Tuesday, July 1, 2008

a mother's instinct is always right

yup, that's right folks. I was right. YOU were wrong. This post is for all of you out there who said to me, "Oh, don't worry, Leah will walk when she wants to. She'll crawl when she's ready. My cousin's baby, blah, blah, blah...My sister's son, blah, blah, blah." Okay, i'm not really that rude. But...at 16 months, i think it was past the time that leah would be moving when she was ready. I wasn't glad that I didn't have to chase her around like everyone thought I should be...I was worried that I would have to carry her to kindergarten!! She wasn't crawling or cruising or anything, so, my pediatrician wanted me to put her in physical therapy right away.

So, to physical therapy we went. We have been three times now...we go about every two weeks. Each time, we get a few assignments to work on. The therapist shows me what to do and I'm supposed to help her exercise as much as I can at home. Sounds great, right? WRONG. It is so hard! I never would have believed it if I weren't doing it, but most of the time she just fights it and it's like this battle to see who will outlast who...and Leah usually wins. It's emotionally and physically draining for me...but, we are starting to see some improvements.

When we started, Leah was 15 1/2 months old. She was sitting just fine, steamrolling like a champ and spinning on her bum (but only using her hands to push her in circles). She hated being on her knees, hated standing (or if she did stand, she would lock her knees and rest her chest against whatever she was standing against) and wouldn't walk along with me as i held her hands.

Now, 4 weeks later, she is:

  • going from lying down to sitting up all on her own (i cannot tell you how many times we worked on this! - we went to get her from her crib a few days ago and she was sitting up playing with her dolly, just giggling...she was so proud of what she had done!),
  • spinning in circles using her legs,
  • standing like a champ (and unlocking her knees sometimes),
  • using her feet a little bit for balance,
  • using her trunk and arms for balance A LOT more,
  • walking along with me as i hold her hands,
  • kneeling pretty well,
  • and...drumroll, please...SCOOTING FORWARD ON HER TUMMY. Yes, i said it. It can go down in the record books. Just this week she started scooting forward all on her own.

i know i sound like an idiot being so excited about this when she is 16 months old, but it's so nice to finally see some sort of improvement. It makes me feel like we're finally moving in the right direction and all the time and effort I have put into it in the last few weeks are paying off.

Today was a not-so-good day at the therapist's office because leah was a MEAN baby all day. But, then you see this...
...and you just melt. The rest of the picture that you don't see is Leah kneeling against her chair reading a book...and i saw her little toes sticking out behind her and just about lost it. She is so dang cute. And we are soooo proud of her!
So, yes, I would like some congratulatory and apologetic comments. hehehe. just kidding. yay for leah!

20 comments:

megan said...

Hurray for Leah....I agree with you, a mother knows best. And it sound like you are a fabulous mother with all of the blood, sweat, and tears you have put in, too. Good job, Mar!

Uffens Family said...

Sounds like lots of hard work Maren and you have every right to appreciate the leaps she is making!...and you do realize you are now becoming an expert and will REALLY know what to say when someone has a child that is taking a bit longer to walk! Glad that PT is working!

Nate, Morgan, Asher and Sayer said...

that seriously would be tough. i know how hard it is to try and make asher do anything he doesn't want to do once a week, let a lone several times a day. good for you, and i'm so glad she is making progress. i would be so proud if i were you. how cool to see leah get better at things because you are taking the time and effort to teach her. way to go!!

...and sorry! i think was one of those "my sister's son..." people.

R & K said...

I've been wondering how you are doing, since your posting seems to have dropped off a little, and now I know why! You've been running a boot camp! I'm so glad you're seeing improvements for all your work. Go Maren and Leah!

Karen Hauley said...

I have been praying for leah and praying for you . . . I know how emotionally draining it is to keep on going when you see very little progress. It brings new meaning to the phrase "taking baby steps". Those little feet peeking out made me think that leah was praying. I'll keep that image in my head, because it's good for leah to learn gratitude through all of this - gratitude for good health and gratitude for a mommy that works very hard to teach her everything she needs to know. If this little scene made you lose it, what will you do when leah crosses her first 5k finish line?

