Well, it's August, and that officially means that the start of the school year is right around the corner. I've enjoyed my nice extra-long maternity leave (thank you summer vacation!) but now I'm face-to-face with going back to work full time and sending Mer to daycare. But before we get to that, we have an echo-cardiogram, a 4 month well-baby visit, our first physical therapy session and genetic counseling to get through.
Today was the echo-cardiogram, which went well. The doctor essentially told us he doesn't want to see us again--her heart is fine. We are lucky--about 50% of children with Down syndrome have heart issues, but, despite a calcium deposit in her heart that was spotted prenatally at her 20 week ultrasound, everything is fine now!
A more fun visit was her 4-month well-baby visit. It has become clear, through Mer's frequent weight-checks at the office, that she is one of the nurses' favorite patients--and who could blame them?! The staff at our doctor's office ooh's and awww's over Meredith every time she comes in. And, just as importantly, they've held their breaths with me every time we've put her on the scale over the past few months and cheered with every ounce she's gained. (More about that another night.) But today she checked in at 10 lbs 8 oz (a significant gain over last week) and 23 1/2 inches long. This puts her at about the 50th percentile for weight and above the 75th percentile for length. If you're looking this and thinking this sounds small for those percentiles, you're right...children with Down syndrome have a different growth chart that they get tracked on, as they probably will grow a little slower and ultimately be a little smaller than a typically developing child. (The average adult height for a woman with Down syndrome is under 5-foot tall.) The doctor is also fairly impressed with how active and squirmy Mer is--she loves the crinkly paper on the examining tables and wrinkles it all up as she moves about. Of course, there were immunizations to be given at the end, but Meredith took them like a pro and only cried for a minute and has been fine the rest of the evening. What a champ!
PT starts on Thursday and we can't wait!
In the meantime, school duties start to call--we're gathering a group of student to go see a play on Saturday (a rounding experience for them and extra pay for me!). Also, it's time to start planning for the first few weeks of school with a new teacher on my team. As long as Mer is allowed to tag along, getting ready for back to school isn't so bad...I'm lucky to love my job. We'll handle separation anxiety next week...