Three years ago, I started this blog as a way to update friends and family about what was going on with Little Miss Minion. Our cell phones were blowing up with messages and phone calls, all wanting to know the latest on our little family. It was nice that so many people wanted to know how we were doing, but cell phones are a NICU nightmare for germs. I created this blog as a way to update everyone at the same time, reducing our need to touch our phones while in the NICU, and cutting out the time it took to answer everyone individually. This let us have more time to spend together, sitting on the couch in our room in the NICU, staring at the tiny little human growing in the incubator.
To everyone who reads this, thanks for being a part of our NICU journey.
This weekend, we spent a day at Mr Minion’s great-aunt’s house. We were invited to their 50th wedding anniversary celebration and Little Miss Minion was so excited! The house is about 2 hours away, and it is the farthest out in the country I have ever been. We got off the expressway and then began the trek to the house. We drove through woods, over a one lane bridge (which I didn’t really think existed), and three miles down a dirt road. I lost internet signal sometime during the last couple miles, but we were on the right road so we just had to look for the address.
The house is on a huge property. There is a lake, a barn, a horse pasture (complete with horse), a huge shed for big equipment, a chicken coop, a big garden, and the house. Little Miss Minion was beside herself to see an actual horse and kept pointing and yelling “horsey! Neigh! Horsey!” Then Mr Minion took her to see the chickens. “Ahhhh! Chickens! Quack quack!” We are still working on some animal sounds. 🙂
After Little Miss Minion ate her weight in Mac and cheese, she kept saying that she “need go see my chickens. Chickens please.” It was adorable. So of course we went back one more time so she could see them.
It was a great day and I loved seeing her reaction to the animals. We’ve been talking about cows and horses and birds and stuff forever, but she actually got to see them in person.
Little Miss Minion turned three about ten minutes ago. It’s hard to believe that we started this journey three years ago with a one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker and now we’ve got a little kid who just graduated from all of her therapies and loves to give hugs and eat cheese its.
A few weeks ago, Little Miss Minion had a special education evaluation through our school district. They did a series of tests to see how she performed in several areas, like speech and gross motor skills. This morning, we got our answer. Little Miss Minion has been disqualified for further services. This means that, according to the school district, she is caught up with her peers on gross motor skills, speech, language, and cognition.
It’s a strange feeling to know that we don’t have to schedule weekly speech therapy and physical therapy anymore. We’ve had someone come to our home to work with LMM ever since she came home from the NICU. So many appointments, tests, clinics, screenings. Part of me is a little in denial. How can my one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker NOT qualify for additional services? She’s had five brain surgeries! She has actual brain damage (called periventricular leukomalacia). She spent the first 3 months of her life under 24 hour care in the best NICU in our area.
She caught up. That’s how she doesn’t qualify. Not only did she have to consciously learn to breathe on her own, how to suck, swallow, and breathe while taking a bottle, how to regulate her own temperature, how to regulate her heartbeat, how to live in the world three months too soon, but she did all that and more. 36 months after her dramatic entrance, she’s caught up to where she should be. At this rate, who knows how far she can go?
Our next steps are to come back for another evaluation (if we feel like she needs it) in about 7 months and to continue to be utterly impressed by our little rockstar.