We unlocked another piece to this strange little puzzle named Nathan: his ribs are way too high and positioned too close together, and his diaphragm is not aiding in his breathing at all...his stomach muscles are doing all of the work. The therapist showed me an exercise to start doing with him that involves sticking my finger between each individual rib and tugging down to help stretch out each muscle connecting the ribs. Hopefully this will gradually loosen up those muscles enough to pull his ribs down to a more normal level in his chest.
I was also shown an exercise that makes his diaphragm aid in his breathing instead of his stomach. With both hands on his chest, I put a little pressure on him and tug down on his ribs. He breathes really really fast at first, but after a few seconds, he takes a few deep and slower breaths like he is supposed to be doing. It is simply amazing to see the difference in his breathing during this exercise. Unfortunately, it tires him out pretty fast, so we can only do a few of these at a time, but we hope that he will improve gradually over time. We are introducing the tape therapy next week that will help train his diaphragm to start working correctly, so I look forward to seeing the improvement that it will hopefully make with his breathing.
Now, the question is whether all of his problems are from an anatomical defect (his ribs and chest muscles not developing right) that can hopefully be trained to respond correctly or whether it is something neurological or physiological that has created his chest muscles/ribs to respond this way and prevent him from breathing correctly. Hopefully this is something that our neurologist can figure out.
The other great news is that Nate's therapist finished her evaluation on him today and came to the conclusion that while he may be a little on the lower side of "muscle tone", she does not think that it will effect him developmentally. He has improved drastically in strength over the past week especially, and he continues to grow stronger every day. We will continue to watch him and work with him to make sure that he is hitting his milestones, but she thinks that he should develop just fine. What a relief!
So, this is some of the best news we have received in quite a while, and I am on Cloud 9! I have been praying for the little man to get stronger and surpass the diagnosis of hypotonia, and it looks like that prayer has been answered. I am so thankful! So, clearly I had to share with everyone about our wonderful morning.
I had the wonderful privilege to meet and photograph a precious little family this weekend and wanted to share a couple of the pictures from that shoot. So, yes, I am back to doing photo shoots, but very sparingly. Obviously, it takes longer to edit pictures when nursing a little one every couple of hours, and I usually do all of my editing at night but sleep is a very dear thing when I can get it. Due to this, I will more than likely limit the sessions to 2 a month for the time being. Please email or call if you are interested.
It was so great to get out of the house for a couple of hours and have fun taking pictures of someone other than my own kiddos. And these two were such a joy and the sweetest little things!! Thanks for the opportunity. It was so great to meet you all!!
**More pictures on the photography blog.**