Today Em turned 14 months. As I sat in my bed and typed that title I couldn't help but think, "how did we get here?" I seems like all of this has gone by so fast. They say the days are long but the weeks are fast and I feel that 100%. I don't even really think the days are long anymore. Time is slipping away from us at rapid rates and I wish I could slow things down or freeze time. I realize those are cliche things said by every parent but it's strange to think that we're out of the baby phase in our house for at least another four years.
Em has had an impressive month just like the ones before. Sleep has been flowing with abundance which is one of the most beautiful gifts from heaven. There were some dark, angry, "I'm a bad mom", weeks for a while when I was getting zero sleep and was super irritable and it feels amazing to be getting at least nine hours of sleep each night again. Em usually wakes once in the night for a bottle which I don't mind at all. She happily drinks it down, and then sleeps until 9am which is pure bliss. Especially since Jay has been on board with the 9am wake-up too. Sleep all around is a beautiful thing.
These last few weeks Em has been in "refusing to work on sitting" mode which has been really frustrating. We were so close, and now she doesn't want to work on it and just throws herself backwards in our lap when we sit on the floor. We're supposed to be sitting unsupported for 5 minutes straight by the end of the month and at this point I don't think it's very likely to happen.
On the plus side, a friend from church is letting us borrow their activity table for Em to play with and she has been loving it. Most days when we work on her PT she just wants to be standing and playing with that. She has been using her arms a lot to help support her upper body while she plays with it which has been amazing. When she's supporting herself while playing at her table you can feel her arms, and you can feel those muscles really pushing and working. It's amazing because her arms and upper back are really her weakest part so the fact that those muscles are getting bigger, and stronger to support her is amazing.
With her new found arm strength we've also had great achievements in tummy time this week. She's been able to clear her chest off of the floor by pushing with her arms. She's also been able to start pivoting and rotating herself on her belly about 15 degrees to turn and reach for toys which is incredible. Pivoting is one of the first building blocks to crawling so the fact that we're literally on our way to independent mobility is awesome. I have more faith that Em will crawl by January than I do in her sitting by the end of the month.
Tomorrow we will heading to the hospital for Em to get a swallow study done. This is a test where they get Em to swallow a dye and then they're able to see where and how the dye travels to different parts of her body. The reason for the test is basically to confirm that she isn't aspirating when she eats or drinks. Aspirating is when food/water basically goes down the wrong pipe and enters her lungs. We have to get the test done for her to get the okay to start speech therapy but it will also be good for us to know the results so we know if we have to change her eating habits at home.
If she aspirates during the test it likely means that she has been aspirating at home for basically this entire last year without us knowing, which means their could also be potential lung damage that we don't even know is happening. If this is the case we'll have to start thickening her food and bottles to decrease the likelihood of it continuing.
What we're hoping and praying for is that there is no aspiration found in the study and that what they do find is just low muscle tone in her mouth (like the rest of her body). If there is low muscle tone then the speech therapist will work with her to strengthen the muscles in her mouth so that she can drink from sippy cups easier, eat chunky foods easier without gagging/choking, and work on better self feeding skills, although she does self feed pretty well right now.
I'll probably do another post this week to update on how the test goes and everything, but in the meantime, prayers for a great result are always appreciated.