I'm so excited to announce that today officially begins Bryce's horse therapy endeavors. His physical therapist, developmental pediatrician, case manager and new hippotherapist are all very optimistic as to the potential benefits. There's the gait training benefit as well as the natural feeling of weight shift under his hips and in all of the same muscles he'll use to walk. But there's also core muscle strengthening and sensory (sight, sounds, smells and touch) benefits as well. A million thanks to my dad and Sharon for making this possible for Bryce - the kid has no idea how lucky he is to have so many people who care so much about him.
As if further proof of that were necessary, which at this point it surely isn't, he spent the weekend with Caleb's sister & brother-in-law: Aunt Christie and Uncle Richie. We traded Bryce for their pull behind camper and headed down to Mustang Island for one very short but awesomely relaxing and fun weekend at the beach. Only to discover on Sunday that we still suffer from some separation anxiety and codependency - hey, at least we can admit it. We couldn't get back to him quick enough on Sunday, forgoing lunch all together.
It's funny how much that 4 hour drive from the coast was reminiscent of those drives from home back to the NICU when we finally started going home on Saturday nights. We'd both be silent and anxious, picking the littlest of fights, grasping for any way to take our minds off how excruciatingly long it took to get to him. We always felt like he wasn't truly safe unless we were within eye sight. I guess those old habits are hard to break.
Bryce on the other hand, didn't seem to miss us much at all. Either that or he just really enjoyed spending some quality time with his favorite Aunt and Uncle. He slept well for them, took naps on the couch with Uncle Richie, tried to steal cousin Devin's prom date on Saturday night (and from pictures, I see why) and even got to go to church with them, playing with the other kids in the nursery during service.
Unfortunately, yesterday was back to reality with a 5 a.m. wake up call and 6 a.m. arrival time at Dell for Bryce's latest round of Botox injections. I'm getting better at taking him by myself: only briefly tearing up after leaving him in the procedure room and not making myself crazy trying to get there right at 6 a.m. knowing that the doctor won't stroll in until somewhere close to 8 a.m. Next time I'll probably be pushing 7 before we make our appearance - see how they like that.
And in BOTW news, I'm officially 22 weeks today. I can't believe I'm only 2 weeks from where I was when Bryce was born. I find myself pleading almost daily with this baby to stay, stay, stay put! Especially on days like yesterday, I simply couldn't bear having to go through the Botox rigamarole with both of my babies. I'm pretty sure that would qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.
The OB pushed my visits back to every other week, though I still have to go in for my weekly 17p shot every Wednesday at the family practice clinic in Cedar Park. But that means that I have this week off from the OB and week 24 off. I'm starting to feel pretty uneasy about that and thinking of calling to request at least a week 24 check. I haven't had any reason to think I need it since before I went last week. I had some contractions the previous Saturday but I talked to the OB and he said as long as there aren't any more than 4-6 in an hour I don't need to worry (I had 3). That's clearly impossible but I appreciate having a concrete marker for when I'm allowed to worry and call people at midnight on a Sunday with my concerns.
There was some noted shortening of my cervix (1 cm) last week from the anatomy ultrasound the week before but my OB said that it was still long enough not to be of concern. My biggest concern at this point is just that things went so horribly wrong so inconceivably quickly last time. I'm not taking anything for granted and know I won't be able to relax until we hit the 30-32 week mark. That's a long 8-10 weeks of worrying from now though.
In one last note on Bryce, we officially start the Leander ISD Early Learning Environment battle in just two short weeks. I met with Bryce's new ECI case manager yesterday afternoon (the one he's had since he came home from Dell retired March 1st) and was so overwhelmingly surprised by her knowledge and ability that I can't help but believe she was put in our path for a reason. She used to be a child advocate, working primarily with CP kids, in Pennsylvania. She can quote the court cases that set precedent in what the school disctricts have to provide, how and why. She gave me a lot of homework but also a lot of hope! AND as if that wasn't good enough news (I'm SUPER excited about that despite the up hill battle ahead) I got Bryce's official transition paperwork from his day care, moving him to the toddler room. All of these things are stressful and hard to manage but worth it a hundred times over when I'm able to get this excited about the possibilities available for my micro-preemie miracle baby - who actually isn't much of a baby anymore at all.
Sorry for the L.O.N.G. update but I wanted to share everything...thanks for checking in and hanging in.
One happy, anxious, excited, exhausted Momma,