During the pre-op on the 13th November; the nurse asked how Martha was doing "developmentally". I was taken aback by her question. Martha was smiling well before the 6 week mark and at 12 weeks she was just finding her voice.
But when I see photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter of babies who are of a similar age - it's obvious they are miles ahead of Martha
She is just over 6 months old, weighs 5.14Kg, can only manage 3oz maximum of an oral feed and hasn't tried solids, she hasn't got the best trunk control and her head is still quite wobbly.
Can I blame this on the fact that she is a Cardiac baby? No! Because it's not as a direct result of her CHDthat Martha is so far behind...it's because she spent almost two months on a ventilator, paralysed and addicted to Morphine on a completely fat free diet.
Am I worried that she isn't keeping up with babies her age? No! Because what she has survived thus far is amazing. She missed out on 10 weeks of growing to do something much more important - she fought for her life.
The Physiotherapist at GOSH was quite keen for her to be seen by a paediatrician at our local hospital. We've had an appointment for April and I'm dreading it already - they would never have seen Martha before; will they judge Martha in the context of "normal" Heart Healthy babies her age - or will those lost 10 weeks be taken into consideration. What will they know about Cardiac babies? I get wound up just thinking about it.
Martha has already cut two bottom teeth and at the moment anything she can get her hands on goes straight in her mouth. We used to have to place her toys in her hands, but over the past couple of days she has been able to reach out for them when she sees me offering them. To any other parent this may not be a big deal - to me it's huge!
She's getting there. Slowly.