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Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's get physical

So here's a long wordy blog post for people who have been asking about the twins health and development now that it's been over a year since their due date! :)

For the past year, both of the twins have been receiving occupational therapy at home. It's been a great asset to not only them, but me as well, as it's taught me a lot of things I can do to help them along with their development. Jackson started physical therapy this summer and I think it's a big reason why he's walking now. I don't think he would have walked so soon if it weren't for all the therapy and extra help he's received along the way.

Since it was our 1 year with the regional center's early intervention clinic, the twins got their official 13 month (adjusted age) evaluation and I'm happy to report they've hit all their goals and milestones with flying colors!

They're tested by the Bayley III test, which we've become very familiar with over the past year. It's the same method used at the Children's Hospital Orange County early development center (different from the regional center, which is a state resource center) as well as his physical therapy. Jack has done this test probably every 2-3 months for the past year by different people and it's always interesting to see where he scores. They're given an "age" in each of the categories tested based on the tasks they can or cannot do in the test. So they might be given a few blocks and the test is how they pick up the blocks, how many blocks they pick up, and what they do with the blocks (build, knock them over, throw them around, put them in their mouth, etc.).

Amelia scored her adjusted age and above in every category and met all of her goals easily! She's actually going to be discharged from OT as of next month so that's exciting! Her lowest score was in her receptive language skills though and our pediatrician has asked me several times about speech therapy for both twins. I'm thinking we'll discuss it again at their 18 month appointment in December and I might suggest we start speech therapy to stay on top of things. She tested at her adjusted age (13 months) but she has caught up and gone above her actual age in every other category so I really don't want language to fall behind. Especially since they'll be starting school and certain programs based on their actual age, not adjusted, I'd rather we get a head start in them "catching up" in that area. I was hesitant to start speech therapy before (they could barely walk, we had therapy so often, did I really want to throw another therapy session in the mix?) but now that their motor skills are doing so well, I think I'm ready to get their verbal and communicative skills up to that level as well.

We're going to keep Jackson with weekly physical therapy and bi-weekly occupational therapy for now. He scored between 12-17 months in every category, with most of his scores being 16 months, but as every one points out at every single appointment and evaluation, his quality of motion and skills are very behind. For example, he can walk, but he catches himself and bends his back frequently to catch his balance. His stomach muscles are the weakest and he can't walk in a straight line because he's always wobbly at his waist. He looks like he's drunk most of the time haha So our goal for the next few months in both OT and PT will be his trunk muscles. Since our therapist will still be coming to the house for Jackson she's been super nice about saying she'll keep an eye on Amelia. If she sees any reason for continued therapy, we have the regional center to help us get her back in therapy. They've been a big help at making sure, even if insurance or something else wouldn't pay, that the twins would get the therapy and health care that they need to outgrow their preemie issues and excel at their actual age, so that's been comforting.

Overall, I was very excited about their test scores. They have always tested at their adjusted age so to see them at their actual age and beyond in some categories has been really exciting. They're finally "catching up" and maybe we have some hope of hitting the goal of being completely caught up by 2 years old!

As far as other health issues go, we've just been following up and everything has gone fairly well. Jackson will need another surgery next summer on his little boy parts. The hypospadias surgery went well, but he sprung a leak in the healing process. So now he has 2 holes. No joke. It's kind of funny. It's changed my perspective on potty training him and we might wait until after the surgery now haha Because this surgery needs time to fully heal, we're aiming for doing a minor repair next summer. It won't be quite as invasive, he won't need a ton of repair, but they will have to put him under while they cut open the skin and tie up the urethra where the hole is. He won't need a catheter and the healing should be pretty quick so it should be a bit easier to handle than the first surgery. It's still disappointing though that we have to do it again :-P

We still see the GI doctor for nutrition, now that Jack has mostly grown out of his reflux. He monitors his weight and height growth to make sure he is getting proper nutrition. He's been happy with his progress lately though so we don't go back for a few months.

The pulmonologist wants to see Jack one more time before he turns 2 and keep him as a patient at the clinic through flu season just because a bad case of the flu could set Jackson's lungs back and we could be stuck going back to oxygen :-P We're hoping our insurance will approve of the RSV shots for him so that will take a little worry off of us, but we'll probably be careful and avoid sick kids for the next few months. I've debated taking them out of their activities (music, library preschool, play groups), but we'll see. They really enjoy them and I think we'd all be bored without them, so we might just be careful and leave if we notice kids are snotty or coughing.

Jack is also still having some allergy issues that we can't quite nail down. I'm not sure how worried I should be or not yet. He hasn't had any really SERIOUS allergic reactions, just weird spots and bumps and rashes that seem to appear and disappear at random so we'll see what we can figure out over the next few months. As long as he's not getting sick and not having an extreme reaction, I'm not going to overreact just yet ;)

Amelia has been discharged from every doctor so she's been moving right along! No real updates on her because she's been doing so well! She's gotten quite a personality lately too and it's been fun seeing how she's growing into a "big girl". Jack still has a lot of baby in him and the way he acts (boys are the immature ones, right? haha) but Amelia is becoming so grown up. She will sit quietly "reading" or playing house with her toys. I'm excited to get her some more "big girl" toys for Christmas and just some girl toys in general because I'm noticing she really loves playing house and with dolls and being a little lady. Jack would still rather bang on some pots and throw shoes everywhere, so he might not need any Christmas presents ;) just some more durable Tupperware and maybe a hammer? haha

So that's our life. Hopefully we won't have too many more updates on their health because there will be nothing to share! :) They've really done better than I think most people expected though so I'm really happy that they've done so well, even with their rough start.

Today was the day my water broke with the twins (at 12:30am at 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant) so this is technically the longest I've gone without having any complications with a pregnancy ;) woohoo! I'm actually quite a bit relieved to make it to this point because I know every day baby is getting bigger and stronger and cooking like he/she should so every day further I can make it, the happier I'll be. My doctor seems to think if I can make it to 28 weeks, I'll make it full term. He says most of his preterm births happen before 28 weeks or they find a complication before 28 weeks that they know the baby will be early (baby not growing, umbilical chord issues, blood pressure, things like that). Obviously things can come up at any point, but he's delivered babies for a very long time so I trust his statistics haha So far, no complications, no reason baby shouldn't go full term, and as long as I don't have anything pop up in the next 2 weeks, my doctor things I'll be good to go. Fingers crossed! :)

Alright, if you made it this far in this post, go grab yourself a cookie for a treat ;) I'll keep the posts more fun and less chatty from now on ;)

1 comment:

  1. I am out of cookies! Haha! I know this is a bit old, but glad to hear so many positive updates in there!