That's how I felt when Gabe and I left the Cleveland Clinic this afternoon!
Gabriel had his 4-month follow-up neurology appointment today and Dr. F is "very pleased with his progress" since his last appointment. Scheduling conflicts caused Gabe's appointments to be almost 5 months apart and I was amazed to see how far Gabe has come since his last appointment.
5 months ago, Gabriel was not sitting up unassisted, could not go from lying down to sitting up by himself and didn't recognize his left hand at all. Gabriel couldn't army crawl, clap or take steps. Today, Gabe can do all of those things and more. Because of his phenomenal therapists, hard work at home and the grace of God; Gabe is cognitively on target and continues to grow and learn each and every day.
Of course, Dr F is concerned about Gabriel's left arm and hand as the rest of us and provided us with a few ideas to think about to help Gabe in that area. It was just so amazing to hear Dr F comment on how well Gabe is doing, how pleased he is with his progress and his expectations for Gabe. Expectations that Gabe can only achieve through lots and lots of hard work, but that he will be able to accomplish. Things like walking, using his left arm to provide him balance to stand and his left hand to assist him in day to day tasks.
Believe me, I'm not wearing rose colored glasses; I recognize the fact that Gabe has a lot of work to do before he can be considered developmentally on target. And truly, if Gabe were never to learn to walk, never use his left hand to hold open a door or jump and run like other children; that would be okay. We want Gabe to be all that he is meant to be, whatever that may be. But, to know that Gabe's doctor has great expectations for him is just plain old fantastic!
I'll admit, I was a bit worried before the appointment. Lately Gabe has begun to remember doctors offices and it's not something that he thinks of fondly. It usually takes a nurse getting to close or a doctor with a stethoscope for Gabe's bottom lip to pucker out and the sobbing to start. With all this behavior escalating (Gabe even hates when I sit on the exam table), my hopes were not high that Dr. F would get a good evaluation of him. Of course, I was worried for no reason at all and Gabe pulled out all the stops. After a few tears from hearing Dr. F tear the exam table paper, Gabe played bashful for a few minutes and then pulled out all the stops. Taking steps like a champ and saying "hi" "block" "mama" and "ball", Gabe showed Dr. F his stuff!
And I was one proud mama! Especially since Gabe said "mama" and he usually holds out on saying my favorite word!
Suffice it to say, when we left I was pleased as punch and Gabe, well he flirted with every lady we passed and then danced in his car seat the whole way home!
I thought these pictures of Gabe show just how far he's come; balancing and reaching to get his ball and clapping his hands.