16 Weeks & More

Today I'm 16 weeks pregnant. My quad blood screen came back negative for all of the genetic problems they check for, so that's good. My sugars suck first thing in the morning - my fasting levels are high. Which means, I'll have to start insulin injections at night (soon, I just know it). I've lost 9 lbs total since my first appointment at 8 weeks. Which, normally would thrill me to no end.

Since my last post things have been hectic, to say the least. There's been a lot of stress, worry, tears, lack of eating, sleepless nights, and more tears. In the past 1-2 months, we've come to realize that Holden is somewhere on the autistic spectrum. I saw somewhere because we haven't been given an official diagnosis, other than he has "autistic tendencies". In the past 2 weeks, we have seen his regular pediatrician, had a PT evaluation, an OT evaluation, a Speech evaluation, and spoken to our family care coordinator with the Early Intervention program.

Today is his first day of Speech Therapy. He can only do 30 minutes sessions because of his age, so today, from 4-4:30, the journey begins. Thursday, he will have Speech and OT. Luckily, he wasn't recommended for PT at this time. He's in the 19m-27m age level for PT; so, that's a good thing. One less thing to focus on. I have no idea what to expect with these 30 minute sessions. It's hard for me to imagine that therapy can take place in 30 minutes. But, I'm going to leave it to the experts and hopefully I will learn a lot in the process.

I've been worried about Holden for a few months now. He was right on target with developmental milestones until around the age of 15, 16, 17 months. He had a few words in his vocabulary - not many. "Mama", "Dada", "Bella", "Yes", "No". During those 3 months (from 15-18), he lost those words. Actually, he became very quiet during that time. Not a lot of babbling, or noises of any kind. He picked up the babbling again around 18 months and we thought for sure that would be the turning point. That he would start talking and having conversations with us. It didn't happen. We thought maybe it was just because he wasn't exposed to other kids, as I'm a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom. But, daycare costs weren't in our budget, so we decided against putting him in daycare. We thought maybe it was because he just watched a little too much Sesame Street during the day. We thought maybe he was just a boy and a "late bloomer" and would start talking soon. It didn't happen. In the meantime, I googled "Speech Delay in Toddlers" and noticed that practically every link available took me to a site for autism. I began to read the signs and symptoms and realized that maybe it wasn't just a speech delay afterall. He had signs. He had symptoms. My heart fell into my stomach.

Holden doesn't have a lot of eye contact. More with me, and his dad - than with strangers. I would say he makes eye contact maybe 50% of the time that he should. He responds to us calling him maybe 50% of the time as well; although that's delayed. I'll call him and he won't respond for 10 seconds or more. He loves stacking his blocks, taking them down, restacking them. He never brings me to his toys, or shows me anything he may want, or need. He doesn't play with his cars like he should. He plays with them, but only to put them in a pile in his lap or crawl over them. He likes books. But he likes to turn the pages, not necessarily l0ok at the pictures or let mama read to him.

With that being said, he loves hugs. He loves to be held and for me to rock him any time of the day. He has the biggest, most hugest dimples when he smiles, which has been more frequent lately. He loves bubbles, and has even learned a few new words in the past few weeks. He says "bubbles", "dada", "didi", "bibi", "juice". During the Speech evaluation last week, she tried to teach him the sign for "more". He now does it, although sometimes it looks more like he's clapping than the real sign for it. But, I know what he means. He listens when I tell him to "get down", or "stop", or "no", so I know he hears me, and understands what I say. I've been told by other moms that it sounds as though he's on the mild end of the spectrum. Which, is good, and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

But, some days, I'm overwhelmed by this label that's soon to be put on my 2nd born child, my little boy. I know the diagnosis is coming, as we have an appointment with a developmental pediatrician on April 17th, followed by a 2.5 hour evaluation by the Early Intervention program on April 19th. I know that it won't change who he is. I know he'll still be my sweet little boy that hugs me for no reason and gives me kisses. I'll still sleep in bed with him each night and hold him close, as I say a prayer that he will be protected and that I'll somehow have the strength to get through this and give him everything he needs to have a happy and fulfilling life. But, I worry. I worry every waking moment of every day, and every sleeping moment of every night. I wake up worrying, I go to bed worrying, I wake up in the middle of the night ... worrying. I worry that he won't experience some of the joys of life. That he won't grow up and have friends, play soccer, get his drivers license, have a girlfriend, go to college, get a good job, get married and have kids of his own. I worry because of all the negative things I read about kids who are on the autistic spectrum. It consumes me, literally. I can't watch my favorite TV shows at night without thinking about autism, and worrying about him. I just sometimes feel like I need a break. A break from thinking. Everyone says "have faith" that things will work out. Or, "you're doing all you can". Or, "you caught it early and he'll be fine". The truth is that no one knows if things will work out, or if he'll be fine. I want so desperately to be positive about this. I want to feel okay with it. I want to be able to accept it. And not watch other moms with their sons cross the parking lot, or watch boys walking home from school when I wait to pick up Zoe each afternoon, and ask "why me?" I want to know that there's a purpose for this. That it's happening for a reason and goddamn it, I want to know what the reason is. Why my precious little boy has to struggle and why things can't just come naturally for him. Why.

I've always known how much I love my family. But, in the past month or 2, I've come to realize that my kids and my husband are truly my life. My family is my support system. My husband is my rock, and my shoulder to cry on, and my best friend. My kids make me feel like the luckiest person in the world to have been chosen to share their lives. Even my parents and my brothers, and my in-laws - they've all shown me what family really means. I guess sometimes it takes something like this to realize how many blessings we have in our lives. I have so many. So, so many.

I sometime wish this roller coaster of emotions would just stop and let me off.

No comments: