Today I went back to work after 19 months maternity leave and extended leave. I am sad to go back because these last 5 months since Kate's diagnosis have actually been quite good. I feel like I had a taste of the maternity leave that I was ripped off of during 2009-2010, as we unknowingly fought everything Angelman Syndrome could throw at us. Sure, we've had loads of appointments to go to, but we've done a lot of cool stuff and really come together has a family. We went on the best trip to Disney World, thanks to my Dad. We've been to GWL with family and friends. I will miss this time with my kids and this stage in their lives. I'm super concerned that Kate will have massive seizure without her Mommy there or even worse, that she'll do something super cool for the first time without me! But definitely, the hardest thing about going back was that I had to face the happy memories of hope, promise and great expectation that I had when I was pregnant with Kate back in June 2009. Looking back now that we're at the end of today, it wasn't as bad as I thought. That's because I work with great people.
After 2 hours at school (I am a hard worker!!), Jeremy and I had to take Kate to McMaster to see Dr. Tarnopolsky, a neuro-muscular paediatrician (I don't even want to think about how many years of education that guy has!). This is a referral that I insisted on last May when we were trying to determine what was going on with Kate and it just came up now. Even though she has a diagnosis, I still wanted to see him because I am concerned her stiffness is holding her back. But, Kate's had loads of PT and OT and recently been through some Anat Baniel Method therapy - it's really helped to loosen her up! She was all loosey goosey at her appointment today! She totally made me look like a monkey in front of the doctor, but that's OK. He's happy with her joints and muscles and doesn't find her hypo- or hypertonic, which is a great thing. He actually used the words "high intellectual ability" for a child with a severe developmental delay, which are words that brought me to tears because I never thought I'd hear them about Kate! She's just too amazing sometimes.
So, Kate's super tired and skipped her nap (the only place she naps is in a crib). I figured PT would be a bust tonight, but Dr. Tarnopolsky is right on the mark about her: she's a smart little Angel! Kate is now pushing up on extended arms like never before, lifting her chest off the exercise mat, and desperately trying to army crawl. Yes! That's right - she did some forward army crawling (with assistance, of course), but it's the first crawling movement I've ever seen. Christine, our PT at Blue Balloon Waterloo, and I were squealing with joy. Kate has never had so much success at forward movement. It's nice to get some good news before I go back to work. We are not used to good news. Now all I want to do is stay home and search for the motivator that will make this kid move on her own. I know it exists...we will find it together!
Kelly is Kate's devoted, caring, Type-A mom. Kelly is a high school physics teacher who earned her masters degree in neuroscience from McMaster University in 2003.