His first physical therapy session last Friday went so well. They called me on Thursday saying that they had a cancellation for Friday and wanted to know if I would take that appointment. Heck yeah! The pediatric therapy place is only about 5 miles from the house, so that is an added bonus. Our therapist is a really sweet woman who is due with her first child in July, so we also had a good time chatting about baby names and birth plans. She was so good with Nathan and very helpful to answer any question I had.
We found out that Nathan's rib cage doesn't move at all when he breathes, so that is one of the reasons why he retracts so badly when breathing. She started brainstorming some plans for a newish tape therapy for him to hopefully train those chest muscles to work and expand his rib cage each time he takes a breath. During the hour and a half that we were there, she really got a great view of his breathing at it's worst (when he is upset), at it's best (when he is in a deep sleep), and everything in between. He is almost always tachypneic (with a breath rate of about 65-75bpm) when he is awake, but his respiratory rate slows to a more normal level when he is in a deep sleep.
In Nathan's assessment, she tested him on different things that a baby should be able to do within the 0-2 month range. He only passed one of them, but he still does have another week and a few days before he is 2 months old. The good news is that he is not severely hypotonic, but he does seem to have low muscle tone. He is holding his head up better and better each day and putting weight on his legs (when he is mad), and he is starting to shift his weight a little when he is on his back...all great signs. His muscle tone (which is the amount of tension or resistance to movement in a muscle) is something that we can not change, but we can help strengthen his muscles with different exercises. Nate is going to be attending physical therapy every week until we see improvement in him...it is then that we will start going less frequently but still doing therapy sessions at home with me leading them. In these sessions we will be working on making those chest muscles work and making sure he is hitting all of his developmental milestones and retaining them. We are just so thankful that he was able to get in at such a young age and with such a wonderful group.
Shifting gears, I have a new found respect for any woman (or dairy cow, for that matter) who has ever had to endure mastitis. I had my first brush with it this weekend and was thoroughly miserable! I haven't had a fever like that since high school, and I forgot how a fever just paralyzes your whole body in aches and pains. I was able to kick the infection to the curb in a couple of days with frequent nursing sessions and lots and lots of those magical brown pills called ibuprofren. Hats off to any woman who has recurrent problems with this...I feel for ya!