Friday, March 23, 2012

9 Months Old

Steven is now 9 months old. He is quickly getting places he wants to go with army crawling, but not yet crawling on his hands and knees.  He shifts his weight on his right side without being prompted now!  We went to Cincinnati Brachial Plexus center this week for his 9 month check-up.  They said he is "recovering well enough that surgery is not recommended at this time"!  Yay! Wonderful news!  We are so proud of our little man and how far he has come.  I often wonder what he must be thinking when Mommy and Daddy are constantly messing with his right arm...  Someday he will understand ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shifting Weight on Right Side

Steven is now 8 months old and he is starting to "army crawl" and briefly push up on his knees and elbows. We have been working on weight shifting on the right side and trying to push up into crawling position with elbows straight.  He is starting to shift his weight on his right side to pick up toys with his left hand. We give him subtle reminders by "tapping" on his right arm to remind him to use it.  He is getting too smart! He has realized that it is easier to use his left arm/hand. Gentle tapping on his right arm works amazingly!

Strong Grip at 7 Months Old


Steven is now 7 months old and making wonderful progress!  He is able to lift his arm up to about eye level while sitting.  His grip in his right hand is getting stronger and stronger.  He is able to pick up small objects and even feed himself puffs and tiny pieces of food. He LOVES bananas! I let him feed himself a chopped up banana almost everyday! 
Although he often compensates by shifting his body to the left in order to lift his right arm, he still keeps his balance very well while sitting.  We have to constantly watch out for torticollis, which is basically a stiff neck from lack of movement. When he was only a few months old he had mild torticollis and we had to do special exercises everyday to correct it and also to prevent him from getting a flat spot (Plagiocephaly).

Reaching at 6 Months

Steven is now able to reach up behind his head  and touch the floor when he is laying on his back! He still isn't able to reach past his chest while sitting. He rolls around to get toys and things he wants to play with. He can now prop himself up on his forearms and lift his head all the way up. We are so happy with his progress! He is such a happy little boy and we are so proud of him and how hard he has to work everyday. He is so strong and determined to get to things he wants, one way or another!


Steven is 4 1/2 months old and he is now able to bring his (Right) hand to his mouth while sitting... AND... supination! He is turning the palm of his hand up in order to put his fingers in his mouth. YAY!! Lots of progress in such a short time!

Hand to Mouth at 4 Months Old

At 4 months old, Steven can now bring his hand up to his mouth while laying on his back.  He still isn't able to do this while in the sitting position due to having to work against gravity. We have been working really hard on exercises to help with supination, which is making his palm face upward instead of the down position that it is naturally in. Steven sees an Occupational Therapist once a week and we do "therapy" all day, everyday. Everything we do with Steven has a purpose. We don't simply play with toys, we choose toys that will help him grip, lift, pull, push, etc.  Everyday tasks have become therapy sessions in our home.

He moved his arm!

     When Steven was 2 months old he had an appointment with his Orthopedic Surgeon. He told us that since Steven hadn't raised his arm up at all yet that it was time to meet with another doctor and plan for surgery... Two days later, I was playing with him on the couch and he slowly moved his forearm up across his chest! Praise God! I was elated!!! I ran to get my husband and the camera and he did it again! This movement showed us that his nerves (although damaged) were not severed from his spinal cord. When I called to tell the doctor about this wonderful news, he still suggested we meet with the other doctor and plan for surgery.  That's when I realized I needed to do some more research.  I found the Cincinnati Children's Brachial Plexus Center, and we have been seeing them ever since! :)

In his arm sling at 2 weeks old

     Steven is a few weeks old in the picture. He is wearing his sling to keep his arm from flopping backwards and possibly causing more damage.  From the day he was born, he was able to move his hand and fingers, and occasionally we would see him bend his elbow just a bit.  The first few days, weeks, months were spent just watching him, hoping and praying that we would see some kind of movement.  At this time we did not know if his nerves were just in "shock", stretched, or severed. We hoped for the best but prepared ourselves for the worst. Any of the outcomes can mean that nerve surgery is necessary to repair his nerves, but the more severe the injury, the more invasive the surgery. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Steven and Lillian a week after he was born

     Big sister Lillian wanted to share her blanket with her new baby brother.  She loved him so much from the day he was born and still does! He slept a lot in the beginning and didn't seem to be in pain, until we started doing therapy.  The doctors all agreed that we should keep his arm in a sling, or pinned to his shirt for 2 weeks and then start therapy. It was such a joy watching them together in the first few weeks.