Sunday, July 25, 2010

Obsessing

I have a quiet house. Charles is out having some "Me" time, which I hope he spends wisely and yet not wisely at all...he needs some time to decompress. Christian is taking a nap today- actually sleeping instead of just playing in his room during the time which we loosely call quiet/nap time. Elijah has just conked out for a nap and although I could easily sleep, I think the time has come for me to refuel and rejuvenate in the form of writing. There is just something about the stream of consciousness through writing that keeps the feelings & thoughts in my head from hovering too long. Unless they are good thoughts...in that case, I invite them to pull up a chair and stay as long as possible. And I have a few of those good thoughts these days. I have huge concerns, and I will get to those in a moment, but what is really remarkable to me is that I find myself feeling so...contented. Frequently. Grateful, contented, blessed and happy. Maybe it's still residual hormones, but I think it has more to do with one little angel baby, my little Elijah. I love the way his little body slumps on mine when he's so comfy and tired that he just drops right off to sleep. How when I first walk into the room, or when he first wakes up to see me, he breaks into a smile. And even though, Christian is at the age that fights for control and power and challenges me at every turn, he loves to help and to play and to dance and all of those things that I dreamt about doing when I dreamt of having a family. More than all of those wonderful little things, I am learning to appreciate and even be swept up in the uncertainty...the adventure of life. That one day you think you'll be single forever, but then poof! You're not. That one day you'll decide to have a baby and your whole world changes in ways you never imagined and couldn't have predicted, where you'd never, ever, not for one real second trade back. Not even when your baby ends up with an extra chromosome. Nope, I'd never trade back...because that would mean no Elijah and I really, really, really love Elijah.

I haven't had much time to write in the last week and maybe I'm even feeling a bit of a writer's block because so much has happened that I sometimes don't know where to start and what to say. I find myself starting on one task, then midstream switching to something else, then switching again, then thinking, "What was I supposed to be doing??" One thing that has been taking up my mind space is about Christian's speech. I mentioned in a previous post about how the social worker who came to evaluate Elijah, mentioned that Christian should be more articulate by his age. After he left, I immediately got on the phone with a good friend who is a teacher, but more importantly, knows Christian and sees him frequently. Her opinion was that there is nothing wrong. So I started feeling better...but then, I mentioned it to my Mom (who taught preschool for 14 years- even though she has been "retired" about 12 years) and she said that she thought his speech should be clearer too. Great! I said, "Why didn't you say anything??!!" And she replied that she thought I had enough on my plate already and didn't want me worrying about something that would most likely work itself out. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that exact statement recently, we would have no financial problems at all. I finally looked a friend in the eye yesterday and said, "Promise me one thing: that no matter what, you do not skip telling me something because you think I have too much going on". But I digress...I also happened to speak to Christian's preschool teacher, who we've been with in a Mommy and Me program with for the last 2 years. I told her what the social worker said, and she admitted that she had been concerned that there was something up with Christian's speech (But didn't want to tell me because she thought I had too much going on! See the pattern here?) After that conversation, I got really freaked out because she seemed concerned about possible speech processing problems more so than articulation. That sounds way scarier to me than mispronouncing Yittel (Little). That sounds "Grey's Anatomy" scary: Patient wakes up from brain surgery saying, "Cat done tunnel frog over the ant hill." Clearly, something has gone terribly wrong in the surgery and that is why we tune in every week... So. All of these opinions started the freaked out and obsessive phase. I find myself testing Christian in different ways now. Can he identify colors when asked or only when I tell him to point to "pink"? Can he physically pronounce an "L" or his he just being lazy? Can he look at a picture and tell me what's happening in the picture or will he just point out what the pictures are of? It's mind boggling...and it's been too much. I can tell that it's getting to Christian. I was drilling him so much on a P word the other day, that at one point in the car he pointed and said "Look Mommy! A Cat!" When I said, "What Christian? (Because I just didn't hear him) He said, "A Cat. Pa-Pa-Pa (The P sound) Pa-Cat." And there are other things too- I can tell he senses my frustration and concern and it's making him feel pressured. I don't want that for him. I really don't want him to be feeling pressure from me, even if there really is something to be concerned about. We don't even really know if there is any cause for concern yet. We are going to meet with a Speech Therapist on August 6th, so I'm hoping that will shed a little more light on the situation. Now I need to be done with this topic. I'm driving myself crazy and I think my friends are done with this topic also...or at least done with hearing me obsess about it...

