Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Importance of Play

Lily finally came home from the hospital on Sunday after a twelve day stay. A lot changed... her formula, her vent settings, the plan for nursing care. Overall, we're fairly happy with the results of our admission.

The single biggest memory I have is waking up and seeing Lily independently go to two handed play. I had hung a toy up for Lily using oxygen tubing hung from the IV poles at the edge of her crib. In the pediatric units, they have a child life specialist who tends to the developmental needs of the patients and their siblings. In PICU, our child life specialist is Althea. It was from her that I first got the idea to use oxygen tubing (usually a seven foot nasal cannula with the nasal prongs hidden) to give Lily access to toys that won't fall. It lets her play even if there isn't someone to play with her. Because of this trick, Lily makes milestones instead of becoming further delayed. And our developmental therapist at home, April, teaches Lily to use her hands, to use her interest in different textures... just so much. We love April for all that she does, and the milestones she helps Lily to reach.

Seeing her make those milestones makes her mama cry. I always knew play was important to a child, but never really fully understood it until I watched my sweet baby unable to really play. We've watched her fragile friends grow and do more and more of the things that other children their ages do... and leave Lily in the dust. It's Lily's love of life, her curiosity for anything she sees or touches, and her incredible love of time with her sister, that helps me to step back and see Lily for who she is. She is a miracle.

My miracle has been making leaps and bounds in self started play. She's doing great with playing with her sister. Lorelei loves seeing Lily's interest in new toys and is never shy about playing the gravity game and handing a toy back to Lily again and again.

My baby girl can play. And that is so important.

1 comment:

  1. You and your beautiful family inspire me! Go Lily! You are amazing sweet girl! Naycee