Saturday, August 17, 2013

therapy cont.

- sensory idea: Using a dog. Skipper is not interested in getting close to Heidi, probably because he can't predict her movements. Sophie will sit close by for a few seconds, until Heidi pulls on her hair, and then Sophie moves out of reach. This picture is only 'slightly' posed, meaning I helped Sophie to lay down next to Heidi, but I didn't have to make Sophie stay. In terms of sensory exploration, Sophie's hair (and Maggie's) is a very unique feeling compared to all of Heidi's plastic, paper, cloth, and wooden toys. It's good for her to experience.

Sophie, Heidi
Maggie and Heidi. Maggie is currently in training to be a therapy dog.

- another sensory idea: I now lay Heidi down on the bathroom floor while I take a shower, so I can play peek-a-boo from behind the shower curtain (a good social activity), and make sure she is okay. I put toys around her, but she likes her hands in her mouth the best. She also likes exploring the carpet and the wall, by moving her fingers back and forth, or flicking. The texture of the wall is different, along with the sound that it makes. On a side note, I love being able to connect behaviors of kids I worked with, to the point in development where it started. Fun. No picture associated with this one. water + camera = not a smart idea.

- feeding: I learned to much from some of my co-workers (Nicole and Melissa specifically!) in how to help a baby eat, and tricks to use. I was/am very purposeful on how I introduced Heidi to food. Per her pediatrician, we started with rice cereal. I placed the spoon with a little runny cereal on it, in her mouth, and let Heidi try to take it off the spoon with her lips and tongue. I didn't scrape it against her top lip. This way, she was more in control of what was happening. I also let her get as dirty as she wanted. The cereal ended up everywhere! On her feet, elbows, hair, face and every crevice in her hands. But that is part of the food experience. I didn't clean her up until the end, so she can become accustomed to feeling the food on her face and hands. When Heidi reached for the spoon, I let her hold it, and she guided it into her mouth, where she sucked off the cereal. Self feeding is important, and I want to do what I can to keep her interested in it.

Heidi's 1st time trying rice cereal.

Heidi tryng cereal.
 - Oh, and for now, eating food is only for the practice of trying to chew/swallow/taste the foods. She still receives all her nutrition from breast milk. Therefore, the quantity of food that she is eating is pretty irrelevant. :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Heidi's 1, 2, 3, and 4 month pictures

Notice how much Heidi has grown. Looking back over the months, her personality is starting to develop. She has baby chub on her, and she has a precious wonderful smile. She has started giggling, and she has definite preferences, and is letting us know! Heidi is rolling from stomach to back, and back to stomach. So much fun!!!! And so appreciative that I get to spend my days with her.

P.S. - these pictures are a lot of work. It's surprising how such a little one can be so challenging and disinterested in the process. We will still press forward....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

therapy ideas

A few therapy techniques that I wanted to remember.

- to help Heidi roll to her non-preferred side, I laid her outside on the grass (on a blanket - Texas has crazy ants). We were on a slight incline, so I put her non-preferred side down on the incline. This way, gravity helped her to roll over that shoulder. Also, when she is on her stomach, I lay next to her preferred side, and thus my body blocks her from rolling that way. She gets frustrated, so I sometimes give her a slight push to help get her started on the roll the other way.

- I was reading a website, and took notice of a great feeding technique. When a baby is trying to feed themselves finger foods, the pieces of food can be small and frustrating for the baby to pick up. Especially since the food has to be small enough to not be a choking hazard, but big enough that the baby can use a pincer grasp or a racking motion to pick up the food. Continue to use small pieces, but on slippery/slimy pieces of soft fruit or vegetables, try sprinkling baby cereal or crushed up cereal or anything else along these lines, to give the mushy food more firmness to make it easier to hold. Awesome idea!!!!

- With the daily stretches I need to do with Heidi, it is hard listening to her cry every time. She is now old enough where she pushes my hand or arm away if she dislikes the stretch. So now I do silly faces, sing songs, have music and lights playing, to all try and distract her. If I don't push a stretch too far, we can now sometimes do a few stretches with no tears. There is one stretch where she lays across my arms, and if we do this stretch while I walk around, she tolerates it fairly well. 

Trying to reach the piano is hard work. Practicing tummy time, in order to build muscles.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What I actually used out of my hospital bag

I was ultra-organized while pregnant, and preparing for everything that comes along with a baby. I had my bag packed for a least 2 months in advance. And repacked the closer my due-date came.

In the end, I only used about a 4th of what I packed. And I wanted to remember, for the future.

Here's my much paired down list

- wallet (insurance card, cash, drivers license)
- glasses
- contacts, contact solution, case
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- deodorant
- hair brush
- hair bands
- bathrobe
- socks
- tablet, charger
- cell phone, charger
- camera, charger
- medications
- crackers
- comfy pajamas - tank tops, shorts, loose pants
- nursing bra
- outfit to go home in (can be appropriate pj's), plus sneakers
- car seat
- outfit for baby
- infant nail clippers (hospital does not have)
- suitcase to put everything inside (does this go without saying?)

