Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Upside of Down

It is only Thursday and I am pooped.  It has been a very busy week so far (and will continue to be so), but we have had a few nagging questions addressed. I am happy to report that these answers have brought a lot of relief and comfort.

As I mentioned previously,  Our worker from Infant and Child Development Services came Monday morning.  Their workers come from a variety of backgrounds including ECE, Psychology, OT, Nursing... ours comes from an ECE and Developmental Psychology background, which suited me fine. She came in, introduced herself... and spent over two hours chatting with me and playing with the babies on the floor.  It was great.  Quinn was in fine form as well;  when he heard that she had arrived, he hurried to get dressed.  Unfortunately, he missed the pile of clothes that I had left on his bed for him (shorts and a t shirt as it was going to be a very hot day).  Instead, he came down in brown track pants and a light coloured pullover with a collar on backwards.  He came right up to us on the floor and sweetly announced "Hi, I'm Quinn" while wearing what looked like a straitjacket. That's m'boy.  She didn't bat an eye... I guess she was too busy gazing into his.  I sent my little lunatic upstairs to change and we got on with the assessment which was only occasionally punctuated by an off the wall [to us] but perfectly pertinent [to him] statement or question.

The whole conversation, like my brain, was very tangential and informal. It totally centered around what the kids were doing.  Both babies were awake and alert and ready to show their stuff.

Hanging out Together
Listen... they're talking about us again...
Wyatt's head is getting a little more steady every day, which is very encouraging.  "A."  was happy that Zoe could push herself up on her forearms and showed me a little trick to help them master it.  Overall she was very pleased with Wyatt's development;  she remarked on a few things, including his vocalizations, his mouth shapes during these vocalizations and his ability to track by sound and sight.  He also reaches well for things.  A. continued by listing off a few things that I can do to help both of them improve and I was very happy to hear they were things that I was already doing.  Little things such as ankle/wrist rattles, using the dangling toys on the Gymini-jillikers (Gymini play mat), the simple toys I was using, talking to them, imitating their sounds, changing their environment, introducing texture, playing music for them, singing and so on.  We talked about their delivery, Wyatt's diagnosis, their stay in the NICU and how we managed that... even Zoe's surgery.  She was amazed that a) I managed to make it to Mother Goose at all and b) how I was "handling" everything.  Sometimes you have to have things pointed out to you and I am no exception.  I guess our story is a little incredible if you think about it.  A. made a point of relaying how well she thought Team Logan worked together and how well we have dealt with our roller coaster lives over the last two years or so.  I told her that all you can do is laugh sometimes, and cited the dishwasher (which died a horrible leaky death the night before).  What are you going to do?  That's life.

Many of our questions were finally answered.  Infant and Child Development Services sets you up with whatever extended services you might need, such as OT, speech therapists, etc.  Usually, speech therapy and the like start after 1 year of age.  The idea being that you assess where the child is with their speech, etc at that time and then intervene appropriately.  We talked about Wyatt's physical health and swimming was discussed.  I was surprised that they don't recommend exersaucers and jolly-jumpers and the like, but she went on to say that many parents leave their children in them for hours at a time where they are standing on their toes and that interferes with proper leg and foot development.  She did add that 10 or 15 mins here and there would be fine and would be helpful, but no more.  A. went on to say that the best place for them would be just as I had them, on the floor, where they could grow and stretch and build their muscles in a more natural way. 

ICDSP also has a ton of resources for us to utilize:  They have toy and book/video libraries, will and estate planning, evaluating eligibility for and setting up government funding, groups and programs tailored for your needs... and the list goes on.  They will also be involved before Wyatt starts school;  the spring before he starts JK, we (A, the OT, any other development specialists, the teacher, the principal and Sean and myself) will all meet and discuss exactly what his needs are and whether or not he will need additional support in the classroom.  I guess at the time we will also discuss whether our school separates twins or not, but that is another issue.  Even though I knew that he would be going to regular classes like a regular kid, for some reason hearing it from this woman made me relax a little.  I don't know why... perhaps, once again, a small amount of validation can go a long way.  She will be visiting us monthly for the first while to assess his continuing development, which I was also pleased to hear.  I found the whole experience to be extremely positive;  Wyatt's doing well, we are doing well and we are doing the right things for him.  I don't think it gets better than that.

That night we took them to our GP for their 4 month shots.  I'm not so sure of their scale to be honest, but according to it, Zoe weighs 12 lbs, 6 oz and Wyatt weighs 12 lbs.  Zoe has officially beaten her brother in the weight department (you can chalk that up to the muscle tone).  Our Family Doctor was pleased overall with their progress and gave them a shot in each thigh.  I had Sean hold them down... I couldn't bear to do that again.  They were reasonable that night, but were feverish yesterday...  light to no clothes and Tylenol seems to have taken care of that for us.

Tuesday we had a trip to the cardiologist and once again, the kids were on.  I really do like going there as everyone is so friendly and very helpful.  We didn't have to sedate Wyatt (which is always a relief) and it was such a pleasure to watch the babies interact with the staff.  There were a few awkward spots especially when Zoe started crying right when we were doing an echo on Wyatt, but one of the staff just walked over and got her to smile as if this happened every day.  Wyatt had his checkup and his echo and the Dr. is so pleased with his progress that we do not have to see him for another 6 months.  Fantastic! 

We had a happy little moment on the way out as well.  Quinn was playing with a new friend in the waiting room and when we were leaving, I was delighted to see that the (younger) boy he was playing with so easily had DS.  I introduced myself to the boy and his mother and talked to Quinn that his new friend had the same condition that Wyatt has.  "But, they don't look the same" was his reply, to which I responded that "G" looked like his family while Wyatt looks like ours.  I don't even think Quinn noticed that his new playmate was non-verbal... they totally "got" each other.  "G"'s mom was very pleased with the interaction and I was too...  as it was just a little heartwarming glimpse into the future.

It is always good to hear good things about your kids, it's even better to be given the reassurance that they are doing well and most importantly that you are doing the right things for them.  Although I think we are pretty good parents and we strive to be the best that we can for our kids, it is good to have that little extra bit of validation.  Armed with that, we can continue on knowing that Wyatt (and all our kids) will be the best that they can be.  We may not be able to predict Wyatt's journey, but his path will take him places... of that I am sure.

Wyatt, Intently Listening to Big Brother
Wyatt intently listening to big brother Quinn


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