Time seems to go a little faster these days. Losing an hour with the clock change doesn’t help, as the kids haven’t learned about clocks yet. They have now reached six months adjusted age (10 months chronological) and we are seeing many firsts. We are enjoying Grant being free of oxygen and he also was able to eliminate a medication as part of that.
Our dog Hope has been away for a while to simplify taking care of the kids. She comes to visit from time to time, and so she is still getting used to these miniature people that make a lot of strange noises. Hope would try to communicate with them, making noises of her own. Grant simply looked at her, smiled (he’s been smiling for months now) BUT, he laughed for the first time!!! Since then, Grant still smiles a lot but it is still rare to get him to laugh.
We did manage to get both Hazel and Grant laughing at the same time. It was so much fun – because the two of them were laughing – we laughed along with them! So much fun!
We continue working on their eating, and Grant started with rice cereal. He seems to be getting the hang of it, opening his mouth expecting bites and also looks like he is enjoying it. Hazel is doing tastings of rice cereal, but still makes funny faces at the strange tastes in her mouth.
Hazel has always been smaller, and her challenges with the feeding tube have not helped. Due to an internal communication failure of unspecified care providers, the updates from her weigh-ins were never processed into feeding adjustment instructions from the clinic. After rattling a few cages, we finally got the communication issue ironed out and Hazel has been on an improved track. She still has a long way to go, but at least her growth is better monitored.
Grant and Hazel have topped 15 and 12 pounds, respectively.
We continue to work on their tolerance for tummy time and what they can accomplish. Grant can roll from his tummy to his back on his own, and Hazel will roll from her side to her back, or from her tummy with assistance. Being born so prematurely and having faced the challenges of medical attachments (oxygen tubes, feeding tubes) we expected they would be behind, but we hope to see them accelerate in the next over the next six months.
The kids had their first visit to the pediatric opthamologist. By waving noisy toys around, shining lights in their eyes, and holding prisms and lenses up to their eyes, they were somehow able to determine the current vision of Hazel and Grant. Hazel is far-sighted. As she tries to focus on nearby objects, her right eye tends to turn inward. Prescription glasses should make it easier for her to focus so the eyes can work together at all focal lengths. We will also need to patch her good eye to force her other eye to work and get stronger, but we are told to start with the glasses for a while.
Grant has good vision in his right eye, but is near-sighted in his left eye. The difference in vision is significant enough that, if left untreated, his brain would eventually stop processing the information from his left eye and he would lose vision in that eye. Prescription glasses should also help Grant to retain vision in both eyes. Eventually, as their eyes develop, their vision may improve but the doctor thinks Grant will always need vision correction.
Finding tiny frames was challenging, let alone finding a place that also accepts our vision plan. Thankfully we were able to find glasses that seem well-made and look good on the kids too. We are excited for when they arrive!
Last year at this time, Julie was confined to bed rest. We missed all of spring and summer, with the exception of the car rides to and from the hospital. As the weather starts to warm, signs of spring emerge, and cold/flu season draws to an end, we are looking forward to getting out as a family and we are eager for Hazel and Grant to start exploring the world beyond our home and doctors offices.