Monday, February 21, 2011

It's a Preemie Thing. Or is it?

Last week, we had a visit from the NC Child Development Services Assessment Program (CDSA). Actually, we've been getting visits every 5-6 weeks since last August. In short,it's an early intervention program that monitors Bea's development until she's three years old. Because of Beatrice Kate's very low birth weight (in this case, determined as less than 1,000 grams) she was automatically qualified and placed into the program for free (to us) before she even came home from the hospital.

Up until this past week, we have only ever needed the "monitoring" portion of their services because Bea's development has been at or above average for her corrected age's milestones. Honestly, I didn't think we would ever need their services. It was just nice to have someone come by and tell us what a great job we were doing with our ex-preemie.The "assessor" would occasionally offer up tidbits of advice for us to help speed along any areas that Bea was struggling with.

Now, notice that I said  "up until last week". That's because last week, for our 6 month program check-up, it was determined that Beatrice Kate is "well below average" for physical movement and development. "Well Below Average"? Ouch.

I'm not even going to lie and say that hearing that didn't hurt my ego a little. As a first child, both Casey and I, are extremely driven, Type-A, go get em' personalities. "Well Below Average" has never been said to either one of us in regards to something we've been responsible for. In fact, we both had high expectations that our child would turn out exactly like us (with hopefully some from of a hidden talent that could pay for college!).

 I know, I know that this is in no way a reflection on our parenting skillz. In fact, we totally understood from the get go that we could, and should, expect a few delays here and there. That's why preemies are considered "preemies" until their two. They're given a little extra room to develop at their own pace to compensate for their extra time out of the womb.

BUT- she had been doing so. well. Yes, I knew she wasn't crawling yet. And yes, she hasn't actually shown any interest in crawling or even rolling over from her back to her front. I just thought she was developing at her own pace. I even joked with a friend about my little "Floor Slug" (not my term, but it's pretty accurate!).

So, I had accepted that she would be considered below average or even just average but to hear well below average was a little much.

It just reminds me of this poem and how it says that "She (a preemie mother) will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'mama' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it."

I've spoken to other mothers who children are around Bea's corrected age and they're not crawling either, so I feel a little relief in that. I'm just ready to stop having to wonder if things she does are "a preemie thing" or if its just a "Beatrice Kate thing"!

So, alas, we're waiting to hear back from the CDSA Program about our next steps into the world of Early Intervention and Physical Therapy.

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