It’s been just over a month since we started Ivy’s physical therapy to help build up her low muscle tone in her legs and get her standing and walking. It has not been an easy road for sure, but we are making progress. She puts up less fuss when we do her exercises and is even starting to enjoy one of them. The therapist is very happy with her progress, and while we still have a long way to go towards her walking, I can tell she is getting stronger every day.
We have been doing the therapy once a week, and on a regular basis my mom and I do Ivy’s exercises with her. At first, she used to scream and cry when we did the weight bearing exercises with her but now, she only yells a little in the beginning and once we distract her (usually by singing the ABC’s) she will stand with my help for a few minutes. The one that she really enjoys involves me sitting her on my leg, while another person holds out their arms for her to pull herself up. She gets really proud of herself when she stands, and while her muscle tone is not strong enough to hold her up there, she is trying bless her. She has even started to reach up to things and try and pull herself up. The other day at therapy she even stood on her own for a few seconds. This is all good progress obviously. Every week the therapist says he sees an improvement and tells me I am doing all the right things to help her.
The key too getting her stronger lies not only in the daily exercises but also in incorporating them into things we do every day. When we are at the playground I lean her against the climbing structures and help her stand. We go up and down steps (and slides of course b/c they are fun!) and practice weight bearing while she holds onto various bars of the jungle gym.
While I know we still have a lot of work ahead of us, I am very proud of my little girl, and myself for all the hard work we’ve done. I also think that all of these exercises have made her want to try and walk, which was obviously lacking before. Ivy is a very strong headed little girl and I think all the therapy in the world wouldn’t do the trick, she had to get interested in walking. So we will keep up the hard work until she is ready to stand. And, at the end of the day, while carrying her around everywhere and relying on the stroller all the time are a major pain in the ass, there are so many worse things I could be having to deal with. I am grateful for her health and well being and don’t really see this developmental delay as an issue.