Thursday, July 24, 2008

OT Day!

Leah did fantastic this week in therapy. "Lefty" was much more relaxed and her movements were very symmetrical.
I realized today that I never take any pictures at OT. I think it would be great for Leah to see how she progressed and to see her relationship with Lisa (OT).
In these pictures you can see she has a few 'contraptions' on her! On "lefty" she has a wrap to give her a bit of added pressure and on her right hand she has her beloved immobilizer. She has been tolerating the immobilizer so much better and for longer periods of time. She does so well with it! Every time she wears it, I look forward to casting more and more. She responds very well to being forced into using "lefty".


Here are some pictures...



Here she is doing some strength and weight baring exercises.


Here Leah is playing in a bucket of beans. It's great for the touch and feel!




Here's a video also. My little smarty pants will do anything to get out of work! Today, she was focusing on Lisa's leg instead of playing with the toy. She thought it was so fascinating that Lisa's leg was moving with the music!





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Also, I'm asking for every ones support while Avi, Leah and I participate in the American Heart Association walk, in October! We are so excited to be walking this year and super excited to walk for pediatric stroke! I can't wait to meet some of the other families that we are walking with. It's going to be a wonderful experience! If you are able to donate, please click the link to the right! :) If you have already donated, THANK YOU! I have amazingly been able to raise $400 in less then 24 hours! Woo-hoo! Let's keep it going!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Big Is The Baby?



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I have been trying to teach Leah, How big is the baby, for a few days now and yesterday she got it!


And for your amusement....


This is what happens when you say "Leah, can you make a silly face?"


Friday, July 18, 2008

My Struggle.

Something, I have always struggled with is how much to tell people about Leah. As the months go by and Leah gets older, my struggle becomes more apparent. Now, that she wears a splint on her hand, the questions and the looks are coming in. In the moment of the question, my internal struggle goes back and forth. I have no idea how I want to answer these questions.

My response lately has been, Leah has weak muscles.
Fine. That's the easy way out. Is that the right way to answer why she is wearing the splint? I don't know. I feel like it's the cop out way. The don't ask me anymore questions way. In some instances, I think that it is a fine answer--especially to strangers. In other instances, I truly think that I am not doing Leah justice.

Leah had a stroke. KIDS HAVE STROKES. UNBORN BABIES HAVE STROKES. How many people know that? I sure didn't. My husband sure didn't. My family sure didn't.
Why am I not telling everyone I know about that? People should know. The more I dive into the world of Hemiparesis, I see that it is not as uncommon as I thought and yet so many people have no idea that it is even possible.

So, what do I do? Do I tell everyone that asks that she had a stroke in utero? I don't want people to look at her like there is something terribly wrong with her. There is nothing "wrong" with her, she just needs some extra help. What if when she is 10 she resents the fact that I've told everyone? I am her voice right now. What if when she has a voice she is upset that I "violated" her privacy?

I pray daily that the decisions that Avi and I make are the right ones for our daughter.

The American Heart Association has released new guidelines for Pedatric Stroke. Here is a wonderful article: ABC News: Kids Can Have Strokes Too, AHA Warns

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blowing Kisses!





Leah amazes me more and more everyday!

I have been working with her on blowing kisses lately and she just couldn't get the hang of it. I was always bringing her right hand up to her mouth and she would start chewing on her fingers. So, today at therapy Lisa (ot) was playing with Leah and I was sitting on the floor facing them. Lisa was holding back Leah's right hand and she said to Leah "Can you blow Mommy a kiss" and showed her once with lefty what to do. What happened next was the most amazing, awesomest (is that even a word?) thing ever, Leah started blowing kisses with lefty!!! She brought lefty to her mouth, made a kissing noise and then threw the kiss!!!!!! I looked at Lisa, with tears in my eyes, and told her that this was the first time she has ever blown a kiss!!! She doesn't even do it with righty! I was one proud Mama!!!


The picture above is from Sunday. We went to take Leah's picture at JcPenney. She is normally very happy and smiley, but not that day! She would not crack a smile for anything!! We will have to try again soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Update!





It hasn't been that long since I last updated and yet I still get the calls..."You haven't updated your blog in so long."

So, for all of you Loyal Leah fans here is your update!


Last Friday, we had our first session of PT with the new therapist. She was great. My biggest issue with our other PT was that she didn't explain anything. The new PT, Nadine, explained everything nicely. She showed me some new exercises to do with Leah. She said the muscles in her heal are very tight, but that she does have full range of motion. Leah is also locking her knee when standing, which I knew already. I of course asked her about a brace and like everyone else she said it's too early to tell. She said there still is a possibility of her not needing one, but it's more likely that she will need one. I *think* I have come to terms with it, for now. I'm looking forward to working with this new therapist and I really like that her and my OT work together.


OT hasn't happened yet this week, we are doing Wednesday and Thursday this week. Our OT schedule has been changing weekly! Partly due to Leah's nap time change and partly due to starting Early Intervention and our OT's schedule. I'm hoping by next week we can have a set schedule, all this craziness usually ends up in either Lisa(ot) or I calling each other in the beginning of the week to rearrange our schedules! I'm hoping we can change OT to Monday and Wednesday and then have PT on Friday. That was it will give us a nice balance throughout the week.

