Jessica had a very healthy appetite. She would nurse until she burst. I mean that in a very literal sense. Try to stop her before she had reached that point and you were met with screams you would not believe! So I let her go and when she stopped I would lay out the burp cloths for about a 5 foot diameter and wait. Along with the burp came the geyser and if I was rewarded with hiccups after that, then I knew no more would come up. People would ask to hold her and I would warn them and of course the retort would always be the same..."I have been spit up on before". So I would hand her over and the retort would always be the same..."oohhh".
The visiting nurse would come and I would tell her of Jess' need to give up a tremendous amount of whatever she had taken in but she would reassure me that she seemed to be thriving (yes, she was a bit chubby) so not to worry.
At about this time, Jess went for a check up to our family doctor. He heard me out about the spitting up and suggested she go see the pediatrician 30 miles away. I set up the appointment and was seen by a very nice elderly doctor who listened to my concerns and then examined her. His remarks caught me off guard. He wasn't too concerned about her spitting up but her muscle tone was not where he thought a 3 month old should be. He gave me exercises to do and said he would like to see me back in 6 months time.
I went home not too daunted. After all, did I not have one of the cutest babies on the planet? Look at the way I could get her to smile and laugh! She was certainly happy! I shared the visit with friends and kindly and patiently they would point out some things that they felt she should be able to do. She was beautiful, they agreed. But she just didn't seem to have motivation.
Those 6 months went by quickly. I had played my heart out with her. She especially liked her blanket time on the floor. I would roll her this way and that and was indeed rewarded when she went from back to front one day all on her own. That is most difficult so I was sure she was showing progress. She was a very contented child. I could give her a toy and she would turn it over and over in her hands for what seemed hours (although I am sure the clock would disagree but it was a very long time).
At 9 months I brought her back to the specialist confident that he would praise her progress. Unfortunately, like before, he did not seem too concerned with the fact that she had rolled from back to front but was very concerned that she showed no signs of wanting out of her infant seat. "Does she not struggle when she is sitting in it? Does she not distress when toys are beyond her reach on the blanket?" These questions and more I had to answer "no". All the while thinking - 'this is not good'.
When the exam was finished and he had asked all his questions, he turned to me and informed me that Jessica's gross motor skills were severely lacking. She is still a bit young to come to a full diagnosis so I would like to see her in 6 more months. I responded 'no'. I had quickly done the math and that would put her at 15 months and I felt I needed to get a grip on this now. I asked for a referral to the children's hospital in Ottawa. He, of course, agreed and would set it up for me.