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    ANNAMICHAELS   101
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Don't Look How Far You Have To Go...Look How Far You've Already Come


Thursday, July 04, 2013

So this is the title for my page. As I made mention in my about me section, this is the best advice I had ever gotten. You just know at that point that there's a story behind that right? Ok, this is where I tell you the story and you get the explanation of the advice, because I'm sure it will help someone else as much as it helped me. You know what they say...Sharing is caring.

My 15 year old daughter was born at 28 weeks gestation. Fortunately and at the same unfortunately she grew very fast in gestation. Her growth and development like a double edge sword. It was bad because although I'm a tall woman at 5 foot 8 inches, I'm also a very tiny framed woman. Some children have wider bone structure than me. I'm not built to carry a very large baby. My daughter was growing to quickly for my body to carry her. By 28 weeks she was already 7.0 pounds and 19 inches and she was collapsing my cervix so I gave birth. (My heaviest baby was 8 pounds 8 ounces, 21 inches, I died on the table during c-section and they had to jump-start me) See the problem? On the upside, because she was so large and had been developing so rapidly, her problems were minimal at birth (mostly re flux and body temp regulation) so ICU wasn't required, but they did warn that she would have issues. Issues? OMG!!!!!!! I couldn't look at the girl without her yacking all over me. Breast feeding should have been called "breast gagging and choking" because she couldn't make up her mind if she wanted suck, breath, or swallow. Instead of going down into the infant carrier/car seat, she would lay straight across it. And she would very easily get over stimulated which would send her into these inconsolable crying fits, where all you do for her is put her in her crib, turn off all lights and sounds, so she could decompress. Her body was so rigid and stiff all the time. I had taken her to the doctor and he set me up with this group called First Steps. Thank god for these people. They came to my home and evaluated her for free (they work with all medical insurances including medicaid and anything the insurance doesn't pay for the government gives them grants to cover the rest so the parent never pays a penny for anything, not even the therapists). Speeding up the story a bit...her eyes were to big for her skull so there was pressure that affected her vision. As a result when she started crawling a dark carpet on a light rug, she took as a step down. She would crawl backward onto the dark carpet. She had so many ear infections that her speech was delayed because she couldn't hear the sounds right and they had to teach her and me sign language so we could communicate. This is what we went through: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Therapy, Speech Therapy, Nutrition Service (Every time she gained weight, she got taller so she was always to thin. We had to replace her wardrobe every couple of weeks. Her growth didn't slow down until around kindergarten. She's 15 years old, 5'8", 121 pounds and wears a women's size 10 shoe...I only wear a women's size 8 shoe...and she's still growing.) It was a long road to get her where she is today. Without these people, she wouldn't be walking or talking today. At one point they were concerned she might have cerebral palsy because of how her body had been responding. So it was a long hard road and very frustrating at times and one day I was crying because it seemed as if things would never get better for her and this one therapist told me like this. "I know the road ahead looks never ending. What I want you to do is look back on what you've already done. Look at how much progress you've already made. She's more than half way there already. Yes we're looking at years of work to go still, but you've been working day and night with this child and you've pushed yourself and her so hard that she's made so much progress so much faster than we ever anticipated. Don't look at how far you have to go, because the road ahead seems never ending and it's frustrating to look so far ahead and it'll make you lose hope. Instead, look how far you've already come in such a short time. That's something to be proud of and that's going to give the strength and encouragement to keep going."

So when you get frustrated and you feel like throwing in the towel and giving up...Don't look at how far you have to go...Look at far you've already come.
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