Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Milo's 2nd Year At Home & Other Developments

On October 17th, it will be two years since Milo came home from the hospital. At roughly this time in 2008, the little guy was indeed very little. He weighed just under 8 lbs, and, although that seems about right considering his corrected age was about 2 weeks at the time, a lot of his weight was due to edema. He's gained about 17 lbs since then is looking pretty muscular these days. Seriously, his calfs look like mine at the height of my cycling career.

Milo - 14 October 2008 in the Alta Bates NICU, Room 15.

Milo - October 2010 playing on the slide at a park here in Alameda.

It was certainly an up and down road for Milo. Without getting into a catalog of all his medical challenges, suffice to say, we expected that he'd likely have at least some degree of cerebal palsy (CP) or some other more lasting effect. So far, though, no signs of CP or any other significant disability. Although I'm knocking on wood, both he and Maddy seem to be catching up quickly to kids of their calendar age. In fact based on Maddy's latest assessment last week at the NICU follow-up clinic, she appears to be in the "normal" range in most areas for a 27-month-old. Milo had his assessment way back in May. He didn't do quite as well as Maddy -- but the test began 45 minutes late, and the boy was tired and hungry. That's bound to have some impact on the average two-year-old.

Milo & Mom - 15 October 2008 at Alta Bates

Dad & Milo at the Speisekammer Oktoberfest in Alameda, October 2010

A nod to the nurses: Donna, Cheryl, and Eniko bid M&M a farewell on 17 October 2008.

October 2010: Milo rocks his shades and enjoys a spin by the water to see the duckies. Not sure if the little guy inherited my sensitivity to light, or whether he just likes looking cool, but getting him to wear sunglasses doesn't take much effort. He really seems to like em'.

October 2010: M&M along with Mom and our friend Derek clapping along to a polka band weren't sure how the kids would do at a crowded festival with a live polka band, but they did amazingly well. It helped that we had a lot of good friends along who also had similar aged kids. Safety in numbers.

One very recent positive development: Milo has finally decided to start drinking from an open cup. He's a bit messy, but it's a nice change! Up til now he's been very resistant to the idea. Apparently all it took was the right incentive. The boy loves the taste of coffee (not surprising given his genetics), it just took me splashing a bit into his glass of milk. Guess I'll have to start brewing some decaf.

9 October 2010, M&M visit Ardendwood Farm for the Harvest Festival and sample their first ice cream cones. The ice cream was good, but the kids were a little puzzled by the experience. Cookies are still first in their hearts.

Milo & Mom getting a closer look at the sheep at Ardenwood Farm.

25 September 2010: Milo watches Mr. Rogers and engages in a little of the reverse Al Bundy technique.

25 September 2010: M&M frolicking poolside at home.

Maddy & Mom looking silly at Oktoberfest.

Cinema M&M - Playing games by the pool.

The Closing Clip. A few nights ago, a paddling buddy posted a clip online of a group descending the Nevis River in New Zealand (a river I hope to paddle one day). The highlight was seeing Maddy's enthusiasm for the boaters. The bad part was when I asked her if she wanted to try paddling and she responded, "Oh, nooo." The best quote is her inspired "Weeeee!" toward the end.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Two Years Old" & Second Year At Home

A couple interesting milestones over these past couple weeks. The first is that the kids both reached the second anniversary of their actual due date. (Recall that M&M were actually due on September 26, 2008 but born June 15 instead -- a bit a head of schedule.) So what does the latest milestone mean? Well, for one thing, the whole "corrected age" thing we've referred to in the past comes to an end. The idea is that by the time a preemie reaches the second anniversary of their due date, they should be developmentally caught up. Some say it should apply until about 2.5 years, but hey, close enough...

More significant, it was two years ago that Maddy was released from Alta Bates and able to come home after about 110 days in the NICU. (Milo came home about two weeks later.) See http://miloandmadeline.blogspot.com/2008/10/maddy-comes-home-now-what-do-we-do.html

In honor of the big day, here are a few pictures to show how far she's come.

Maddy - 2 October 2009. About 3.5 months old (two weeks corrected age), About 7 lbs, and no teeth for a long time to come.

3 October 2009. Just about 21 lbs; roughly 3.5 teeth; and wearing size 4.5 shoes.

25 September 2010. Looking fly in her pink car and fancy duds. Weight - over 27 lbs. Teeth - too many to count. Shoe size - 7. Haircut - Mom Special.

3 October 2010 - Maddy at the park.

Of course, two years means it was also time for the Alta Bates NICU reunion, which the whole family attended last week. It was great to see several of the kids former doctors and nurses (we missed several who couldn't make it - we'll have to swing by for a visit in the coming weeks!). It was also nice to meet several families who knew the kids and their story from this blog. Thanks so much for following!

Tune in next time for a look back at Milo. In the meantime...

2 October 2010 - Milo on a first visit to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Hiking and snacking.