We had a fun night last night. K called me Wednesday and said that there was a group at UCA that needed a baby for a case study. Apparently another baby was supposed to go but they had to back out last-minute.
So anyway, Gage and I went and there was a group of about 15 people- students from the dietetics/nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, early childhood and special ed, and 2 pediatricians (1 as an "expert" from Children's, and one who was working on some further certification or something). They asked me to kind of tell them about Gage and where's he's been in his little life. I started with when we found out about Gage's spina bifida. I didn't anticipate it being difficult to re-live all of that but it was. I didn't cry but my voice cracked a little and I felt it. I went through him being born and taken to Children's (also very difficult to talk about) and about his NICU stay and 2 week stay in November for the shunt infection. They asked me a few questions to clarify what I said and the ped asked them some questions to challenge them a little.
After that the PT faculty and the PT and OT students (about 4 of them, I think) got on the floor and asked me if it was okay if they played with him a little. I asked if they wanted his clothes off, and she acted excited that I knew they would want that! So funny...anyway, they messed with him a bit, checking a bunch of the typical developmental stuff. I told them that he had sensation on the bottom of his left foot but only in the arch of his right and that I thought he had some plantar flexion (toe pointing) but it was very week. The PT said that yes, she felt some muscle contraction in his calves but that it was weak and that the muscles were atrophied (smaller).
Gage really showed out for them. He rolled over 2 or 3 times, tummy to back and just smiled and "talked" to them. They all kept saying what a good baby he is and how well he was doing. I know they probably heard "spina bifida" and assumed he would have little or no lower extremity movement. While they had him down there, they asked if they could see his scar where his back repair had been done, and of course I said that was fine. They saw the 2 scars on his tummy too and asked about them. They are where they pull the end of the shunt tube down into his belly. Some of them wanted to feel the shunt after I said you could. Gage just ate up the attention.
The only part I didn't like was one of the nutrition people. There was this one student that I could tell was one of those that always has something to say in class- little Miss Know-it-all. She is the one that started in about the folic acid...had I taken it when I was pregnant? all the time? did I eat fruits and veggies? I know it's just part of what they do, but I started feeling really defensive. It felt like she was saying "do you know you could have prevented this? Did you do all you should have? You know you could have caused this." They asked what Gage's diet was like, which was an easy answer- breast milk only...Then she asked if I gave him any rice cereal or anything. Nope, because the new recs are not to start anything until 6 months. She looked a little baffled that I pulled out the APA recs on her, but it shut her up for a second. She wanted to know what my daily diet was like (since I am BFing) and I tried to describe a typical day....I did tell her that I didn't eat very many veggies because I have a picky hubby who won't eat them and I don't feel like fixing them for myself. I wasn't going to tell her that we have french fries most nights with supper. I just felt like I was on the stand with her. The other ones weren't like that.
I didn't know if I liked the ped at first or not. He had that "doctor" superiority aura about him, but I ended up liking him pretty well. I think he was just trying to challenge the students a little. When they were asking me a bunch of the questions, I had Gage laying on the floor in front of me and as I talked, I would smile at him and he would smile at me. The ped told the group to stop and look at the diadic interaction going on between us. "Mom smiles at Gage and he smiles back, puts his fingers in his mouth, smiles again, and so on. Amazing". I thought so! I love that he pointed that out.
After it was all over I told them if they needed us any more just to let us know. We would be glad to come to class during the day or do another evening thing like that.
We also saw the mom (K) of the girl that I was a waiver worker for in college. We had become really close but I haven't seen her or her mom since Gage has been here. K was teaching class at the time but took a break to come down and see us. She took Gage and he just smiled at her. It was so nice to see her and the 3 of us are planning to get together soon for lunch.
Edited to add: The nutrition folks weighed and measured Gage (well I weighed him)- 20.5lbs (95 %ile) 25in (I think)(50%ile), and head circ was 90%ile.