Molly said...

Yay! Way to stick in there, Maren! You are awesome! Go Leah!

Marcus and Jenny said...

Maren, if it makes you feel any better, I cheer for Samantha every time she makes any tiny progess...I know she's now 2 and walking like her friends, or talking, or feeding herself, etc, but I ooze with pride with every step of progression that she makes. And I should. As should you. So, you aren't crazy. You are great. You are her cheerleader. We've been doing the physical and occupational therapy route since Sammy was 3 mths. It IS hard. It's demanding in every way possible, but it is so worth it. Good for you for being awesome. You're a great mom. And hip hip hooray for Leah!:)

Marcus and Jenny said...

Oops, I just reread my post. I missed the word "not" as in...she's not walking, talking, eating, etc. You may need that clarification:)

Julia said...

give me an L, give me an E, give me an A, give me an H! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LEAH! (and hard workin' momma too!) :)

ed and kelli said...

yea yea yea.. i am so happy i got so excited when i heard she scooted! and that picture, i just about lost it. i almost cried out of pure joy and happiness. i love that little girl and just want to pick her up and hug her. you run a great boot camp mare! way to go.. perhaps you should be the PT.. not me.

Jessica M said...

Gosh being a mom is the hardest thing in the world. You're doing great!

Love the Ryan pirate picture. Yes! And Alex had that EXACT SAME CRACK HAIR-DO in high school. He and Ryan could have been twins....wait...

CailĂ­n said...

Though you don't know me, I have been blog stalking you for 6 or so months. I found your blog through a mutual friend. I absolutely adore reading about Leah. Anyway, as an OT, but not feeling I could give my input into such a personal issue, I have prayed you would seek early intervention. After reading this post, I can't tell you how happy I am for you and most of all little Leah. It is hard work and it will continue to be so. But, WAY TO GO LEAH!!!

Lant Family said...

Good Luck and keep up thegood work Maren and Leah! Good thing we have a mothers instinct. I sometimes think mine has gone away. I think I gave it to JJ, he is more in tune to Lucy sometimes then I am. Oh well. I am glad Leah is making progress.

Ed & Lindsey said...

I am a culprit for making some of those..so and so's comments, but one thing I've noticed about you that I really like is that even if you're frustrated you always seem to make mention of the bright side and the thing s Leah is able to do. Of which some babies can't do yet. :) You seem to be positive about her abilities. You're a great mama!!

Jessica Mosteller said...

I am so excited for you. I bet you have been so concerned and an emotional reck. I hope that things continue to improve, keep us updated. It sounds like she is proud of what she is doing too.

B, C, & D said...

YAY LEAH!! That PT stuff is hard work!! Great job Maren!!

The Bergesons said...

Congrats Mare and Leah--It is hard work. I am doing my internship right now with Kids on the Move--its Early intervention (OT/PT) for kids 0-3 with any developmental delay and getting kiddos to meet those milestones when they just dont want to is hard..not only hard to teach and work on but hard work for them too so yay for Leah and yay for you for being one of the mom's that follows through on the home exercises that a therapist gives (believe me--not may do)..love you, miss you! love to see the picture updates! britty

whitney said...

leah rocks!! as does maren!! hang in there... she'll be walking in no time.

Rebecca Parker said...

so i'm not the early commenter/doting mother of a daughter like rach or the OT expert-in-the-making like britt, but just wanted to add my encouragement, love & support! i feel like a slacker cousin 'cuz i had no idea that PT was required & admire your tenacity not to mention Leah's progress...does she get to be in Olympics in China now?:) can't believe you get to be there! how cool-

amanda, bryce & emmy said...

Congrats to you both, Mare and Leah. I'm glad that the pediatrician had a solution for you and now it will be fun to see the progress she keeps making. And seriously, you win the best mom ever award for being diligent at working with her. I can only imagine the fight Emmy would put up and she's only 10 months old! I'm sure a 16 month old is even more opinionated. So, congrats again.