After Tera was born, a very good friend of mine whose second baby was born VERY premature, gave me some very good advice. Because her son was born so early, he experienced many developmental delays and she said she spent so much time looking forward to when he would reach his next milestone, that she missed enjoying the time in between them. She said to just enjoy the time with her and enjoy the milestones whenever they happen. This was some priceless advice that I've taken to heart. For the past 7 months, I've really tried to just focus on what she's able to do and not what she should be able to do. Honestly, it's not been as hard for me as some other parents because all along Tera has been very mildly delayed. Many of the things that she is considered even somewhat delayed in doing, are things that many babies her age probably aren't doing, they're just not being evaluated by professionals for it.
Because I haven't focused on what she should be able to do by now, I've really enjoyed just seeing her progress from one stage to the next. In fact, there have been many times when one of her therapists would say, "Well, she really should start working on trying to do..." and then an hour later she would do it. We've joked that if they're expecting her to be able to do something, that they should just formally request it from her and that would be enough to get her to do it. Sometimes weeks go by and and I don't necessarily notice anything major and then all of a sudden I realize that she wasn't doing that before. What's been really fun to watch recently is how intrigued she is by everything around her. She's so aware of what toys she is playing with and all the other things around her. She seems to have purpose in what she's doing and she can entertain herself for long stretches of time. She loves new textures and she absolutely LOVES faces! She has recently discovered that if she sucks on the faces of anybody, she gets big laughs. Because of course, few people have told her no...
Just a week or two ago we could leave anything on her high chair tray while she was eating and it was safe whereas now everything has to be cleared off or she'll find a way to grab it. She reaches for glasses and plates and food on the table (and glasses on people's faces), toys on her tray, and anything else close to her little hands. I can leave toys in her crib and when she wakes up, if there's one within reach, she'll play with it for a while before she finally wants to be picked up.
There have definitely been some times along the way, and now, where I am somewhat anxious for the next milestone. I really looked forward to when she would be able to hold her head up consistently, when she'd be able to actually hold onto and play with her toys, and currently, I'm really wanting her to be able to sit up. But her therapists have been great and really encouraging and they're not worried about her at all so for the time being, we just enjoy our silly, sweet, happy little monster.