Here I am! I did it! Welcome to Everything Babies!
Where do I start? Oh….How about an introduction?
I am a pediatric physical therapist, mother of one beautiful young lady and hopeful to create one more soon.
I started Everything Babies! because I have so much to say and share and teach and learn about babies and parenting. In my practice, I specialize in working with infants and preemies. While my expertise and schooling is specific to motor development, I have a plethora of knowledge and experience with anything and everything about babies.
I am more like a “new parent coach”–or a “baby advocate”–on so many topics like understanding disabilities and developmental delays, how to promote “normal”* development, reading your child’s cues, feeding issues, sleeping issues, buying the right toys and gear, and just about anything else related to a baby’s needs.
Your baby is born with the neurological wiring already in place to blossom into a wonderful little (and then big) creature, but we need to know how to facilitate that natural growth, without throwing them off track. Life is hard, and there will be plenty of obstacles and curve balls later on down the road, but infants depend on US–their parents and caregivers–to help them navigate through the initial stages. Human babies at birth are the most immature of all mammals. And, these days, more and more human babies are being born premature.
Preemies are totally unprepared for the big, bad world out there, and so are their parents!
Preemies are totally unprepared for the big, bad world out there, and so are their parents!Click To Tweet
Our role in raising newborn babies is crucial and wonderful and challenging all at the same time. Why not share our knowledge and experiences with each other as we all grow through this amazing and completely unpredictable phase of our lives! Ass over teakettle, right?!?
What else do you need to know about me? Everything! But I’ll start with a few, key points…
1. I will not pass judgment.
I promise–ask anyone who knows me–I am the least judgmental person you will ever meet. That’s why I’m so smart. (HaHa!) I learn from people just as much or even more than what they learn from me. We need to accept each other and support each other…God knows we’re already judging ourselves on a regular basis. I don’t desire to use up any energy judging others or caring if others are judging me.
We are IMPERFECTLY HUMAN. We are all trying our best, and there is no sense in comparing our best to someone else’s best. Everyone’s circumstances are different. We can only live our lives and raise our children the way we–the parents– think is best. AND WE ALL SCREW UP on a regular basis. So we can pretend like we’re perfect and never screw up, or we can admit our mistakes and share them and laugh about them and learn from them, too.
2. I will be honest and forthright.
Kindness prevails above all in my world, but not at the expense of the truth…even when I am saying something people may not be ready or willing to hear. Part of working with newborns and preemies is helping parents to understand and accept what is going on with their child. I may be the first to express to a parent genuine concerns about their child’s development, or I may have to be the first to suggest that something may be “wrong”* or “abnormal”*, which is usually followed by a referral to a specialist and then, most likely, a diagnosis.
The sooner we recognize the issue, the sooner we can treat the child, and the better the outcome will be in the long run. If you ever feel like I (or any pediatric health provider) am being too blunt or harsh, tell yourself these very important words: “She is coming from a place of kindness and concern. She is an expert and she has dedicated her career to helping babies like mine. She knows how to help me and my child through this.”
3. I do not think in black and white.
I believe there is a spectrum in most all circumstances and I will usually acknowledge the gray areas that influence our beliefs, perspectives, opinions and perspectives. Every diagnosis or disability has a spectrum in terms of how mild or severe it manifests in each child.
Think about autism….there are children that are mildly affected and function well in school and society, and there are children who are “severe” and may be non-verbal or totally dependent on their parents for all activities of daily living, even into adulthood. Most other physical and cognitive disabilities and delays have the same spectrum of severity.
I may have certain ways I understand and treat kiddos with particular diagnoses, but I am very open minded when it comes to others’ ideas and perspectives. Every day, I learn so much from my patients and parents while I am simultaneously teaching and treating. It’s the perfect exchange!
4. I am a sensitive, vulnerable woman, too.
I have real feelings, a desire to be liked and respected, and a very empathetic heart. Most people who choose to work with children with disabilities do, too. Don’t underestimate how much I desire to help you and your child. I spent a lot of time and even more money in undergrad and grad school to know what I know and be able to make a difference in others’ lives. My salary is a fraction of what other professionals are paid with a doctorate level education. There is no need to question my intentions. I have no ulterior motives.
I do what I do because I love what I do.
Isn’t this exciting?!? Hopefully, I haven’t bored you with TMI, and you are super excited to start reading the good stuff. I’m already looking forward to some captivating dialog about everything babies! Please leave me a comment or question, or even a “good luck with this blogging thing, you crazy lady!” We’re off and running, like a toddler in a crowded airport!
Wendy Rohin, PT, DPT (a.k.a “The Baby Expert”)
*You might be saying, “What really is normal, anyway?” The term “normal” is used loosely and infrequently in my writing because there really is no normal when it comes to DNA and gene expression. Every tiny little human creature is made up of a unique combination of millions of different pieces, cells, genes, etc. “Normal” is actually a huge spectrum, and everyone’s perception of normal is different, too.
I prefer to use the term “typical” because the opposite is a much kinder label (atypical vs. abnormal). And as much as I detest labels in general, we are going to have to come up with some kind of language to work with if we are going to communicate with each other, right?
P.S.–I am not a medical doctor. I have a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Read my disclaimer here.