Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Praise on Eliana!

Just wanted to share some encouragment with y'all.  Today was Eliana's therapy day.  We've missed a lot of them over the last month between salmonella, Thanksgiving and then the bug she had last week.  I'm thankful she felt well enough to attend - and thankful for the good news we heard!

Feeding therapy was this morning.  She is eating very well by bottle now.  She had some tougher times when she was sick, but seems to have bounced back.  We are trying to give her solid foods once a day.  This is the focus of her feeding therapy now.  It is more effort for her to eat - and also just to learn the skills.  She needs to figure out how to use her muscles in her mouth to accomplish all of this.  (Isn't it amazing all of the skills we just take for granted?!)  Today though her OT said that she thought she was improving and doing better with swallowing.  I know it will come - it's just small steps along the way.

I'm supposed to be letting her play with her food more - and make a mess with it.  That is a real challenge for me.  I do want her playing in her birthday cake though so we are trying. 

I have scheduled a feeding therapy appt for Daniel for next week too.  He has a variety of food issues - and basically doesn't eat all that well in terms of variety.  I'm hoping that perhaps she'll have some tips for us to help him.  I know I haven't spent the time that I probably needed to over the last year.  I am not feeling guilt over that though.  I did what I needed to in focusing on Eliana (and with our peds blessing who knew all of this).  Now that things are calming down with her though, it is his turn.  Daniel is a healthy growing boy and I want him to be able to eat and enjoy more foods.  (Not to mention this would make meals much easier and more enjoyable.).  We will need for him to have a physical and referral before this can happen.  We are meeting with our beloved ped next week for this appt - the day prior to when we have his therapy scheduled.  I hope it will all work out.

This afternoon we had physical therapy.  I love that this happens at home!  It was fun to have Eliana showing off her new crawling skills.  She has really improved and gets around pretty well - except on our wood floors which are a bit of a trick for her because they are slippery. 

After working with her and noting her new skills, the PT plotted Eliana's development and not only is she ON the curve still - she has RISEN on the curve!!!  She has been hovering on the bottom of the curve and today she measured at the 10th percentile!  Yippee!!!  I'm thrilled to see her having success and being so proud of her accomplishments too.

As Miss Susan (our PT) was looking at the chart, Isaiah asked her when Eliana would crawl.  I told him that we couldn't know that yet.  Miss Susan said we can't know, but we can look at the data on what she has down so far and use that to try to figure it out since she has been pretty steady on the curve.  Well, based on that she is predicting walking between 15 and 18 months.  This is very exciting to me - though I know it is no guarantee!

To put this in perspective - 2 years old is a more typical or average time for learning to walk for many children with Down syndrome.  They learn the skills, but it just takes more time for them to master them. 

I think for many moms of children with special needs that this is a whole new spectrum of things to feel guilty about - have I done enough?  Did I wait too long?  Did I not try enough?  What if I'd done this instead?  All of the therapies and interventions can be mind-boggling and trying to follow up and keep up with everything can feel overwhelming at times.  I'm trying to not fall into that - though I am sure that I'll have plenty of times for that in the future as I have had already in the past. 

Conversely, I think that much of Eliana's success has to do with her - and not with anything that I have done as I don't think I'm as diligent as I should be in practicing everything.

I'm continuing to learn about trusting God.  Trusting that He knows His plans for Eliana and for our family.  He believes that our family is the best place for Eliana!  What a blessing for all of us! 

I'm thankful that despite all that she has been through - she continues to thrive.  I'm thankful for these moments of success.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to learn and love a precious little girl that teaches me constantly about love, trust and faith.