Plus, this week going from Wednesday to Wednesday without have OT is really hard on us. Ok, it's hard on me! I find that I have built such a strong relationship with Lisa that when I don't see her I start to worry more. OK, I know--I'm crazy!!! It's kind of like when I was pregnant, I used to count down the days to the next doctors appointment, just so that I can hear the doctor tell me that everything is ok. When I don't see the OT, my mind starts to race and I start to think things are worse then they are, I honestly need her to tell me weekly, that things are ok. So, needless to say, this week has been emotional for me! Tomorrow, I'll see her and she'll see Leah and I know I'll just feel better. Really, I do know that I'm a bit psychotic and don't worry, Lisa knows that too!


In other news, I suppose it was a good thing our crib was recalled a few weeks ago. It meant that we needed to purchase a new crib. Well, when Avi put the crib together he set it too the lowest setting. I was not happy with this, because I didn't think she was ready to be that low yet. She wasn't pulling up and I just liked it higher. Anyway, today I put her in the crib and about 20 minutes later I can still hear her playing. So, I sneakily go check on her (making sure she doesn't see me) and I see her grabbed onto the side of the crib. She wasn't fully standing, but she had gotten to her knees! Yay, Leah!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Whoa!"



My sweet little girl is getting so big! She is sitting well enough now that I am able to give her a bath in the big tub!! She has always enjoyed bathtime, but her baby bath was just getting a little snug! In the big bath she loves to play with her toys and talk to the rubber duckies! She also loves to get into crawling position and then go to her tummy! She loves to splash and kick! Leah also thinks it's really funny to try and pull up on the side of the tub!! Leah-Mommy wants you to pull up--but NOT in the bath tub!!!!!!


Over the last week or so, Leah has started babbling more! She says bababa, wawawa and her funniest word "whoa". She is obviously choosing the less traditional words such as mamama and dadada! I'm hoping those come soon, but for now, whoa is too cute!!


In other news, Leah tranistioned from lying to sitting today. Yes, she has been doing it for awhile now, but only on her right side. Today she did it on her left side!!! WOO HOO! I have to admit, I haven't been working with her on that as much as I should, so it really amazed me that she did it! She used lefty to balance and righty crossed over to push up! Yay!


She is still trying so hard to figure out how to pull up! It's hard for me to watch her struggle with it! If pulling up is anything like her other milestones, I know I have nothing to worry about--she'll get it with time! I just can't help but worry! It's my job.


P.S. Let me know your here! I love comments and would love to see who is checking up on Leah! So, if your here---drop me a comment! :)

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth of July


On Thursday night, we went to go see fireworks! We went to a horse racing track to watch! It was an awesome firework show! I was worried how Leah would be, since the fireworks didn't even start until 9:30 and Leah goes to bed at 7:00!! Anyway, she did great!! She didn't get scared of the noise at all. Plus, she was up the entire time and only started to get really fussy half way through the fireworks--I don't blame her the firework show lasted 45 minutes! By the time we even got into the car to go home it was 10:30 and she was still awake!! Getting out of that parking lot was a nightmare, it took forever. We are normally about a half hour away from the race track and it took us nearly an hour to get home! Thankfully, Leah slept the whole way, got home, nursed and slept until 8:00 the next morning! She was so off this whole weekend.








Then on Friday, we went to the Parade. We all had a great time! Leah was too funny, she danced every time a band went by!!!






Here are some pictures from the parade:
After the parade, Leah fell right to sleep!






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On a completely different note...


In the past month or so, we started giving Leah one bottle a day. I still nurse 95% of the time but I knew my supply was getting low at night and this was causing her to wake up all the time. We started supplementing with 4 ounces of formula before bed and she sleeps great now. Nursing exclusively for almost 9 months, Leah had no clue how to hold a bottle! Why should she? She never had to "hold" her food source before! She recently has started to grab the bottle by the bottom with her right hand and hold it like that. I think she is starting to realize that it's too hard to hold it with one hand, so the other night she held it with two! Open hand and everything!!! I was feeding her and called for Avi to get the camera--luckily we got the picture! I can't wait to show it to her OT this week!!



A new type of Therapy


Last week, during our OT session, Lisa (OT) suggested a new type of 'therapy'. We are doing anything we can to create awareness in "lefty" so she told me that during dinner time that night to try something new and fun for Leah. We were told to put a yummy food (in this case pureed sweet potatoes and apples) onto lefty and to encourage Leah to bring that hand to her mouth. She also told us to put a bit on the tray and just let her play in it. She was doing great bringing it to her mouth, once we showed her there was food there! She licked her hand clean! She didn't love playing in the food--she just wanted to eat!

As you can see in the picture, lefty is nicely placed on the highchair tray!
We prepared for a mess and had Leah eat in just her diaper, Mommy fed her and Daddy ran the bath!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Lefty"

I thought I would share a couple of videos of Leah using lefty! She is still very unaware of it, but as you can see she is using it nicely!

In these videos, Leah is wearing an immobilzer with a sock over her hand. It is the same concept as a cast, but we take it off and put it on when we want too. Sometimes it works great and other times she figures out how to use her arm with it on.


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In this video you will notice that I put a bell on her wrist, this is to increase awarness of that arm. It works nicely for short periods of time, if on for too long she will forget about it and/or become completly uninterested.

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I also wanted to HIGHLY recommend this toy. It is a gumball machine from Fisher Price, our OT brings it to the house when she comes for Early Intervention. It is wonderful and Leah does GREAT with it!!!! It can be purchased on Amazon.com, I haven't seen it in stores as it is an older toy.