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.