In my life I have always been a huge fan of reaching milestones. I have always seen them as goals and was adamant about conquering them and doing my best. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where I failed. Nonetheless, I only try to remember the ones I succeeded and only took what I needed from those I failed.
When we found out we were expecting Theodore it was another milestone in our lives. Having children and growing our family is something we had always discussed and dreamed about on occasion. We were extremely excited and this was one of the first milestones we were reaching together. We were getting a chance to share our love through a “different media”.
During the pregnancy we discussed our dreams, goals and desired milestones for our unborn son and how we would be as parents. ….We discussed: sitting up, crawling, walking, running, playing sports, painting, getting dirty and being suspicious.
But we never expected the curve ball we were thrown…..
In the beginning the struggle was real……
We forgot or better yet dismissed all the milestones we had discussed for Theodore. We were focused on getting him to stop screaming enough to to eat and eating enough so he didn’t scream! We had to ensure his medicine and food were working properly so he didn’t just SCREAM, cry and shake…and well once we had this accomplished we had already reached ONE milestone!!
It was a MESS, a big hot MESS( and let me tell you we all looked like a mess too) …..During those rare times when he was calm we worked on Tummy time, getting him to recognize toys, getting him to grab toys and trying to get him to recognize his name. Then at four months we tried getting him to eat baby food, worked on sitting up and more tummy time. We were trying and trying.
HOWEVER… Each one of those was terrifying and a repeated failure. Most of the time the only thing we succeeded at was adding to the screaming, crying and shaking……WHICH added more complications to his digestive system.
BUT….we knew we had to try…we knew we had to keep pushing.
During tummy time he would only use his legs and work himself in circles. He would NEVER EVER push up with his arms or attempt at rolling over.
Then when we worked on baby food he would scream, choke or throw up.
He would NEVER reach for toys
He would NEVER turn his head towards someone saying his name, unless your voice was just right and you were in the right light.
He would NEVER attempt to roll over.
Basically, as we attempted each of the milestones we began to see no progress. However, everyone always told us that no babies reach milestones at the same time. In the beginning their was no worry, and then…..
It all began to feel defeating.
As months have gone by he has began to eat food, but will not eat baby food. So we have tried Baby Led Weaning. Believe me, I was obsessive about starting with orange vegetables, switching to green then trying fruits. Well Theodore made us throw this out the window and now we have FUN with food. Don’t fear…this is Doctor approved and he LOVES it. It helps his developmental milestones and he gets to practice eating. WIN-WIN!! We have now attempted self-feeding…still a work in progress.
We have learned that he has what is called Torticollis and has had it since birth. This causes turning of the head, lifting the head and other activities to be painful for him. So with PT and “baby massages” we have made progress! Yesterday.he actually pushed up during tummy time!! Huge step!!
Since we have worked on his neck, he has been able to learn to roll over, but often refuses to go from back to belly because he HATES being on his belly. You will often see him playing with his feet, begin to roll over and correct himself. You can see it all over his face like….. Woah, that was close. So rolling over happens, but we are still perfecting this milestone.
Glasses… Glasses, glasses…. They have helped a TON. He has what is called Nystagmus and poor eyesight. We are still unsure how much he can see but we will know more as he grows. Before the glasses, as I said he would not look or play with toys that weren’t handed to him. Now with the glasses he reaches out of his zone, and puts everything in his mouth (including his feet) and looks towards people as they call his name. The shaking of his eyes has decreased and even when the glasses are off he is willing to look and explore. He now knows there is a world!!
Standing or what we call “weight bearing” and sitting up is still a work in progress. With low muscle tone Theodore has to build his strength and work in small steps. It can be exhausting, for all of us.
However, he is very smart and try’s hard… I mean, he grunts and sweats like a body builder at the gym. It is amazing to see his mental strength and his determination work, because it shows us he wants to meet his own milestones.
We know he has determination, and most of the time we laugh because we say he will talk before he does anything else. There are so many great things and milestones that he has reached and we try to focus on the positive when he gets discouraged.
BUT, do not get me wrong…we have times where we get discouraged and we know those are the times we have to be strong and push harder.
It is strange because you would never think that at 9 months old a baby could get discouraged BUT he does. When this happens we cuddle, give him loves and tell him he has done great and then REST, REST and REST.
We know he will reach his milestones and the doctors tell us that eventually he will reach his milestones. But, we know as parents we have to think of them as goals. We have to take them one step at a time and be patient. We know he will get there, but we are just unsure if it will be next month or next year.
For now, we will Report to Duty, every single day to be his parents and work through his milestones. Everyday we work on something and often things seem repetitive. We have to look at the big picture in knowing this is the best for him. Sometimes he screams and cry’s and it is heart wrenching, but we have learned that if we stop we are only giving up.
We wont give up!!
Until next time!
Reporting to Duty