The Reflex

During the girls’ EI session today, we found out that Miss River has been holding out on us.

“I’m totally holding out on you guys.”

She can do exactly the same things Lydia has been doing – lunging forward, scooting around on her butt, pulling herself up to her knees and then going back to sitting, she has great reach and she’s actually managing her balance better than Lydia. She just doesn’t do it in front of us.

The biggest hurdle we’ve had with their developmental delays has been a primitive reflex they are working on getting rid of. They’ll extend their backs, bringing their arms to their side and leaning backwards, whenever they’re in distress or really excited. That’s been preventing River and Lydia from crawling by now, because as soon as they would see themselves getting ready to go on all fours, they would freak out and arch back. Even though they’ve started to loosen up and allowing their little hands to catch their falls, we still see that reflex kicking in. Especially on Lydia. River is exceptionally good at keeping her arms in, even face-planting on the carpet sometimes.

I asked John the EI Guy if them having this reflex is normal and if we should expect any different and underlying developmental issues that’ll spring from it, and he reassured me that it’ll go away eventually. He told me that because they were born 3 months ahead of schedule, the nerves that connect their backs and arms to their brains didn’t have the proper time to fully develop in the womb and it’s a slower process when it’s done as they’re growing outside. I have to admit, my Preemie Mom Guilt flinched at that, and I entertained the thought of blaming myself for a minute. But then I told myself to stop that and I shrugged it off. They’re doing so good!

“We’re doing so good – we share.”

Their EI session today went really well. I could tell John was very happy with their slow but sure progress, especially since last week’s “no progress” session. I was actually not dreading it, ever since Lydia started lunging at me and Rick and attempting to stand up. Who knows, they very well could start crawling here in another week or so. I’m sure that’ll make things a lot easier and yet a whole different kind of hard – they’re going to freaking move around! They’ll be able to move up to what they want to grab, but they’ll also be creeping around the house and inevitably get to places we don’t want them to go to, grabbing things they shouldn’t be grabbing.

Must start baby-proofing beyond what we’ve baby-proofed. Must make sure we remove things they shouldn’t touch because they will. Must plan out space for playpen. Must do a bazillion freaking things that we still haven’t thought of.

Oh, boy. Must keep calm and encourage babies.

Go, River and Lydia, go!


In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, here’s a link to my March of Dimes team. We’ll be walking again on May 19th, in Rochester NY. Feel free to join us, or donate if you can! Click here to go to Team River and Lydia’s page.

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