Our precious girls are eleven months old now! Little B seems a bit happier overall, and she’s starting to gain more use of her hands. She can grab things and play with some toys. We’re still working on feeding, as she has trouble swallowing unless she’s fully supported. We’re trying to get a feeding chair for her to make it easier for her to eat. Last week, we went to Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa for an evaluation. We were really impressed with how kid-friendly it is, and everyone was so kind to us and sweet to the babies. The nurse practitioner ordered x-rays and said that little B’s spine and pelvis look good so far. They will continue to monitor her to make sure that she’s not getting out of alignment. In the meantime, they prescribed a foot brace so her feet won’t stay pointed. Apparently, that is one of the issues that kids with cerebral palsy have, so we want her to be able to stand and (hopefully) walk normally.
She also went to the ophthalmologist on Monday. My husband’s parents live close to the Palm Beach Gardens office of Bascom Palmer, so they met up with us to help wrangle the other kids while I went into the office with B. The doctor (rightfully) let me have it a bit about not patching her eye like we should. Apparently, because her brain is relying so much on her right eye, if we don’t patch and force her to use her left eye, she could go blind in that eye. He had a hard time seeing her optic nerve to know if it’s paralyzed or has damage that would mean that patching wouldn’t work, so she’ll be undergoing an examination under anesthesia in a couple of months. If he decides the time is right, he may take that time to tighten the muscle in one or both eyes so they are straightened. However, he told me that she may have to patch until she’s ten. TEN YEARS of age. This little smiley baby hates the patch and shuts down when she has to wear it, but I have to really get better at patching her eye so she’ll be able to see out of both eyes.
It’s so hard to remember to DO all the things that she needs…and that the other kids need. We’re doing slightly more than surviving, but do I brush my toddler’s teeth twice a day? No. (Although he went to the dentist today for the first time and had no cavities!) I’ve never brushed the girls’ teeth. Oops. I’m lucky if the kids get two baths a week. If we eat a home-cooked dinner, it’s a huge accomplishment. Our house is a mess…always. At some point, maybe it’ll get easier? Maybe I’ll get better at taking care of myself, our house, and our kids. I’m always behind on everything. I’ve actually thought about making myself a sort of “chore chart” that I can check off everything that needs to be done and try to get it all done each day. It makes me sad to think about the fact that I NEED this. How can it be so difficult to remember to give a baby medicine every night (although we usually get that one)? Answer: very difficult when you have other kids to think about. But I’m working on it. Realizing there’s a problem is half the battle, right?