Let's back track for a second. For those of you who don't know, Micah was born all extra poofy with fluid. He weighed a whopping 3lbs 6oz at birth but he was so full of fluid he lost that in a matter of days (peed it out all over the isolette bedding) and dropped down to 2lbs 5oz. Other than that he did pretty good in the NICU. When it was all looking bright, the grade 1 IVH aka Intraventricular Hemmorage aka minor almost non existent brain bleed had gone away. Yay! Worse news. Minor cystic PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia- damage to the white matter in the brain near the ventricles) was revealed on a head ultrasound and confirmed by MRI. Now, the prognosis for this is all over the place. Pretty much anywhere from you would never have any idea, to he might be clumsy or have vision problems, learning disabilities etc, or he could be completely handicapped or rendered mentally retarded. Cerebral Palsy is a bomb often dropped in those conversations. Bleh. Initially I was the biggest worry wort ever. I watched every move. Every leg kick, every cry, anything he ever did or didn't do had me hyper analyzing. I was obsessed. I couldn't relax. I googled--I know, I know, but I had to. And most of the research there made me feel worse, while some gave me hope.
What it all came down to was that you can never know. The brain is "plastic" they say, as in it can wire and rewire. The best advice was given to me: "Don't look at the MRI, look at the baby." This is important because something minor on MRI can cause major disabilities in one child while another with vast white matter injuries can be completely normal and fully functioning. In a way, it helped me relax, but in another I was still bothered that I couldn't have a real diagnosis, not yet. I just have to let the passage of time do its thing and see as we go. I have done everything I can do in my power to help him have the best chances. I breastfed (well, pumped initially) from the start. I've prayed--boy have I prayed. I love him. I hold him, wear him. I interact with him. I challenge him. I massage him. We do tummy time. That's about all I can do now, at his age. It wasn't until we got our first EI (Early Intervention) visit where they said he was doing so well, even up to his actual age in some places. His vision tracking was great. His motor skills were awesome. All he had was one thumb that liked to stay tucked, and after a week or two of me stretching it out that's gone too. I was so, SO relieved!
Fast forward back to Live and now my boy is smiling, laughing a little, getting excited, kicking his legs, cooing, gurgling, grabbing at everything his had touches, looking around, recognizing faces and surrounds, curious, sitting well in our arms, holding his head up, making eye contact, bearing his weight on his legs for a short time, and he even rolled over once on his tummy! So far he is doing great! Honestly, the day he smiled at me--REALLY smiled at me--50lbs of worry melted off my back. So far, all is good. I'm pretty sure Jeremiah is still giving him strength, just like he was there for his brother in the NICU.
So tomorrow EI comes back and I guess will do another evaluation and set up a plan from there. The only thing I wonder about is his ability to bear weight on his legs. I was impressed that he could already do it so well but someone mentioned to me that since his adjusted age is only 2 months, that is early to be able to do that, it might be due to high muscle tone. But, then again I think back to Isaac and how strong he was. He always wanted to stand no matter what. Heck, he was pushing off out laps so much we put him in a jumparoo at 3 months! I think it's just his genes, but it's nice for someone to give him an expert looksy. I personally think he's fine.
I'll keep you all updated!
Then. October 28, 2010 - 3lbs 6oz (and losing)
Now. Feb 27 - 10lbs 6oz. (4 months actual and about 9 weeks adjusted)