Last week we had a trip back to Carlisle Hospital for another one of April’s check ups. They are meant to be every four months, but we’ve not been since January!
Last time we visited we saw a new doctor and it was the same doctor again. He was so lovely and got a shock when he saw April. Last time we saw him, she was just starting to walk around the room holding on to furniture. This time she strode into his office no problem, saying hello and giving him a Hi-Five.
As soon as she walked in she spotted the toys and made her way to the pile of books. She sat happily playing while we were talking. We talked lots about April’s development – how she is talking loads and has a vocabulary well over 100 words, she can string sentences together and have conversations with us. He asked if she was right or left handed and we didn’t know, which he said was a good thing. Apparently, if you can tell which hand is their strongest hand this early it could be a sign there is something wrong with one side of their brain, so that was good.
We also talked about her eating habits. I’ve been quite worried about this as April would literally eat nothing all day unless we give her something and then when we do she doesn’t really want to eat much at all. He said this was fine and she is still eating quite a range of foods. She has put on weight since her last visit so he was not overly concerned.
My only concern with April really has been her bowel movements – or lack of them. Sometimes she can go days without going. We give her 10ml of lactulose every morning and night, but it never seems to do much. Then when she eventually does go it’s like she’s passed a tennis ball, bless her. He told us to ‘up’ the dosage and up to 50ml a day if needs be.
April was playing happily while we were talking and the doctor seemed impressed with her progress and then out of nowhere, with no coaxing she just started singing ‘the wheels on the bus’. The doctor stopped talking and said in amazement “She’s singing!” – we were like yeah we know. “You should be filming this” he said, and we were like “yeah we have.” He put his pen down, sat back and said “just remarkable”. She then got up and started putting different coloured shapes in the right holes of a puzzle. When he asked all the colours she knew them. I actually started welling up. It is the proudest moment – thinking of the reasons why we were there, to how much our little girl has come on and is amazing even the doctors.
Right back when she was born the Professor in Middlesbrough hospital said to us she was a “text book” prem baby, doing everything she should. She certainly hasn’t let us down and continues to amaze us every day. She is one clever little thing – I’m sure she has been here before!
So, since we’ve been giving her 20ml of lactulose every day and there is no stopping her – it’s ha certainly done the trick! We’re back at the hospital in 6 months, when hopefully she will be signed off and fingers crossed it will be the end of her preemie journey.