Fiona had her Early Steps evaluation today. I've been anxiously awaiting for this day. Its hard to tell with a newborn how well they are advancing because the milestones aren't obvious. You know that your child is doing all right developmentally when they roll over, crawl and walk. That's huge. But there's little things that aren't so black and white. They may be doing them, but it matters how well they are doing them that counts. And, unless you are trained to know exactly what how well means, then its hard to tell where they stand.
At three months, a baby should be smiling, making vowel sounds, be able to follow a light with their eyes both vertically and horizontally, should respond to noises, should be attempting to role over and they should be lifting their head and turning it side to side. Technically, Fiona is doing all of these things, but a lot of them just not very well. She can't lift her head more then a milometer off the floor, and her head movements are jerky, not smooth and coordinated. Her eyes are on a lag when following a light, and she struggles with the vertical movement. And although she is smiling, its more like a quick smirk- hard to tell if its a responsive smile or just a twitch.
We set her tangible goals today. In six months, they would like to see her having smooth movements and to be able to role just on her side. Her feeding is still the number one issue and the main focus in her therapy.
And then there's the fist thing. We have to get this girl to start playing with her fists open, grabbing objects and stretching out those little fingers.
I read a poem when I first found out that Fiona had Down Syndrome and the last line just keeps running in the back of my head.
"The Lord gave me life, to live and embrace. And I'll do it as you do, but at my own pace"- author unknown
I think Fiona is a gift God gave me to slow down the pace of my life. I am a go-getter that doesn't often stop moving. I always slow down smell the roses, I just rarely stop . And my boys take after me. They were off and walking by 9 months ( the same age they hope Fiona will be close to just rolling over). They were early to hit all of their milestones. Heck, my fast-pace life is half the reason I do this blog- to capture moments in my whirlwind.
Fiona hit the stop button when she came into my world. Those big, blue almond eyes looked at me and said, " Stop and just enjoy it, mommy". Everything from her diagnosis to her fragile life made me realize how precious each of my kids lives are. She is a constant reminder not to rush to have the life you want, and miss living life in the mean time. I always looked forward to my kids being just a little older. I couldn't wait for the boys to walk so I didn't have to carry two car seats around. And then when they could walk, I couldn't wait till they could talk so we could communicate. And when they could talk, I couldn't wait till they were old enough when we could play games. And now that they are old enough to play games, I can't wait till they are old enough to do arts and crafts with me. There is always something more exciting to look forward to, that I forget to enjoy the things we can do now.
I get to have a baby a lot longer then a lot of people. I know someday, I'm going to stop wishing the boys older and wish for the days when they were small enough to snuggle on my lap. I need to be enjoying this extra long time I get having Fiona be my tiny peanut. And the extra time I get carrying her around until she does learn to walk and is running away from me. Shes in no rush to rush through life, and she's teaching me the beauty of living in the slow lane. I'll be there to cheer her on as she grows and develops on her own time, and I will be there right by her side to encourage and help her become the woman God created her to be.