Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Intervention? Not Now.

With each passing day, I look at Caleb with total and complete awe. I remember all the time I spent in utter anguish after hearing the initial prognosis. I remember having such a difficult time imagining my life and the future of this child. I remember wondering if he would live or die and knowing that it was completely out of my hands. I remember Divine Mercy Sunday, when I gave it all to God and chose to have complete trust in His Divine plan.

I am so happy that I let the Lord in to my heart to take away the angst and fear and replace it with peace and joy. How many months would I have wasted on worry? Without a doubt, our lives were still thrown into complete upheaval, and even with the trust I had, it was a difficult time. The point is that I was still able to find comfort in God's will and let Him envelop me in His arms; bringing me hope. I want everyone to be able to experience the wonders that I have in the past few months. How blest I have been!

Caleb continues to be a challenge in his "clinginess" but life is so beautiful! I remember what could have been and I whole-heartedly accept the little extra I have to put into caring for my son. He is such a gift! He is starting to give me social smiles and make eye contact.

He had his physical and developmental therapy evaluations with the state's early intervention program today. Apparently, Caleb has increased muscle tone, which is common with neurologic disorders. It means that his muscles are unusually rigid and he seems strong for his age (but stronger than he should be, which isn't as good a thing as you would think.) Basically, if he's lying on his back and you pull him up by the arms, he keeps them slightly flexed when they should just flop straight out. Babies aren't supposed to be able to do that. It's not that he "can't" straighten his arms; it's just that the tension in the muscles is too tight.

Another thing the therapist noticed was that Caleb tends to tilt his head to the right and his gaze tends to be usually set to the left. Again, it's not that he "can't" tilt his head to the left or look to the right, it's that he has those preferences, which are unusual with most babies, but common with ones who have neurologic issues.

These three abnormalities aren't really serious and don't require any therapy at this time. The therapists will be re-evaluating Caleb in three months, but as for now, they are very pleased with his health. Neither therapist noticed any other strange behavior and they assured me that he is right where he should be with his milestones. It is truly amazing! God is protecting him and using him to show the world that He is there and He is listening when you pray!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Month of Beauty

Yesterday, Caleb had his 1-month checkup at the pediatrician. Once again, the doctor said he looks amazing. His head is 38 centimeters, which is perfectly average. When the doctor laid him on his belly, Caleb arched his back and lifted all 4 limbs off the table as well as his head. The doctor said that is very good for any baby to be doing at that age.

Caleb weighs a whopping 9lbs 12oz, which means that he has gained nearly 3lbs since leaving the hospital, just over 3 weeks ago! The doctor said that the rate he is growing is outstanding. He said that usually breastfed babies gain weight much more slowly. I explained to him that this is because Caleb is always at the breast! It is actually getting to be a little difficult for me to run the house and take care of all the tasks I need to complete. Sometimes he will nurse for 45 minutes and then want to nurse again an hour later! I'm not sure if he has a good appetite or if I am just a human pacifier to him. I think he may be making a habit of "comfort nursing." This is a challenge for me, but I love nursing him so I suppose I'm okay with it.

One of the reasons I think he might be "comfort nursing" is due to colic. I'm not sure if I would call it colic or gas or just a strong desire to be in my arms for security. He is a really fussy baby. It is stressful for me when I try to leave him with his dad or with a family member just so I can run errands or do something for myself. I will nurse him before I leave and I will come back within a few hours and everyone tells me that he cries the minute I step out the door.

I have explained the need for patience to my husband and family members that watch him for me. After all, Caleb could have a raging headache every moment of the day and he can't tell us that it hurts; he can only cry. Maybe he is just colicky or gassy. Maybe he was traumatized from all the tests performed in utero. I have heard that studies show ultrasound can be frightening to a preborn baby, especially if it is performed during the last trimester. Caleb certainly had his share of lengthy ultrasounds so maybe that is the reason he cries constantly; because he is unsettled and he wants to be held and nursed for comfort and security.

Whatever the reason, Caleb is high-maintenance, but I am dealing with it. I certainly love him just the way he is and I am willing to do whatever he needs me to in order to make him feel better. He is such a pure, beautiful joy to have and hold! If I had no other responsibilities, I'd hold him all day out of desire!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting for Nothing

Caleb is exactly 3 weeks old today. We have been to 2 visits with the pediatrician since we left the hospital. Caleb has gained 1and a 1/2 pounds since his discharge and his head circumference is completely average.

The pediatrician said that if I hadn't told him anything about Caleb's brain, he would have been none the wiser. He sees no difference between him and any other normal, healthy child. His reflexes are perfect, he moves all limbs. His eyes and ears look great; his heart and breathing sound normal. He continues to eat every 2 to 3 hours and he is sleeping well. He is starting to hold up his head by himself! He is very strong!

Caleb stays awake and alert for longer periods of time, during which he likes to look at people's faces with curiosity. He is so beautiful I want to cry.

We will be going to the pediatrician again next week as well as the hematologist for his lab results. In a few weeks he will see the pediatric neurologist. Things are going so well and there is such a peace in my heart. I love my son more than I ever knew I could.