Our Teddy Bear's Journey

Theodore was born with renal failure. This is his story.

“So, he’s behind.”

on March 5, 2012

Saturday night, a doctor from Infectious Disease stopped by. Asked a bunch of questions. Was really geeking out about the names of the three bugs that grew in Teddy’s blood. Asked me if I knew what they were. Um… really long science-sounding names? Write them out for me, I can Google with the best of them…

She really came to get a more complete picture of what was happening with him because 1) he’s had some small but interesting things the last few days (the rash, the vomiting, the refusal to eat) and 2) the bugs he grew are, in her words, interesting and hard to kill. (Dr. Nestor has said that they’re digestive tract bugs)

She scolded us for the snakes, but said she wished she could have chickens. (Now, see, I’d expect the opposite. Snakes are pretty clean and they mind their own business. Chickens require frequent handling and, well, they poop a lot. But it was the salmonella thing (which is really overblown, but I wasn’t going to get into that discussion with an infectious diseases specialist).

She also laid him on his tummy and observed that he doesn’t even TRY to lift his head. “so he’s behind.”

So he’s behind.

sigh.

“too much time in the hospital,” she said.

Well, geez, we’re not here because we think it’s fun. And I would argue it’s too much time recovering from surgeries that involve a lot of pain in his chest or tummy area. And, ok, I don’t do tummy time. I haven’t with either of the older two and I am happy to report that they are both holding their heads up quite well. I’ve always justified this with the dramatically increased time my kids get being held in-arms or in carriers. That requires even more muscle development, as they have to learn to maintain equilibrium through movements in all directions.

That said, I have noticed that Teddy doesn’t really try. He does the jerking his head around on my chest thing that babies do. But he doesn’t even try to lift his head, to move it around. If I’m wearing him, he is more likely to burrow his head into my chest and go to sleep than he is to try to see what’s going on in the world around him.

Part of me has always attributed that to his (slight) prematurity. The kid has spent a large part of his life wishing he could go back for a do-over, but this time not be born quite so soon. He likes to be confined, swaddled, wrapped up. he likes to sleep with “boundaries” touching him, he’s only recently been able to lay down on an open surface and not panic. So I haven’t been surprised that, in the wrap or the pouch, his preference is to just shut out the world, snuggle, and snooze.

When you look at Babycenter‘s page about head control, yeah, he’s behind. He can’t do any of that. He can’t do the stuff in “1-2 months” and, even adjusted, that’s behind.

And for 3 months? “For a fun game that also develops his neck muscles, place your baby on his back and slowly pull him up by his hands to a sitting position. Slowly ease him back down, and repeat. At this age, he should be able to hold his head in line with the rest of his body as it’s pulled up.” I can’t even consider this game, because whenever I try something like that, his head just lolls back and looks like it might just snap off.

tummy time

So. He’s behind. *shrug* Not going to worry about it for right now.

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2 responses to ““So, he’s behind.”

  1. jennieaoh says:

    Yea, I’d say you definitely have bigger battles to fight right now than his developmental tardiness. That last picture is so precious, what a cutie.

  2. Megan says:

    Evie was really behind too and they kinda freaked out on us. When we brought Evie home at 2 months, she was completely floppy like a newborn. Even at 5 months she was still incredibly floppy. Even now, she gets a little wild with head control when she’s excited (at 10 months). It is definitely hard when they make a big deal out of it when you’re thinking “they’re alive, what more do you want????????” You’re absolutely right to not worry about it right now. It is NOT top of the priority list, just ignore them. He’ll get there when he gets there!

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