As I was writing the last blog post with the health update, I realized that I told you that we'd scheduled the early intervention evaluation, but then never followed up on how it went. The eval itself went fine. Avery was the most cooperative, being in a nice quiet alert phase and really engaging with the examiner. By the time it was Ellie's turn she was getting pretty sleepy and fussy so she didn't tolerate much. And Isaiah had fallen asleep and woke back up for his eval, so again, probably didn't put his best foot forward. But overall the examiner was impressed with them and said she really didn't have any big concerns, but that if we had any concerns or questions she would support them getting early intervention (EI) services just because they were preemies.
So we decided to do an OT consult (check in) with an occupational therapist that I know has experience with oral motor skills (I did my research before the eval!) so we could ask her for suggestions to help the girls with eating better. We only had one visit and she gave us a few exercises to do with them (stimulating the muscles around their mouths) but said she thought they were coming along nicely and would just improve with growth. The other service we asked for was infant massage. I've done some infant massage but am not certified so I thought it would be nice to have someone come in and teach all of us (Hope, the PSU student who lives with us joins the sessions too to take baby #3). It has been nice and we've been doing massages after baths and sometimes before bed. Infant massage has been shown to help with weight gain and sleeping so it's definitely worth a shot!
And for Miss Ellie, who is just a little more of a low tone/floppy baby (meaning her muscles are just a little looser/ squishy) and a bit behind her siblings on her milestones, we are doing every other week PT. It seems more than a little silly to be doing PT since I am a pediatric PT and do things with her every day, but we figured it would be a good idea to have a pair of non-mommy eyes checking in just to make sure I'm not missing anything. (Though honestly I think I'm able to maintain pretty good objectivity about it all!).
It sometimes seems like a lot just to schedule the one or two visits we have in a week so I empathize with families I work with who have even more providers to schedule with! Scheduling visits to line up with awake times is also a bit tricky right now. And I can empathize with how hard it can be to remember or find time to do the recommended activities in a week! That is why a key tenet of EI is to incorporate therapy activities into families' daily routines...