Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good Results

Alicia is asleep. My heart is at rest as well. Today has been a good day. Thank you for praying with us, friends. Your love has been received and we carry it dear to our hearts.

Campbell and I took Alicia to the hospital today to hear about the results of several tests. I was so glad that Campbell could come with us since this appointment was pretty important. I didn't want to face Alicia's doctor alone. (A clarification: Follow up appointments for a preemie are crucial in determining how well she is doing and growing. The follow up appointments happen at six months, one year, one and a half year and two years old.) Two weeks ago, Alicia had her six months development evaluation. She also had a hearing test and a brain scan. We found out the results of all these tests today. 

The results are:
Alicia is doing well. 

1. When Alicia was born, she had experienced a bit of brain trauma. Most preemies born that early would more likely to have some kind of brain trauma. Because of this, her motor skills may or may not be affected. So far, her limbs are not overly stiff or limp. So this is GOOD. 

2. She is quite strong. Her neck support is excellent. She can hold herself up well when she is on her tummy. 

3. She is quite responsive and social. She is pretty vocal. There are many times I know she's talking but I can't understand her language yet although her facial expressions are very telling of her feelings. She loves having people around. She is not shy; actually she is very fascinated with people's faces. She loves to smile and one of my most favorite thing to do is to make her laugh-which to her mama's great joy--she does often.

4. Her hearing is normal.

5. Her brain scan shows the same white matter in the brain like before. So that's good. Her pediatrician says everything looks OK and stable. She says we don't need to do another brain scan in a long long time.  :) 

There are some area that needs improvement.

1. Her size. Her weight and height are below average. Of course, this is compared to babies at 6 months. So definitely, she is a lot smaller. That's OK. But the thing is she lost a bit of weight this month. Dr. Chang (her pediatrician) is not worried though. Alicia has been teething this month and hasn't been eating well. So she says just try our best to feed her and give her more solids. 

2. Her motor skills. Ever since her development evaluation, Campbell and I have been daily helping Alicia practice grasping toys and playing with them. And she is making great improvements already. She's been grasping her toys and chewing on them like a champ. :) According to Dr. Chang, at six months, babies should be able to grasp and hold toys and switch the toy from one hand to another. Alicia hasn't gotten to this level yet.

3. Her left hand is noticeably weaker than her right hand. This is probably due to the brain trauma. We just need to help her exercise her left hand more. We will also go see a physical therapist who will help her as well.

4. She hasn't quite master the skill of rolling over. She has rolled over a few times but it happens sporadically. So we've been helping her flip over every day. She's getting better though. She can flip to her side on her own and she is quite the little mover already. For example, I lay her down vertically and the next thing I know, she's already horizontal on the bed. 

A very possible reason to why there is this delay to her development is simply because she is still quite small. So her strength may not be as strong and her hands may not be as big to comfortable grasp the toys. But she's getting there. 

There was a few times throughout the hospital visit today where I felt like I have not taken care of Alicia well. I questioned whether I am adequate. In fact, I felt very inadequate. Campbell could tell and told me to stop beating myself up. I just felt like I should have fed her better or tried feeding her more solids this past month. I was disheartened to find that her weight was down. I voiced my heart to Dr. Chang who so tenderly reminded me that Alicia has already made such remarkable leaps of growth. I need to be patient with myself as much as I need to be trusting and patient with Alicia's growth. 

I shook off the discouragement and thanked the Lord for His faithfulness. Praise God that He got us through these weeks of tests and evaluation. Thank Daddy God that we know how we can parent and help Alicia. It was a great day at the hospital. Campbell and I walked out of Mackay Hospital with a joyful heart. 

And tonight after dinner, I bought two books for myself. One is a baby food cookbook and another is great book about baby's development and health. Both books are in Chinese. I am looking forward in improving my mama's skills as well as my Chinese. This mama is growing up with her daughter. 

Family and friends, thank you for your prayers and love. Thank you for walking with us not just today but throughout our journey. What an adventure it has been already. Even though many people still make comments about how small Alicia is. My heart swells looking at how BIG she is already. She is doing so well. Campbell and I are so proud of her. We go from glory to glory, strength to strength. Because God is with us, each day gets better and our strength only gets stronger. 

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
    your faithfulness in the evening" Psalm 92:1,2

1 comment:

  1. Linda and Campbell~ we're rejoicing with you at the faithfulness of God!! YAY! Alicia sounds delightful- we can't wait to meet her! And you guys are AWESOME parents!! =)