Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the latest

On Friday I'll be 35 weeks...I'm beginning to wonder if I will actually carry to 40 weeks and maybe even beyond! I hope not, as I want to have a VBAC and I don't go into labor on my own by 40 weeks, they'll schedule a C. But either way, it's pretty amazing to be at this point, 8 weeks farther along than when I had the girls. I start with going 2x week to the OB next Friday at 36 weeks (2x a week is a privelage reserved for those "advanced maternal age" mamas out there, joy joy!) and from then on, it will be a waiting game to see what this baby and mother nature has in mind for me/us.

On the Hannah and Isabelle front, we have a meeting scheduled for next Monday with the principal, vice principal and director of special ed to talk about the letter we sent them a few weeks back. Hoping that we can all come up with a reasonable plan for making the girls' school more accessible. Wish us luck!

We had an appointment with the girls' physiatrist last week and things are pretty much status quo: Isabelle needs to keep wearing her orthotics as often as possible and hopefully, eventually she'll stop walking on her toes and not need them. Lately she'll announce, out of the blue, that she wants to show me something with her feet and then she'll walk around on flat feet which is great. But she really has to concentrate and as soon as she gets excited or starts moving fast, back up on her toes she goes. At least she is trying, though!

Ms. Hannah will have another round of botax in the next month. She's doing great and continuing to increase her endurance and proficiency in her walker, pull up on anything and everything that she can, and climb in and out of her bed. She's able to help out with some of the steps to getting dressed and going potty, and she wants to do as much as she can on her own. When we take the girls into town with their stroller, Hannah always tells us she wants us to bring her walker and asks to get out and walk as soon as possible. She just doesn't seem to want to be stationery and if we have a more quiet day without as much physical activity, she'll ask, "Can I run around for a bit?" and then off she and Isabelle go, tearing around the house chasing each other. It's incredible to watch and makes me so proud of her hard work and hopeful about what she will do in the future. I don't have any illusions that she will be able to walk well without some kind of assistance, but I hope that soon (within the next year) we can get her using forearm crutches and that eventually, she'll be able to get around with those well enough to keep up with her peers. She'll always have mobility challenges but she is so motivated and has made such big gains in the past year with her walker that I can only imagine and hope that she'll continue to do so as she grows and gets stronger.

There are still questions looming about different surgical options (selective dorsal rhizotomy, PERCS, etc) but right now, Hannah seems to be maintaining her range of motion and progressing developmentally so it doesn't seem appropriate to do anything at this point. The big area of concern is her left leg, which turns in and drags a bit when she walks. Even with botax, her leg still wants to turn in so this is probably the thing that will trigger surgery at some point. But according to the physiatrist, we're not there yet.

Regarding the selective dorsal rhizotomy, the physiatrist also thinks Hannah still needs to gain more strength before this would be a viable option. It seems like it could be a miracle procedure for some kiddos, if done at the right time, but it's a huge undertaking with tons of rehab time and inital loss of skills. Even if she were strong enough, I don't think it's something we could tackle right now, with another baby on the way. But in another year or so, it might be worth revisiting. We're going to have another consult at Dartmouth in October to just hear their thoughts on all of this but think that for now, we'll just keep doing what we're doing and watch Miss Hannah do her thing.

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