Hindsight is always 20/20. I should have realized Lola's lack of gross motor development was more than just her doing things in her own time. Looking back, the signs were all there. I even brought my concerns up with her pediatrician, but I thought I was just being an overly worried third time mom. And chasing her older siblings didn't leave me much time to stew on it.
She was such an easy baby, once she got over the initial starvation due to my low milk supply (which in fact may have been exacerbated by her low tone).
She didn't like to spend time on her back or belly, but if I put her in a sitting position, she could hold herself up. She would sit, legs splayed, and play with her toys, quite content to stay in one spot.
I called her "yoga baby" when she would have her legs flat on the floor and bend far enough forward to nearly touch her forehead to the floor.
I keep going through my facebook photos, looking for evidence I must have glossed over before. Like, how did I miss the head lag when I pulled her up? I guess, because... I didn't miss it, I intuitively supported her neck when picking her up, so I never actually saw the lag.
At her 9 month visit, her pediatrician wanted to have her evaluated for a gross motor delay, and I thought she was crazy! Lola was scooting around on her bottom, so she was mobile, even if not in the most conventional way. I was a scooter, as well. I wanted to wait and see (forgetting my earlier concerns. I guess the fact that she was mobile threw me off.)
When Lola hadn't added any new gross motor skills to her repertoire, I realized it was time for action. I made an appointment for a Gross Motor Delay Evaluation. I started consulting Dr. Google, looking up "super flexible 12 month old not crawling" and got hit after hit talking about low muscle tone. And it sounded just like my Lola.
So, I shouldn't have been surprised when Susan, the physical therapist, said the word "hypotonia." But for some reason, I expected a quick fix. Susan doesn't see that happening. She sees a long road ahead. Because Lola already has an effective means of getting around, Susan thinks it will be hard to motivate Lola to do what it takes to crawl and then walk.
She said the first thing we need to work on is Lola's neck and core strength, and she showed me a few exercises to do until all the paperwork has been filed and we get begin going in for bi-weekly physical therapy sessions, in about two weeks.
I am also trying to get signed up for Early Steps, the free, state-funded programs for children with developmental delays.
I left the office and headed home, and promptly sunk into despair. Even though I knew what the results of the evaluation would be. It felt as though I was trying to carry an extra hundred pounds on my shoulders, and I could barely get out of bed the rest of that day, and all of the next.
I hate the thought that my special, happy, sweet baby girl is going to have to work so much harder to do things that come easily to nearly everyone else. But we are going to do it, and we're going to get through this, together.