12 month checkup

We had Ellen’s 12 month checkup today, and it went great! Ellen’s growth has slowed down to a more normal pace, and she’s now at the 92nd percentile for weight and 69th percentile for height. Doctor said she’s perfect!

The only negative thing, physically, is that Ellen’s iron levels are a bit low. Nothing concerning, but they’ll want to check her again at her 15 month appointment and we’re supposed to try to feed her more iron rich foods in the meantime. Not a problem!

Ellen got three shots, and kicked so hard during one of them that she escaped our grasp and the needle came out, squirting the vaccine everywhere. Yikes! The medical assistant cussed and then said she didn’t know many 12 month olds who were that strong. So… cool? I guess? Girl power?

We also met with the behavioral therapist during the checkup, and I’m so glad we did. We got some really useful, easy things to try that might help us ease through this phase a little faster and a little less painfully.

  1. Get Ellen a “lovey” that she can bond to for comfort so she isn’t so reliant on me for comfort.
  2. Play games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek and slowly increase the time I’m “hiding” or even just in another room. This should be a fun way to teach her that it isn’t traumatizing when I leave, and that I always come back.
  3. Have Kyle do some of the normal day-to-day stuff with me there too. Me being there is apparently the key. So she’ll feel comfortable that I’m there, but she gets used to being comforted or having comforting acts performed by someone else. Eventually, I’ll be able to leave. We hope…

We’ve already ordered two identical purple stuffed hippos. I hear it is good to have a duplicate lovey, just in case one gets damaged or dirty or lost. And as soon as they arrive, we’re supposed to do everything with it. It especially has to be there when comforting acts are being performed so she begins to associate it with comfort.

The rest of it we can start right away too. I feel really hopeful for some relief in the next few weeks after these techniques have started to work their magic. They’re all so simple, but it really helped to have an expert list them out. It’s very “step by step”, which computes with my brain well.

The therapist said we should expect Ellen to be emotional while she adjusts and learns. That’s going to be the hardest part, being patient. It is so easy to just default back to our old ways where I’m everything for Ellen because that makes the screaming stop right away. But we’re playing the long game now.

Wish us luck!

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