There have been a few things happening with Evie. Big milestones that at some point, as dramatic as it sounds, we thought she might not achieve.
As a baby Evie was pretty typical. Well, as typical as any of my babies can be. At around 4 months old she became inconsolable. Even though she is my third baby I had no idea what her problem was. She was getting fed every 2 hours like the other 2. I let her nurse until she pulled off, but she just didn’t seem happy. This could build a bit of resentment for us, moms, because we see these little beings snuggled in their blankets getting every demand met and still they are not happy. Also, not sleeping through the night could make anyone
homicidal resentful. At some point, I thought that maybe she was upset that she was always stuck in her swing. Now, before you judge third baby on the floor is subject to being stepped on by older siblings and run over by the dog. So the swing was the safest place. I dragged the play yard downstairs and put her on her tummy. This lead to screaming. Ear bleeding, glass shattering, want to stab my ears with a knife screaming. The doctor’s advice, let her scream she will stop eventually. Or maybe I will just go deaf. She never stopped and back in the swing she went. At her 4 month appointment, we discovered that she had lost 13 ounces, a great achievement for most women I know; not so much for a baby. It appeared not only was my baby factory closed for good, but the milk factory had stopped production without sending a memo. So I went to Target, bought a can of formula and never looked back. Results, happy baby, happy mama, family not cowering in the corner anymore. A win-win for everyone.
We moved on with our lives until the next puzzle popped up. Evie wouldn’t put any weight on her legs. I had noticed that when ever I held her up she would fold her legs under. Strange, but not a medical emergency. Then it hit me that she never stood up like the other 2 kids. Even when babies are newborn they have some ability to plant their feet while you hold their hands. Evie never did that. I mentioned it to her doctor a few times and it was always wait and see. Finally, at 8 months old he referred me to Early Steps. She was tested and services started that summer. We never knew why she didn’t want to put weight on her legs, but we pretty much came into agreement that it was nothing physical and more a mixture of strong-willed and fear that kept her from bringing herself to new heights. We, also, would discover that she didn’t like certain movements. There is a name for it, but since she has moved on I have decided to release that file from my brain. Basically she hated swings, slides, and riding toys. The first obstacle was the Zebra that sat in our living room waiting for the next child to tear through my house at top speed. It seemed to take forever to get Evie to just stop scream and ripping at my clothes and then finally she was able to propel herself through out the house.
This one small simple step would be just the thing to get Evie and I to push further and realize that even though it looked like she was playing with her therapists it work with clear results.
Evie progressed slowly, but it all became much easier. She was more comfortable with her therapists and might even say she looked forward to them coming every Monday. We pushed on hoping and praying that one day she was going to walk. However, the months were slipping by. In the meantime we saw progress in the form of pulling and standing up.
We were all very happy. However in the back of my mind I would run through when Amber and Sam was walking and the worry never left. I kept searching for answers which was hard, because there was nothing obvious to put into Google to find out what was going on. Her therapists didn’t quite know and neither did her doctor. I would ask at her 15 month check up if there was anything he could feel that could be wrong. He said no and that if she didn’t start showing any progression toward walking he would referred me to a neurologist. Maybe Evie got a flashback to the 2 times she had blood drawn during her big weight lost at Children’s Hospital and she worked harder. Hey that wasn’t fun for either of us, sister. Or maybe her walking time was 18 months, because on one lazy Saturday evening while we all sat in the living room watching TV she would stand up and take her first steps.
That is the moment that opened the floodgates. She would start babbling after this when before she had not uttered more than a few grunts. She would sit on the towel with the OT and be dragged across the floor. Fun for your average kid, but terror inducing for Evie. She would tolerate the swing without clawing at me for dear life and screaming like we were murdering her. It just seemed that she had finally realized that being upright wasn’t so bad and moving was even better. Life was grand. And now, she is a walking, somewhat talking, very opinionated toddler that no one could ever tell needed therapy. A true Early Steps success story.
So we said good bye to the OT, started some speech therapy, since she is not quite where she should be for her age, and exploring the world around her. It will always be a mystery why she never put weight on her legs as a baby, why she didn’t crawl until she was 12 months old, and the many other milestones that she met late (according to her siblings and the charts), but she is rolling, now. I will often sit and wonder what if I never called Early Steps? And the answer is usually they just gave me the extra information and help I needed to get through this small problem. And, yes, it was a small problem. If one thing being a parent has taught me is that once one hill is conquer there is a mountain right behind it.
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