Today, my little Ellie Bear turned nine months old - and on the actual day of the week on which she was born, too :) So I thought this occasion warranted a brief update on how she's doing, especially since we just conducted a round of checkups coinciding with this milestone. So there's lots to share!
Our first visit, about a week ago, was to Dr. Doody at Mass General. He's the pediatric surgeon who performed the ECMO procedure (and basically, you know, saved her life). We always like to see him. The visit was just a quick check in to look at her scars, listen to her lungs, and just see how she's doing. He was impressed that she's never even had a cold and also that she tried to steal his stethoscope. Hey, if you're going to dangle shiny things in front of the kid's face, it's bound to happen. She got an A+.
The second visit, that very afternoon, was to our old friends in Neurology at MGH. These are, by far, my least favorite doctors to visit. No offense to any neurologists out there, but I'm pretty sure they get paid to be extra negative. I've spent many conversations with them trying to look on the bright side and being quickly given a reality slap to the face. They're trademark phrase: "We're still watching for..." X, Y, Z - all horrible things that you don't want your child to have to face. It's usually depressing. But this time, Ellie decided to impress them. She was crawling all over the table, trying to take the medical instruments from the doctors, stealing their glasses... usual antics we see around the house. Even the neurologists had to admit that she no longer seems at risk for any of the big issues they once feared. They were "pleased" with her development to date. Sounds like she got an A to me.
We also swung by the old NICU wing for a quick visit. No appointment or evaluation there, just an update to our wall photo and a great big hello to our favorite nurses in the UNIVERSE. I really love those people over there. And sometimes I kinda miss them... just, when it's time, don't tell my #2 that I said that. I don't want to go back there, no matter how many friends I made. Ugh.
Our Early Intervention assessment last Tuesday was also a success. She's scoring at or above all her milestones, from crawling on all fours to pulling herself up and walking along the couch. She's babbling all the right sounds, with the occasional purposeful word thrown in there. She's using her fingers to grab things (out of the carpet) and she's getting strong enough to start threatening her first steps. EEK! Another A+!
Finally, this week we visited Ellie's pediatrician for a nine-month round of shots and a physical. She took the flu shot like a champ but did not so much enjoy getting her iron levels checked. Poor thing! She is, however, doing well enough (and according to the doctor, completely caught up!) so it's time for some real solid foods! We've graduated to Gerber Puffs to help her learn to chew and Stage 3 foods. She's got all those crazy combos now, like Turkey Dinner and Spaghetti & Meatballs. We're not sure how she's taking the switch so far, but she really loves those banana-flavored puffs. As soon as she gets a few more teeth, we'll be able to try some other new things.
So that's that... She's passing everything with flying colors and doing so well that most of her doctors can't believe she's the same baby that came into this world just struggling to breathe and survive. My little girl is, indeed, one ultimate fighting ninja.