The hospital provided everything Heidi needed. If I had wanted her to wear something else, or be wrapped in a different blanket, that would have been ok, but I didn't have that need. Their hat was cute enough, so she remained in that. She used their wipes, shampoo, diapers.

The hospital also gave me unlimited juice and crackers, but I liked having my own crackers as well. The salt tasted good! They provided all the sanitary items I needed, and funky underwear to go along with it. There was a cute bag of shampoo and conditioner (I didn't even need a razor, there was no way I was bending over that long!). I was given plenty of pillows and blankets, so didn't need any of my own. Between visitors and the baby, I didn't need any other entertainment besides the TV when I couldn't sleep, and the computer for Facebook. I wrote a birth plan, but threw it out before we even left for the hospital. I came to the conclusion that the nurses and doctors would talk to me directly and not stop to read a piece of paper. And obviously I wanted a "normal" birth, so that went without needing to be written down. I ended up having to be convincing that I didn't want drugs, but the nurses and doctor listened to me. All in all, a very good experience for my first over-night hospital stay.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Us

2 years and counting! Wow, life has changed, in the right direction. Under 2 weeks, and my husband will have his degree. Three weeks, and we move out of Texas to start the next phase of our life together, along with our baby and 2 dogs.

Wonder where we will be 2 years from this point. Hmmm.... A job? A house? Land? Another kid? Time will reveal the future. Praying that the future comes, but not too fast, as I want to enjoy this time as well.

2 years ago

Kristin and Kelby 8/6/11

And our life now. In looking for a picture to post, I realized that we don't have many of all three of us. Typically either Kelby or myself is behind the camera. We will have to work on this.
Kelby, Heidi, Kristin 5/17/13

Good progression so far! I love you Kelby!!!


So my illness turned into Bronchitis. Yuck. I'm coughing all the time, and sometimes cough for 5-10 minutes straight. My stomach muscles hurt. While nursing, Heidi flinches when I cough, and she looks at me as if trying to say "what are you doing mommy? I'm trying to drink here."

In all the numerous books I read during pregnancy, and with all the families I worked with, and in my college/post-grad classes, no one warned me how challenging it is to be sick and try to take care of a baby. It's hard! For a couple days, Heidi lay on the floor with toys around her, and I lay next to her. She was fed, with a clean diaper, and I was guzzling apple juice. That was the extent of my abilities. Sure glad that the dogs realized I was sick, and weren't demanding. My mind feels better, but I still don't have energy. If I try to do something, even like folding laundry, the coughing increases.

A change of plans with Heidi's helmet. The company is not expediting the appointments, so we have yet had the next appt for more detailed images of Heidi's head. We therefore would only be able to have one adjustment before moving. And with the company being something like 6 hours from where we are moving, that didn't seem realistic for 8 or 9 weekly trips for adjustments. Now, I will get a second opinion from a company, Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics just a few miles away! And it also gives me a month to try extensive re-positioning and neck stretches to see if that makes a difference.

Oh, and I just left everyone hanging about Skipper's vet appt last week. He did really well, and his heart and blood pressure are much better. He's cleared from visiting any vet for 6 months, unless I see a change in his behaviors or eating patterns etc. Yay! Now he has to remain on a 2 times daily medicine regime, with 2 pills each time being shoved down his throat. At least we have a while longer with him. I wasn't ready to say bye... will I ever be ready?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Insurance update on Heidi's helmet.

We absolutely appreciate all the support that has been given to us. I now know why people keep blogs in trying times. It's easier than having the same conversation over and over, but we are still able to keep people updated. And to top everything off, I became sick, as in throwing up and fever. Medicine is keeping the fever down, but I still feel crappy. Heidi has received extra naps these last two days, as that is all I want to do.

An insurance update: Before we even went to the appt, I talked with Heidi's insurance at length, and was told that there were no exclusions to prevent them from covering a helmet. Well, fast forward, to Cranial Technologies telling me that insurance is saying "no" to her helmet because her plagiocephaly is not severe enough! Even with this, I still need to write a letter to insurance describing how I have already tried re-positioning techniques. Grrr... and it probably won't make a difference. A slight positive is that Cranial Technologies will "only" charge us the price that they would charge insurance, $2,400. Not great news, but do we really want Heidi's ears to be off center, to cause possible ear issues in the future, and for her eyes to be unbalanced? Easy answer, no. Anyone have money laying around...???

I think my sister sums it up the best.
        "Well good thing you have 
        A. Savings and 
        B. Parents 

I am thankful that I caught this before it became more pronounced.

I am thankful that I have had experience stretching other babies' necks. It is heart wrenching to watch her cry. She is not in pain, but is uncomfortable and is sure to let us know. And we have to do the stretches at least 5 times a day. After diaper changes is easier to remember.

I am thankful that I saw pictures on the internet of a baby wearing the stocking over their head, otherwise that would have freaked me out a little. We saw the pictures, and with her hair and ears covered, it doesn't even look like her!

I am thankful that her pediatrician took me seriously, and made the appropriate referral.

I am thankful that there are locations up north, with this same company.

If only I had energy to start packing up the apartment, but that will wait.

If only I felt like eating, anything. Apple juice it is!