worried but if she continues to have further delays than our pediatrician will refer us to a pediatric neurologist for further testing.  I’m not worried because she is making progress.  She is hitting the milestones that babies are supposed to hit but she’s just hitting them on her own timeline.

Someone told me that one of the bright sides of having a premature baby is that they stay tiny longer.  It’s true.  And, I actually do love it.  I see the already exhausted moms in my group chasing after their little ones and they’re even more tired.  I will enjoy sitting back with Roo on my lap for a while longer 🙂

Roo also isn’t gaining much weight anymore.  At her six month appointment, she was 13 pounds, 14 ounces.  At her nine month appointment, she was only 14 pounds, 7 ounces.  So, her pediatrician is referring us to a nutritionist to see how we can get more calories into her little body.   I’ll write more about that experience when we get our appointment.  I’ll be curious to see what this person recommends.

7 thoughts on “Developmentally Delayed

  1. It’s been a really long time since I commented, but I just wanted to reach out. I bet posted this was difficult – it seems like it’s not talked about very much in the mommy world. I think your attitude is great though, all signs point to her getting there…just in her own time.

    I don’t think I’ve told you, but I thought about you all the time when I was in the hospital. I would tell my nurses about the cool antepartum activities they had in your hospital which thy definitely did not have in mine. It was nice to know I wasn’t the first person on the planet to deal with hospitalized bed rest since sometimes it felt that way.

    I hope Roo keeps of trucking!

    • Thanks for letting me know! It’s nice to hear from you here. I’ve been following Dylan’s journey and I’m so glad that he’s doing well and at home now! I hope that the antepartum nurses took your advice and institute some of the fun activities that I was able to do 🙂

  2. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, and I definitely think Roo is just doing things on her own timeline! Even term babies don’t always hit the milestones right on the nose (er…I crawled super early and then didn’t walk until I was 15/16 months old lol). F&C were 36 weekers and while they did do a lot of gross motor stuff early, they’re definitely small in terms of weight–according to both their birth and adjusted ages. I figure they’ll catch up eventually, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying my almost 1-year-old under-20-pounders 🙂

    PS: F has torticollis too!

  3. I’m sure she’ll catch up soon, especially with a great momma like you and all the work she’s doing in OT! I know lots of kiddos who were behind in the early stages that caught right up and had no further issues later on. I hope and pray she keeps making strides!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post! I can completely relate. My girl was also a 33 weeker, and now at a year and a half, she is barely 20lbs and still only takes a few steps here and there (she prefers to walk on her knees). You are so right, they have their own timeline and will reach milestones when they want to. I think it is really neat that your daughter sees an OT, I wish my daughter could have seen one during her first year.

  5. I have twin boys born at 32 weeks and because of developmental delays started OT a few months ago. It is amazing the difference it has made in their development. Glad to hear you have had the same positive experience with Roo. It is amazing hoe the skills just start to click – without the OT’s help I am not sure I would know how to help them progress. Of course, it is always on their own timeline!

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