It's only been our 4th physical therapy session, but WOW!
I officially have a baby who can take steps on her own! TEN in a row to be exact! I officially have a baby who can stand up on her own without pulling up on anything! I officially have a baby who has the confidence in her legs again to go after what she wants...
Man, I have to admit. This year has been SO crappy for us! Between casts, surgeries, doctor's appointments, etc... BUT seeing little Lucy walking around makes me so proud, so happy, and so amazed at this perfect little girl I am raising. :-)
As some of you know, we took a 2 week vacay to La Jolla, California near San Diego. We had a blast! Lucy got to walk on all different textures. Her therapist, Hilary, says sand is the best thing for her to walk in! (Remember from my last post, we are working on developing her sensory and proprioception.) We walked on the beach, walked to the park, walked everywhere! She still needed to hold my hand, of course, but she has the motivation to GO! Those little things like walking in the grass barefoot, we take for granted here in AZ 7 months of the year! Poor thing, if she tried to walk in grass here, her feet would burn...
Today I was so excited to show Hilary how Lucy takes steps... Lucy was totally hamming it up, walking all around the room from toy to toy. Hilary was SO proud. She says Lucy has the drive to do anything she wants... (that's half the battle.) So many kids lose so much proprioception and motivation during a cast for months and months, that it takes time to build that up again. Hilary says developing her proprioception is key. That way Lucy won't tippy toe anymore.
A few things we have been doing at home (recommended by Hilary) are massage, and pressure point therapy. Now that Lucy is mobile, she doesn't even want to lay still for her massage, so that's getting frustrating! Also, we have been making her 'work for it.' For example, when we do a puzzle. I put the puzzle pieces on the ground, and the puzzle on her table. I make her bend down to pick out a piece, then she can put it on the puzzle. Sometimes I have a small pillow or stool near, and I have her walk over the stool or pillow to go get the pieces. Remember, we are working on her core, legs and hips. All of that has to get super strong again... She actually enjoys doing her therapy work, so that makes it less like 'work.'
I still go behind her when she crawls, and offer resistance to her ankles and legs. I just meet her resistance. One thing with DDH babies, after the cast removal they still crawl with their hips flexed outwards, not under them... picture standing there, then just sticking out your booty. (haha, I know...) that's how hip babies move. We need to teach Lucy to put her hips back in, in alignment with her core. Again, we are trying to teach her not to compensate. She needs to learn it right from the beginning. :-)
She got to walk up stairs today with help, alternating which foot to start with. She seems to favor starting with her left. (her DDH side.) Why?! Hilary said she isn't comfortable with shifting her weight to the other side. She reminded me that just because her left side is the affected side, her right side was also casted, and we need to nurture and work with that side as well.
All in all, I am SO thrilled with her progress! We are 7 months post surgery (almost), 3 months post cast removal, and almost 2 months free of her brace. (Only at night)... so for her being totally free for not even 2 months, the progress is unreal!
I also have noticed now that she is mobile, her words are coming together. She has started to say 'tree', 'go', 'bee', 'gone', and a few other words all in the last 2 weeks. It's like it's all clicking together...
Here are some pics... The first 2 are L at PT, where the ball pit is the hit of the party. We are going to build her one. Again, it's the sensory thing... Also, if the balls are hip height, making her walk through the pit is another awesome exercise for her hips...
Hugs from AZ
The awesome ball pit... It's just PVC pipe and tarp! The balls are super cheap at Toys R Us and Target.
I am totally going to make one for our back yard!
Work those hips!
So are you melting at how cute she is?! I know, I know... she's a total babe.
I turn my head for one minute, and she climbs up on the coffee table...
... and walks all around the couch....
The babe of the beach!
Daddy showing her the sea lions at La Jolla Cove
I LOVE YOU LUCY!
Just another day at the beach..