Friday, April 1, 2011
What's In A Milestone
What is the definition of a milestone. One of the many that I found on the Internet (my best source of information on every topic) milestone is a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.
Why do I bring this up, well David is turning 1 in a couple of weeks and the first questions most people ask "is he walking". Then I say no and they ask about pulling up, no; crawling, no; getting into sit by himself, no; teeth, no; self feeding, no (he is 100% fed through his g-tube). I know people feel bad when this conversation goes down. They were being curious and making conversation and I was being my normal blunt self. I don't feel bad about David's developmental milestones, I do feel bad that the real world doesn't know that a baby with down syndrome most likely will not reach milestones at the same time as another child with a typical number of chromosomes.
First let's address the milestones in David's life that I remember:
First time I held him - 13 days old
First time he came home from the hospital - 44 days old
First time he breathed room air (i.e. came off of oxygen) - 5 months old
First time his face was tape free (that is when his feeding tube moved from nose to stomach) - 7.5 months old
If you start to read the list you see that the things that have really mattered for me are about far more than David's development. We have real medical issues that are far more critical to our lives. David's health has really rocked my world and changed my perspective, this is a whole different topic that you will see frequently. David has more health issues than a typical child with down syndrome (and sometimes that is really hard for me, insert pity party here).
If we move on to developmental milestones:
First smile : 2.5 months old
First laugh: 4 months old
Rolled over consistently : 8 months old
Started sitting for a few seconds: 7.5 months
Sitting for more than 10 minutes: 11 months
Says one word (Dada) : 10 months
In the world of Down Syndrome he is doing fine. Down Syndrome milestones have there own charts (how cool is that). So if he continues to meet the averages on the down syndrome chart than he should be crawling around 14 months and he should be pulling to stand at 15 months and he might even be walking by 2 years old. He may not do it at these times, the ranges of development are quite large. We don't look at the chart to estimate his progress, we just appreciate when he figures something out.
When David was in the NICU I would ask every day when can I hold him. Then after that milestone was reached I would ask when will he come home. What I was told and finally understood that has made this whole milestone thing easy to understand, David will do things on his own time when he is ready. There isn't really any magic number or date or straight line to follow. David's body will respond when it is strong enough and when he is ready to figure it out. We do know that whatever it is be it medical or developmental, David is driven and strong and determined. David is a real fighter and will always be a miracle in his mommy's eyes.
Side note: when do I find time to blog, on the weekend (includes Friday as I only work Mon to Thurs) while my angel sleeps. And about that sleeping milestone of sleeping through the night, I think it was about the time he came home from the hospital at 6 weeks old (shameless brag). But I get up two times every night to feed him (he sleeps through the whole thing, plug him in and let the food flow, love the g-tube).