Keep Calm and Carry On

I can’t believe that it has been six months since these two little people made their entrance into the world.

I had a bit of an epiphany lately with the girls. We had a big medical appointment for both, which involved assessing their motor skills. I was terribly nervous before the appointment and did tear up a few times. But after the appointment, I realised that these appointments do not actually tell me anything about my child that I do not already know. It was an empowering realisation.

We are starting to see now that certain motor activities are harder for Cora. Her head control is decent, but definitely wanes when she’s tired. She continues to favour one side. Her hands are not terribly coordinated and she will sometimes scream because she cannot release something she has accidentally grabbed. At times she flexes her legs and arches her back in a way that makes other people say “She’s so strong!” All the doctors and OT do is describe this in more medical terms – “very strong palmar reflex”, “when she tires, reverts to ATNR”, “tight heelcords”.

But she progresses. I wrote out some of her “challenges” a few days ago when I started to write this post, and already some of them have improved, and new ones emerge as we shoot for the next goal. The doctor said “Her milestones will be different.” It took me a while to figure out what she meant by that, but I think I get it now. We celebrate things that most parents don’t notice in their typical child – we cheer when she brings her hands to midline, or opens her palms without encouragement. That said, I do think some of her milestones will be the same. I do think she’ll sit upright and use her hands, and walk. She will have tantrums, make bizarre crafts that we can’t identify and fight with her siblings. And she already beat B on one milestone – she laughs!

I know I sound really positive here, and it’s not because I don’t sometimes grieve at the unfairness of it all, or fret about what the future might bring. But I didn’t want to write this entry when I was feeling low about it. This disability that she will have is part of her, but it’s not the whole story.

Tummy Time is More Fun with a Friend