These three "P" words have been plaguing me lately. That and the word "time", but that's a different post for another day.
This is a work in progress for me. If I'm honest. I hate that Matthew has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, even if it is mild. And I'm SO thankful that it IS mild. But the words alone (cerebral palsy - CP) make me cringe for some reason.
Even though his CP mild, when I see him work so darn hard to put the fingers of his right hand around an object, it breaks my heart. When I see him want to sit up and can't, it breaks my heart. When he tries his hardest and just can't roll over, it breaks my heart. He's going to have to work harder than the normal baby, that's for sure.
My momma heart just wants him to be perfectly fine.
And he IS perfect.
He is perfect just the way God created him. And God knows I love him inside and out, just the way he is.
But I still don't like it.
And yet, I'm still trying to embrace it. (The diagnosis of CP that is.)
Unfortunately, through the circumstances of others, my perspective has changed a bit lately. Matthew's CP is still a big deal, and we are going to have to work hard with him, for sure. Honestly, I love working with him. I love seeing when he can do something new that he couldn't do just a few weeks ago. It is my honor and privilege to help him reach his full potential.
But, I do know things could be so much worse than they are. We are extremely blessed in these circumstances. It's not the way I would have written Matthew's story. But this is the way God is writing his story. And I accept it. I'm embracing it. And I'm trying hard to make the most of it every day, focusing more on the positive and less on the negative.
Matthew has made so much progress since starting therapy in late January. Just at Christmas, he could barely move his right arm. Now he moves it and with much more purpose, reaching for objects and often transferring from one hand to the other. He has fallen in love with tags, which brings back great memories from Emma Grace (she loved tags on everything...so much so that my friend got her a taggie blanket.) That's beside the point. Matthew focuses hard and really uses his right hand at times to get the tags between his fingers. A taggie blanket might just be in his near future, too! He might have to borrow his sisters for the time being. Who cares if it's pink and has her name on it, right?!
He used to not tolerate being on his left side at all. He would fight me with all of his being when I put him in that position to play and practice rolling over. Now, he can get himself to his left side all by himself, resting with his right leg bent at the knee while his left leg is straight. He just has to work up the muscle strength on his right side to be able to hoist himself over the rest of the way.
*Update: He has started rolling over from his back to his tummy via his left side. YAY!
(Now I have to teach him to roll to the right side!)
He can sit in a tripod position a little longer now. His trunk muscles are getting a bit stronger. I can see progress. It's just slow. Which leads me to my last "P" word for this post.
I need to be patient. I certainly don't want to wish away this baby time, and the time that I can still cuddle him and have him "under control" (ie. not crawling/walking). But it's very hard to see younger babies doing so much more than he can. I have stopped reading the Baby Center email updates on what your baby should be doing. His age has to be adjusted for his prematurity. He can do some things, but he's lagging behind on the motor milestones. Rather than get discouraged every time, I just don't read them. I know he will catch up.
And I will enjoy every second of him, just the way he is.
And I will rejoice and be thankful when he reaches a new milestone, like he did yesterday.
I just need to be patient.
And I need to add a fourth "P" to this post.
Not only am I praising God for Matthew's accomplishment of rolling over yesterday, I'm praising God for a very special baby boy who was born. My friend, Sara, had a healthy baby boy yesterday. Levi Ryan is their rainbow baby, who is an amazing gift through God's grace and embryo adoption. Hop over to her blog to see pictures of him and celebrate the gift of his life. He's such a cutie!