Sunday, June 2, 2013

Developmental Developments

So...  Like I mentioned in my last "random" post, baby girl has been up to a LOT on the developmental milestone front.

Like, a LOT.

But lets back up a bit.

At the beginning of last month, just a couple days after her birthday, I posted this photo:

It was the first time Ruby ever pulled herself to a complete stand.  And she was 12mo4days old.  She would often pull herself to her knees, but never up to a stand.  Most All of the babies we knew had been doing this for a while.

And while Ruby could kind of scoot across a slippery floor on her bottom (a few feet anyway), and kind of push herself backwards with her arms in a prone position, she was most definitely NOT crawling.  Every other baby we knew had been crawling for a while.  Even ones a couple months younger.

Going backwards just got her stuck.  And mad.
 A lot of people told us, "Oh, I bet Ruby will totally be one of those babies that just skips crawling altogether and goes right to walking!".  

I don't know where those babies are, but we know a bunch of babies and none of them have done that.  And Ruby didn't seem to have any interest in walking either.  We'd try to get her to "walk" while holding our hands, but she just wanted to sit down.  And while she could stand well when propped up against something, she had absolutely zero desire to try to cruise furniture.

Standing at the coffee table.  Because I put her there.

I'm not going to lie.  This was all pretty discouraging.  I mostly just thought Ruby was just taking her time - which I was totally cool with.  But I did have a hard time understanding why every single other baby we saw could do stuff that mine could not.  And my weekly Baby Center emails?  They were getting downright annoying.  Reading about all of the things a mobile baby can do, because that's what your baby "should" be doing, well, kind of sucks.  I didn't really think there was something physically wrong with her, but if there was, I wanted to know.  Except that immobility isn't really considered a "red flag" until the 12mo check up.

At a reunion for our very first 0-3mo baby class - looking forlorn because the other kids were literally running circles around her while she just... sat.

I read every thing that Google could find for me about 10 month olds not yet crawling, then 11 month olds.  I got insulted when I'd read people saying, "You need to help encourage them along."  Hello, like I wasn't?  "Try putting a toy he/she likes just out of his/her reach.  The baby will totally start to crawl to get the toy!" Um, no.  The baby will give up and play with something else.  Or just get really frustrated.

We'd go places and people would stop and say she was cute, and ask how old she was.  Of course, the next question was (still is, actually) always, "Is she walking yet?"  Uh, no people.  She doesn't move at all.  She sits and sits and sits.  And when we were around other similarly-aged babies, I always felt like the other moms were like, "Why is that baby just sitting there?" (I know they probably didn't even notice).

Obviously, this whole thing bothered me more than it bothered Ruby.

"I'm just gonna sit here, ok Mommy?"

So at eleven months, after a particularly rough (for me) baby class, I called the pediatrician nurse line and asked if I needed to be worried.  And the nurse got us an appointment that day to find out.  We saw an awesome doc, who basically concluded that while Ruby has lowish muscle tone (but still within the range of "normal"), she's probably just taking her time and he wasn't worried.  He said her regular doc would reassess at the 12mo appointment. 

So I waited.  Then she turned one, and her appointment rolled around, and still zero progress from before.  Our regular doc was pretty much in agreement with the first doc we'd seen, but did recommend that we have Ruby evaluated at the Early Intervention center just to make sure nothing was going on that would require extra help.

Sitting, sitting.

Just making the appointment required a 20min interview and a two week wait.  We were told that in order to qualify for Early Intervention, Ruby would have to have at least a 25% deficit in one or more of the developmental areas.  I was pretty sure that no crawling, cruising, or getting to a sitting position on her own (I forgot to mention that she also could not do that) meant she'd qualify.  I was prepared and ready to get her some help!

Of course, the day after I made the appointment, she pulls up.  And not just once, 7 times in a row that first time on the water table.  Then on her ottoman in her room.  Things taller than her shoulders (like the coffee table or her crib) gave her trouble at first, but pretty soon she was doing that too.

Then, about a week later, she overreached and flopped down onto her belly.  Instead of pushing herself backwards and getting mad, she rocked up and kind of rolled until she was sitting upright!  Mr. G came home that night and she did it again, and he was like, "Um, whoa!  Did you just see that???"  Pretty much instantly she was backing up into a sit all over the place.  Which was funny.  Because this sitting business started, like, a couple of days before her appointment.

So we go to the appointment.  There are two OTs/evaluators.  They're super nice, and over the next 2 hours (!) observe Ruby, play with her, and ask me about a million questions.  They leave us alone for a bit, and then come back and tell us that, thanks to her new pulling up and sitting skills, Ruby does not qualify for E.I.  The OT told me that while muscle tone is not the same as strength, lower tone can be helped by improving strength.  So she encouraged us to "walk" Ruby with her holding onto our hands, and to encourage her to cruise to help build up those muscles.  She showed me how to help Ruby shift her weight onto one leg, causing her to automatically pick up the other.  Let me tell you - this tactic works amazingly.  Ruby will walk with us all over the place now.

Just sat herself up!

My mom came over the next day and witnessed these new skills, and also swore she saw Ruby take one or two crawling "steps".  I didn't see it, so I dismissed it.  But then the next day, I thought I might have seen her do it too.  By the weekend, wouldn't you know it?  The kid was crawling.  

Like, full-on, just like a normal baby, crawling.  She went from nothing, to pulling up, to sitting up on her own, to crawling all within a two week period, and all when she was staring down the face of an evaluation for developmental delay.

Isn't that just like this kid?  It reminded me of when I was pregnant.  Our perinatologist hoped we'd get to 37 weeks before he had to induce me because of her IUGR.  And then, our 37 week growth scan showed she'd had a HUGE growth spurt and could stay in and come on her own time after all.  Apparently, Ruby works best under pressure.

And now?  Now we need to babyproof.  Because this kid can pretty much reach anything, and she wants to do it.  Pulling up on stuff is definitely her favorite.  She loves to stand, and if she is near anything that isn't moving, she will pull herself up on it.  This includes the dog, if she holds still long enough.  And while she isn't a super confident, speed demon crawler, she can definitely cross a room, and between those two things, Ruby leaves a path of destruction in her wake wherever she goes.

It's a lot of clean up, but I'm pretty happy about it.

Oh, and also?  She's getting pretty jazzed about standing without holding onto anything, too.  Eek!

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