Hi, I’m back! Apparently I had a baby, and took a 3 month maternity leave from the blog. Silly kids, keeping me so busy!
Anywho, life in the Becker house is good. Hannah LOVES Sam, she wants to hold him constantly, and is starting to get really helpful at getting things he needs such as pacis and his lovie. She isn’t super aware of her body, so when she hugs him it’s a bit tight, or she’ll put too much of her weight on him when he’s laying down, so I’m still working hard not to ever leave them alone together. Though I’ll admit I have dashed out to change the laundry, and she’s been hovering over the swing when I’ve returned 45 seconds later.
Hannah brings us so much joy. She likes to sing Baby Beluga, Jesus Loves Me and Snuggle Puppy, and often comes home from sunday school with new songs. She counts and sings the alphabet, minus the letter “E” haha. She’s working on her colors right now, and keeping me busy trying to think of new things to learn.
Sam is such a mellow little dude. From the get go he only cried if he was hungry, wet or tired. He did like to eat pretty often during the night, which made for long days, but at least he’d fall right back asleep after eating. I didn’t have to spend hours rocking the bassinet or wandering around the house in the wee hours of the night bouncing him. After his 8 week growth spurt he started doing a 3-4 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, and slowly it crept to longer and long. The last 2 nights he’s slept from 9 or 10pm to 5am. Longer than Hannah was sleeping at 9 months!
Part of his mellowness is that he sleeps a ton, and when he sleeps he lays on the right side of his head. I guess he was tilted to right in utero, so when he was born his neck muscles were tight and it made it uncomfortable for him to turn to his left. At his 2 month appointment our pediatrician pointed out that his head was getting a little flat on the right side, and showed me a couple exercises we could do to help stretch the tight muscles. We tried to get him to not sleep on his right, propping him on his side, etc. but nothing seemed to work, he’d always find a way to roll back to his right side. At three months we called the pediatrician because his head was getting flatter, and she wanted to see him then instead of waiting until his 4 month appointment. In the office she noted that his right ear has shifted forward slightly, and the back of his head is flatter on the right side, and she gave us a referral to the Child Development Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) its part of OHSU, but its a branch on the UO campus here in Eugene.
We met with a Physical Therapist there who explained that Sam has torticollis, a neck disorder rhat causes their heads to tilt one way and a preference for rotation of head to one favored side. This has lead to him having one side of the back of his head being flatter, his ear shifting forward, his forehead beginning to bulge on the right and his jaw starting to compress on the right. She told us that there are 2 ways to treat this, and that wih treatment all of it is reversable. The first way is aggressive positional therapy, pretty much meaning we do everything we can to keep him off the right side of his head. The second way is a helmet. They’d take a scan of his head, use the scan to make a model, then use that model to make a helmet. The helmet is lined with foam with pressure on the bulging areas, and space to grow on the flat areas. He’d need to wear the helmet 23 hours a day for several months. We’re going to try the positional therapy first, and if needed we’ll move on to a helmet.
Each day, 5-7 times we have a whole routine we need to do with him. First is a couple stretches that he HATES!!
This one helps him practice looking left
This one helps him learn to tilt right
Then he does supported sidelying (for at least 5 minutes), which he doesn’t hate as long as he entertained
Then supported sitting (for at least 10 minutes)
Then tummy time (for at least 5 minutes), which he generally dislikes, but today if we’ve let him watch something on the ipad he tolerates it.
We’re supposed to build until it’s a 30 minutes routine, and do it 5-7 times each day. We’re on day 2 and almost reached the 5 times quota, yesterday was a bit of a bust. It’s really hard to find time when he’s awake, and we’re not on the go, and even harder to make him do it when he’s screaming. Hopefully he’ll continue to build a tolerance to it, and we’ll get into a good rhythm. I think he felt like every baby needs to cause a little drama, so this was his way of doing just that. =)