Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Micropreemie's 3-Year Well-Child Visit

I took C. to the doctor this morning. Not because she's sick. Truthfully, she hasn't been sick at all. We hadn't seen our pediatrician since last January when she had her 2-year check-up. We were there today because our former tiny micropreemie is now 3 years old.

It is still a wonder to me that we just have a "typical" doctor visit schedule now. We don't have to see oodles of specialists. We don't have to go extra frequently to get any equipment looked at or have periodic weight checks. We're at a point now where C. is treated just like any other 3-year old. And that is such a beautiful thing.

We certainly juggled many months chock-full of appointments back in the day. We saw pulmonary, developmental peds, ophthalmology (we still see them periodically), radiology, neurology, and all the usual stuff too. There were times I felt I was going far more than I was coming, but it was just what had to be done.

I am blessed to be able to just waltz into an ordinary pediatrician's office once a year now.

So what's different about a check-up with a former micropreemie?

Well, she's still small. C. measured in at 36 1/4" tall (the 25th percentile) which means she should be about 5'2" at age 18. She weighed in at a whopping 27 pounds (the 10th percentile). Looking at genetic predisposition, this seems small. I'm 5'7" (what people like to call "kinda tall") and her daddy's 5'10". But the 10th and 25th percentiles are still healthy. And, considering, she started out at 1 lb 5 oz and less than a foot long, she's grown by leaps and bounds!

C's speech is also a bit behind. She talks a lot, but she hasn't really developed strong conversational speech patterns yet. We're not too concerned about this, because her speech development is moving right along, she's just been behind in it for awhile. I have little doubt that she'll catch up just fine.

Her muscle tone, gross motor skills, comprehension, and self-care skills are all right on par.

And, here's what we always have to remember...

She can walk.

She can see.

She can hear.

She can do so many things that doctors weren't sure a baby born so early would be able to ever do.

As our pediatrician said,

"She continues to be a miracle... and I, for one, have no problem with ongoing miracles."


Anonymous said...

Please, PLEASE include in your miracles... SHE CAN EAT. I know it may sound odd, but we are facing the reality that ours safely can't (yet).

Heather Benza said...

Everyone I know in the non-virtual world has had perfectly "normal" conception, pregnancy, delivery, newborn stage and beyond. I find it very easy to despair why did we do everything right and have all these problems (and my 12 hr urine has my proteins teetering at the brink of the cut off--though my BP is still good)and woe is us. But really we've been so lucky that while our baby is -3% he is steady on his own growth curve, while he is behind he is steadily learning and progressing. He can see (has glasses, but no ROP), he can hear, he can walk, and yes he can eat. I'm sure when it's appropriate he'll potty train fine. Thanks for reminding me to focus on the positive!!
I hope Anon's eating woes resolve quickly as I'm sure that is a very frustrating worry to live with.

JessieLeigh said...

Anon- You are absolutely right and please know that there are dozens of omissions in that list of things I'm grateful for. Eating for some little ones can be a huge struggle and one that so many of us take for granted. I have not forgotten what it was like to tube-feed nor have I ceased to to be thankful for the strides our little girl made. Thanks for the reminder of another achievement very worthy of mentioning!

Amy @ Finer Things said...

She is a wonder! And how about your little girl introducing me to her awesome Mama via this amazing blog! ;-) Keep on...