Last night we had swim lesson number 6 at the Y. Our night did not begin well at the Y. Rachel had been sitting up on the bench in the locker room. I had my hand on her abdomen to help support her and she had been doing really well. I moved slightly to put my glasses in the locker and Rachel tipped backwards falling off of the bench. I felt terrible about her falling. She bumped her forehead and sustained a small scratch and bump to it. I immediately went into nurse mode and started neuro checks on her.I tried to get her sister to get an ice bag from the front of the Y (all of us were in swimsuits only at this time) but she refused due to a boy she knew was in the front lobby. (seriously? Bre is 5'5" and maybe 104 lbs) Rachel stopped crying within 3-4 minutes of falling and went into her usual happy mood. I continued doing neuro checks on her until she went to bed and her dad woke her up about 3 times during the night to check on her. She woke up this morning with the scratch and small bump as her only residual from the fall. I still feel 100% terrible about it.
During the swim lesson we had the babies practice digging with their hands while reaching out for pool toys. I kept Rachel on her tummy but instead of digging with her hands she spent the time kissing the toys she caught and kicking. We practiced 1,2,3 Go at the side of the pool with longer periods of time for the little ones to wait before getting in the water. I let Rachel slide into the pool into my arms when she was ready instead of lifting her in. She did really well considering the basket of pool toys was less than 2 feet away. Next we sang If Your Happy and You Know it while doing motions in the water (clapping, splashing the water, up and down, and side to side). After that we placed the babies with their backs on our chests and had them put their feet on the sides of the pool, We had the babies push off of the sides of the pool with their feet and helped them float backwards to the other side of the pool and do it again. Rachel didn't seem to fond of this as each time we reached the side of the pool she would try to climb out to get more toys. She dunked 2 times during the swim class. Right as the swim class was ending Rachel declared it was "Night Night" time to the other babies. The adults in the group seconded her suggestion- it was cute. Rachel's swim instructor was very pleased with the progress she had made since the beginning of the lessons. Rachel turns herself in the water from front to back, back to front and on her sides. She seems very comfortable and relaxed in the water and loves it. Her instructor had also commented to me "that I shouldn't have been worried when we started lessons and that Rachel has been able to do everything all of the other kids were able to do." She also stated that upper body strength is much more important in swimming and that the legs and feet are pretty much just for balance. These are great words and I hope to hear more about our other spina bifida brothers and sisters in the water.