On the Elijah home front, things are moving along. As I like to say, "He's just doin' his baby thang." ...Although tonight when I got creative with a Bobby Flay recipe that came out way too spicy (and ate it anyway) I think I may have given Eli a bad case of gas...:( Poor guy has been fussing all night and he never fusses unless there is a specific reason (Hungry. Tired. Wet.) But, he's been doing great otherwise. He has rolled over from belly to back about 4 times. I pointed this out to our Pediatrician who immediately said, "Well, that was an accident." Yes. He's right. It was. But, that's how it starts, right? Elijah is definitely focusing more and tracking objects with his eyes, which I was really worried about because it seemed to take especially long for him to do that. He has also let out a few laughs recently! They are so precious and I can't wait to hear more. So far, bouncing seems to be the biggest precursor to a laugh, but I'm enjoying the exploration to see what causes them. He has also found his hands and I think he's taken an interest in something he suspects might be there...his feet! He sort of throws them up over his head, like...There they are!....Nope....yup- there they are! This morning, he actually found his thumb. He does the classic thumb-suck-with-index-finger-wrap-on-the-top-of-the-nose. Even though I was partly horrified because I come from a family with a history of notoriously late thumb suckers (and you can't take a thumb away), it was also just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. We also saw the Pediatrician last week and he is growing as he should. He is now 10 and a half pounds and 23 inches long. He is dropping lower and lower on the growth percentiles chart, but my Pediatrician isn't concerned. The conversation went something like this: Dr Keer: "Keep doing what you're doing, Jen." Me: "So, I shouldn't worry even though his percentiles are dropping?" Dr. Keer: (Eye Roll) Me: "Okay." ...........I LOVE that Dr. Keer is just going to give it to me straight (and he probably has more license to do so since we used to be neighbors.) I'll admit that even though I know Elijah is growing and gaining in a healthy fashion, it still might be part of my process to adjust to the fact that he may be shorter...maybe even short. Maybe not. But maybe he will be. I know it is NOT important in the big scheme of things, and yet it's something that I get a little twinge about. Eli is in the 15th% for height right now, having dropped down from the 50th% at birth. There is actually an entirely different growth chart for children with Down Syndrome. I know this, and yet I secretly hope that he'll beat the odds and end up tall. Then, again, if I'm only allowed a few "secret hopes" I don't really think I want to waste it on something as inconsequential as height... Still. Maybe it's "Karma" from having refused to date anyone shorter than me...

I had an incredible conversation with an acquaintance who is becoming more and more of a friend. She is also "Mom" to a child with special needs (not DS) and it's amazing how much we have in common. The way I met her was truly one of my most embarrassing moments ever. Embarrassing because I acted like a complete Prima Dona. I'll just say that I was having a moment. I said to her today, "Could you imagine if someone had whispered in our ears that "15 years from now you will both become friends and have more in common than you could begin to imagine"? It is amazing. I'm glad there is no fortune teller of life for me, because I am sure that the summary of what's to come could never capture the glory, adventure and growth that actually accompanies the life experience. And I am going to say this, because it is on my mind: You cannot escape the roller coaster of life by planning or perfecting or maintaining order. So, go with it. Don't stop trying for that new career because you're scared. Don't avoid that health test because it could be bad news. Don't give up on having another child because you're older and there are odds. Life is never going to turn out exactly the way you planned it. And if it did, how bored would you be?...

Okay. Stepping off my soap box now.

3 comments:

Laura said...

One of your best posts ever.

Tracy said...

Well dang girlie, it's about time you posted! I had breakfast at Aroma Monday morning with my Big Sis...I kept waiting for you and Elijah and Christian to walk in and sit down! Glad you're doing well, but I need PICTURES!

P K said...

Start tracking on both charts, particularly weight...just for more information.

Speech therapy is generally not forever, I don't think for most clients. Even processing issues can be resolved or maybe approached differently I bet (visual learner versus audio learner??! Maybe!). Totally different idea but think of left handed people or dyslexia. I doubt it's anything and your mom is right, many speech issues get resolved.

But I love the full plate thing, hmmmm. It explains a lot for me for people in my life. A whole heck of a lot.

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