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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Woo Hoo! The developmental specialists from the county just visited to assess the babies!!! Since they were due on Dec 5th, they are technically viewed as 17 days old (even though they are 14+ weeks old biologically). A developmental specialist, speech therapist, and case worker came at 9am for their first assessment. If the babies were on par at 2 weeks, then they would want to see them ever 2 weeks; if they were underdeveloped, then weekly, if over developed monthly. Well... They want to see them in...

3 MONTHS!!!

Bobby was assessed at 2+ months and Maya at 1-2+ months (she was sleeping, so some of the items they marked as 1 month and others at 2 months). Because they werent prepared for them to be so high speed, they didnt bring any developmentals for them to play with to see if they were at a 3 month level. Bobby was also hungry, so he was a little frustrated at times, but all in all, they both (when she was awake) behaved well for being with strangers.

I am just so relieved. Having preemies born 3 months early, the idea of developmental and learning delays is just something you are told to prepare for. While these early intervention assessments are, in no way, fool proof or trying to placate parents into believing life will be trouble free, they are static tools that can give you an idea of where your baby falls on the grid. Knowing that they are on par with babies that are near their birth age is a relief and gives me hope that they will have full and productive lives, in spite of their earlier-than-anticipated start.

***

Last night, I had a good cry. It hit me that Alexander would be over a year old now and that Nicholas & Sophia would be preparing for their 2nd (outside of the womb) Christmas. Instead, they have ornaments on a tree and stockings on a wall, but there are no gifts addressed to them... no cute outfits for them to wear... no figuring out how to organize five toddlers/infants at church... It just cut through me. Even though I know they will have a special, heavenly Christmas, it hurts that it isnt one I can physically share with them.

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Our church has a nativity (as I'm sure many Catholic and even non-Catholic, Christian churches have). I'd like to get a family picture. I'll be bringing their box with me, because I cant imagine a "family" picture not including a physical representation of them.

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We signed our Christmas cards "the Haytko family". It is the only signature that fully captures our entire family. Why does it hurt so damn much to see our names written out on cards we receive? I know that people dont send cards addressed to dead children, but it still hurts to read "to Peter, Michele, Bobby, and Maya". This isnt to say that I think people should write "to Peter, Michele, Nicholas, Sophia, Alexander, Bobby, and Maya". It just hurts to read and know their names are missing. I know it is part of the world around us living on... Maybe that just makes it hurt more.

Peter told me that, after Robert died, he used to still sign both their names to cards. His name he signed in ink; Robert's name he signed with the cap on the pen. If you looked closely, you'd see the hint of his name... Always there; even if not visible. It's sort of how I feel signing "the Haytko family". There... Just quietly.

***

I'll be uploading video on the picture site today. I havent posted video in a while...

14 comments:

AKD said...

I'm so very happy that the twins are doing so well - what a coup! That just couldn't be better!

I love the idea of signing with the pen cap. It's so beautiful and symbolic. Hugs to your entire family.

Bluebird said...

I could have written the exact same words about names and cards. And I suspect those feelings will be even more intense if/ when we have living children to include on our cards, too. Nothing's easy, is it? ;)

Congratulations to Bobby and Maya on a fabulous appt. I can't imagine how relieved you must be!

Devon said...

wow, awesome little preemie they are! it is scary to be a preemie mom and just wait for those milestones to come...so glad to hear they are doing so well!!

and i hear ya on the cards...i couldnt even do any this year. wonder if it ever gets easier...

k said...

Congrats on the great progress.

I'm sorry that you have to feel that pain with cards addressed to you guys, even though you get it, it still hurts. I think that they are always in the hearts fo those who love your family though, *hugs*

Barefoot said...

Congrats on a great assessment!! So good to hear the twins are kicking butt in the developmental department.

Tash said...

What a really awesome picture, and what great news!

People send Holiday cards?!

Rachell said...

Awesome news!! And the video of Maya 'crawling' is unbellievable!!! I don't think I've ever seen a baby as young as she literally trying to crawl!!!! Did the specialists get to witness that?

Just Breathe said...

They got their snowsuits! I saw a card this year that had a picture of the current family and it said
"From Heaven and Earth Merry Christmas" from the so&so family.
Then where they have their names they also said their sons name who passed and said in memory of. I thought it was done very well. I am so sorry for your struggle.
((HUGS))

NancinaT said...

I'm so glad that Bobby's and Maya's assessment went so well!!! That really is terrific news.

But you brought me to tears about Peter signing Robert's name with the pen cap. That is absolutely beautiful, and it makes perfect sense. Robert is still there, even if he's not there, just the same way that Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander are still there.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

Jessica said...

I can see what you mean about the hole. *huge hugs*

I like the way you signed your cards. Someday we will do the same.

one-hit_wonder said...

lovely news

the idea of signing with the pen cap is so touching - i don't know what to say

Terri said...

Awesome news on the kids assessment! Praise God.
You and Peter make wonderful parents. I know this time is bittersweet. But I pray the sweet outweighs the bitter.

Heather said...

I'm so happy the twins are so well developed! Sounds like you have some smarties on your hands!

I understand what you mean about Christmas cards. With every Christmas card I saw in the mail, I hoped that someone, just one person, would include Madelyn's name. Not one did. I guess that is to be expected. I have also wondered how to sign Christmas cards we send in the future (we didn't write any this year). I think I will steal your "the ____ family". I can't bear to write our names individually and not include her. I wonder if my grandma felt that way after losing my grandpa - her spouse of 50+ years. Cards I get from her only say "love, Grandma". But when I see her name, I automatically think of him too. I'm sure anyone who sees your card and knows your story will think of all of your babies when they see your name.

Catherine W said...

That is brilliant news. Go Bobby & Maya! And it must be a relief for you and Peter. I know I work myself up into a frenzy before every single assessment (we've only just got to six monthly intervals so your two are beating us hands down!)

I'm just so sorry. I wish that all your children could be with you.

That is so beautiful and so gut wrenching, what Peter did for Robert. xo