Mirabel Ruby blessed our lives on January 15th, 2010. She is a sweet, beautiful, bright-eyed little girl, who joined her older sisters Eryn and Luciya to make our family complete. Mirabel has Down syndrome, and her diagnosis is why we have dedicated this blog to her. It is a lovely and challenging learning process, and we are excited to celebrate her and see her life unfold.
And she's all, "What. What's the big deal? Yeah, yeah, I'm sitting up. Wait'll you see what else I can do!"
And I can wait, because all this waiting, and working, and watching, and months of "extra baby," have been an insightful journey. She may take a little longer to do something, but she will do it. She will. And that's that. I can adapt right along side her, and cheer her on.
We've hit all the goals - however seemingly simple - I've thusfar set for Mirabel. Holding up her head. Rolling over. Smiling. Taking a bottle. And now, sitting up is here. Crawling is next!
We work with Mirabel's physical therapist every other week. We've got pages of notes on pressure points and massage techniques and strengthening moves, and we practice them all (though admittedly not as diligently - or daily - as we probably should). We pull out the vinyl "break dance mat." We press our fingertips along the muscles of her arms and legs, hands and feet. We spread our fingers wide over her little belly and do the "sun and moon" massage. We keep her legs flexed.
Sometimes she doesn't like it at all.
And sometimes she's cool with it.
The point is, we're going to do what it takes. We'll do everything. Together.
Recently, Mirabel and I started attending a sponsored Mommy and Me class at the Little Gym. (Thanks, Pat and gang!) Though her classmates are all crawling and reaching and bobbing and grabbing, sweet Mirabel is content to lie and observe. (Except now that she's sitting. She'll sit and observe.)
At the Little Gym we stretch and roll and put weight on our feet and ride the air trac and fluff the parachute. I can feel her little foot muscles flexing. I can see her tracking the brightly colored balls with her green-blue eyes. We can do just above all the activities, except for forward rolls. There is apparently an upper-spine thing we have to be aware of. But she digs it. It is good.
Though her physical progress is slower than typical, Mirabel is growing and changing every single day. Her face is changing. Her eyes are brighter. Her grasp is stronger. Her thighs are fatter and more delicious than it seems possible for a baby's thighs to be. The milestones are there, and they're sweet as her favorite apples-n-apricot baby food. Keep it up, girl. Keep growing.