...is a stellar first (3-month, corrected) evaluation for Hallie.
Hallie had a very big day yesterday. We went back to Pennsylvania Hospital to have her evaluated by the physical therapist and neonatologist who do preemie follow-up. We all got up early and gave the girl a proper, lavender-infused bath and dressed her up in a cotton-candy colored velour striped outfit that made her look particularly fetching and also seemed to be proper play attire and headed off to the extremely familiar former-home-away-from-home at 8th and Spruce Streets. We kind of got lost on our way to our destination because we had never turned right after getting off the elevators (as you might suspect, the ICN is to the left), but we managed to find the proper door despite the extremely poor signage. We came in the back way, though, and sort of surprised everyone. Happily, the 'everyone' involved included most of the doctors who took care of Hallie during her long stay, who marvelled at how big and alert Hallie looks and how, even though she is fine being held by others (including the doctor responsible for getting her off the vent the first, second, and third times), she is mostly interested in looking at us.
Anyway, after greeting a few of her old doctors, and some skeptical looking around ('hey, this place seems familiar, and not always in a good way. And why is my heel hurting; is this a ghost of a heel stick I feel?"), Hallie got down to business. And, to tell you the truth, she didn't just impress Katie (who handles developmental PT), but us. We knew that she tracked well, but having no training or knowledge of the Bayley Assessment, we had no idea that she was supposed to track and then decide which picture or object was more interesting. But she did choose the 'right' object/picture time and time again, and did good stuff like grasp the little pink rattle with both hands, bring it up to her face, lick it (I am presuming they sanitize it between babies), and almost transferred it from hand to hand (something I'd never seen her do. I guess this rattle is much lighter than the ones she has at home and hence much easier for her to manipulate). And she did her fun pull-to-sit routine, held her head high while on her tummy, and look at herself in the mirror. And she responded well to the sounds they presented to her. All in all, she did a very nice job and, other than a bit of reflex tightness in her legs (which the doctor said was appropriate both for her age and her prematurity), they have no concerns right now.
This surprised them, and they were very upfront about this. The doctor who did the assessment (she's one that we got very close to this summer) admitted that they had no idea what to expect, and that they were sort of dreading Hallie's assessment in the way that they dread the assessment of any baby this premature, and so when she performed so well, they were thrilled. In a word, Hallie made us very proud yesterday.
The whole experience was exhausting for her though, so she was pooped out and not into doing much more than sleeping yesterday. Which has her overly hungry right now, so I need to go feed her for the second time this morning, even though it's still before nine am here! Gotta keep the kid growing (she weighed in at 11 lbs. 15 ounces, and is an inch taller than she was last time we checked--about 59.something centimeters. No more pictures right now but we'll hopefully add some in later on....