Monday, July 21, 2008

Big Steps!

Today, April took her first unassisted steps! This is exciting, because I thought it was still a little ways off. Yesterday, she stood alone for a few minutes. This is the longest by far I have observed her standing alone. I think she thought she was leaning against something, because her dress was lightly touching a toy wagon at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Then, today, she was standing at the back door watching her sisters outside as she often does, and I knelt down by her and encouraged her to walk to me. She stood momentarily, and then took two steps to me! Dale and I then had her go between us, and she repeated it once! Hooray! I'm sure she is still weeks off from walking any distance of note, but this is still a major milestone! She is 16 months, 2 weeks old.

As excited as I am for April, with that excitement come some strong, sad feelings about Sophia. I don't know when or if she will ever take those first steps. As Dale and I had April going between us, Sophia lay an arm's length away on her back on the floor, virtually immobile. As the months roll by and she still can't balance herself in a sitting position, and still can't scoot, the future is beginning to be a little more clear, and I don't like it.

I could, unfortunately, go on about that. However, it has been far too long since I last posted, and there has actually been some very exciting progress with Sophia in the last two and a half months.

First, probably in April, she began reaching for objects that she sees! Yes, that is right -- that she sees. She tracks slowly moving objects about eight inches from her face, and will bat her arms to find and grab the object (if she is interested in it). This has been HUGE. She has gone from no apparent vision, to a little bit. The difference between no usable vision and a little bit is of major consequence. Of course I hope that her vision continues to improve.

Also about the same time, she began rolling from her stomach to her back. It started as an accidental occurance, when she pushed up on her arms (which has slowly improved too) and lost her balance. At first, she would startle and look scared as she flopped onto her back. Now, she does it purposefully, and although she still probably log rolls, it is more graceful.

Then, at long last, about a month or so ago, she rolled from her back to her stomach, which takes more strength. She uses some back extension to do it, which is not ideal, but it is exciting nonetheless. Even better, this new movement was spurred by one of her favorite toys -- a low vision ball on loan from Early Intervention. It sounds like a rattle, and has grab bars for her to hold onto. She like to chew it, and curls around it and rolls to her side as she plays with it. It is the FIRST thing she has tried to move for when it rolls away, and thus the rolling. I actually think she is rolling less now than she was when she first discovered the new movement, however. She seems content to roll to her side and play with the ball in that position.

Both girls also have teeth now. Sophia has four -- two on the bottom, and two on the top -- with more coming soon. April has three, two below and one above. It hurts now if they try to chew on a (my) finger!

Finally, here are a couple of pictures. The first is of April, taken June 8th. The second is of Sophia on the same day. The third is not a family member, but Claire and I and my mom and brother were excited to hear him back in May. Enjoy!


kg said...

Yay April! Enjoyed your updates Andrea.

That's funny about seeing B!

Diana said...

Yeah for steps, yeah for sight, and yeah for rolling over!! All of your girls are so wonderful!

That's cool that you went to hear Barak speak. I wanted to go the one up here but didn't have a chance to make it downtown...

Julie said...

Wow- sight! That is so awesome! Do the doctors think that someday she may be a good canidate for surgery to improve it? I know that it is really early to tell. Rolling over- Yea!!! What a huge leap in progress! Great job keeping her limber. I know how you have to work on it to keep it.

Cami said...

Waht great milestones!! so good to read about all of the updates.

Satina said...

I am so excited for your girls! All wonderful milestones, each should be cherished and celebrated. You are wonderful parents. Thank you for posting and sharing your story with us. Love you!!!

4 Little Men and Twins said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog... your girls are BEAUTIFUL! I haven't read through your whole blog but it looks like you have a wonderful story to share. I'll be back.