Julianna had her NICU follow-up appointment this morning. She goes once a year to check her progress. She sees Terry (dietitian), Stacy (her favorite OT!), Melanie (speech therapist), and a doctor. She stayed about where she has at all her appointments, her height and weight were between the 50-75th percentiles (adjusted age) and her head was...well we all know it's huge (90%!). She has gained 5 lbs since August! An amazing weight gain for any kid her age, but even better considering she didn't gain anything from last January until August!
We mentioned her choking issues to both Terry and Melanie. Terry was surprised that the choking (a daily occurrence-but not severe) didn't deter her appetite at all. Melanie thinks it may be a sensory issue. Melanie was also concerned with Julianna's speech. She has an enormous vocabulary for her age, 70+ words (should be between 40-50 words), but has yet to string any words together. Even adjusting for her prematurity, she should be saying at least 2 word sentences. She said she would really like her to get speech services through Eastgate or as out-patient (Julianna had a speech eval through Eastgate in August, and was shown to be behind, but not enough to qualify for therapy-I'll explain more in a later post).
Stacy, our FAVORITE OT, was so happy to see how well Julianna was doing. When she discharged Julianna last April, she still wasn't walking yet, and now Julianna is running everywhere. She was a little surprised Julianna isn't jumping yet, but wasn't concerned because her overall motor skills were right on track. We miss seeing Stacy, but are so happy that Julianna doesn't need to see her anymore.
We saw a new doctor (which was kind of sad because we thought we were going to see our favorite NICU doctor). He was great with Julianna! I think it is the first doctor she has seen in a year that she didn't scream and cry for. In fact, she smiled and laughed at him! He noticed some of the issues related to her PVL, some muscle tone issues and such, but overall he was very impressed with Julianna.
We go back to the clinic next January, and will repeat the whole process. Right now, Julianna's age still gets adjusted for prematurity. In other words all her developmental milestones (as well as height and weight) are looked at as though she were born on her due date. All the skills assessed were those of a 21 month old today, not an almost 24 month old. However, as of her 2nd birthday (in 2 weeks) she will no longer have her age adjusted. It will be weird to not adjust her age anymore.
We are so proud of how well Julianna is doing! We're also happy for how well all her NICU friends are doing too! Its amazing how far they have all come!