Monday, March 31, 2008

What happened to the spring?

We got bombarded with more snow today. Never mind what I said about liking living in the cold! That was when I thought spring was here to stay. I want my sunshine back! J I have to admit, it is beautiful outside and soon it will all melt for good. Hmm, perhaps a snowman is in order. If only Elijah were old enough to help me…

**New photos on Photobucket**

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I’m writing this journal outside, sitting on our porch. Life is renewing itself all around us and I can’t help but to start making plans for the future. When the sun is out, life in general seems brighter. Sometimes I love living in a colder climate. While the winter can seem to drag on at times, I think I appreciate a good 50 degree day more than if the weather was nice all the time.

Elijah just woke up from a nap and is “talking” in his stroller. Andy and I are sitting on both sides of him, typing on our laptops. It’s funny sometimes how much technology is integrated into our lives, but nothing beats feeling the warmth on our faces from the safety of our front yard. We had a wonderful weekend spending time with Elijah’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Darlene. We’ve had a lot of good visits the last few weekends with Elijah’s aunt, uncle, and grandparents. Life is good… (We love you guys!)

Last week we took Elijah in to see his pediatrician; Dr. Positive. Elijah had some swollen glands that didn’t seem to be going away and has seemed congested for quite awhile now. He hasn’t really acted like he was sick, but we thought it would be good to get him checked out, just to be safe.

The doc checked Elijah over and everything is fine. He explained what to look for and when swollen glands would become a concern. He explained that Elijah probably was fighting a minor cold and as a baby gets older, he has to rely more on his own immune system rather than lean on the protection his mother gave him in the womb. Makes sense. He put our minds at ease and we were glad to see what Elijah now weighs, which is seventeen pounds fifteen ounces…with his clothes on. He is typically weighed without clothes, but he is definitely gaining weight and seems to be such a healthy little guy. We are so blessed in that department.

Dr. Positive also thought that Elijah’s head shape has changed since he last saw him and that it is becoming less noticeable. That is nice to hear. He also seemed to think Elijah was doing well and said he was happy to see how Elijah was interacting with me.

I have a little boy smiling at me right now as I type this. It’s hard to type and try to look at him at the same time! I suppose I should spend the rest of my day staring at him instead of a computer screen, so that’ll have to do for an update. Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the day too.

Love, The Wagners

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Early Intervention went really well last week. Elijah had his OT, PT, and a vision consultant visiting him. He was in a fantastic mood, fresh from a nap, and therefore it was a good session.

He tolerated being put into all sorts of different positions, held his hands open more to bear weight on them, and didn’t cry at all. (He usually gets upset about something…all that therapy is a lot for a baby to take). The vision consultant mostly just observed the session, but I’ll talk more about his vision later.

I’ve been seeing some major changes occurring in Elijah lately. He is more and more responsive every day. He loves to laugh and smile and does both quite often. We’re blessed to hear him giggle at least once a day, whenever something funny strikes him.

The OT and PT were quite positive about the progress Elijah is making and I’m so glad. The PT said that she was so excited because he is making so much progress each month when she comes to see him. That’s nice to hear. And when she said it, I could tell that she was actually excited. Yes, he is behind his peers, but he keeps improving and so I force myself to focus on the positive.

The vision consultant mostly just observed the session, but I did ask her some questions before they all left. While she isn’t qualified to give a diagnosis, she seemed to think that Elijah might have Cortical Vision Impairment. This isn’t something that is surprising to me; in the research I’ve done a lot of kids with brain injury have CVI.

So what is CVI? Basically, it means that while there is nothing wrong with the child’s eyes, the brain has a hard time distinguishing what the eyes are receiving. It also means that extra stimuli make it more difficult for the child to see. For example, if a toy is really noisy and flashy, Elijah may ignore it altogether because it’s too much for him to take in. Or if too much is going on, he simply might “shut off” his eyesight because it’s too much for his brain to process. I’m not an expert, (nor do I know if this is what Elijah has) but this is what I understand about the disorder.

Personally, I intuitively believe Elijah does have something going on with his eyes and the description of Cortical Vision Impairment makes a lot of sense. There are times that Elijah seems to stare right through things and other times when he seems to be incredibly in tune to his surroundings. This would also explain why he doesn’t really reach for things, because he might not be able to accurately see them.

The good news about CVI (from what I’ve been told) is that it can improve. I have been seeing changes in Elijah and his attentiveness. Before, he would rarely look at me. Now he looks at me and he does it often. He watches when I play games with him. I mentioned that I thought Elijah’s sight was getting better and the OT and PT adamantly agreed with me. He is improving and he will continue.

Keep praying! Pray for his head to grow, for Elijah to reach for and grab things, and for his eyesight. Pray for a complete recovery. I still believe that he can get there with a lot of hard work and with God’s blessing.

By the way, this week is Spring Break here, so Elijah and I have the week off. We don’t have our Infant Class and Early Intervention won’t be coming. What will we do with ourselves? :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yesterday was our Infant Class and it wasn’t all that enjoyable. Elijah cried nearly the whole time, which was difficult for me. We made it through, but neither of us had any fun. I’ve never really heard any of the other babies freak out like Elijah, which is also hard for me. Sure, they fuss or cry a little, but nothing like Elijah does. I like to think that Elijah is a relatively happy guy (and he is) but every single week he cries during class. It’s frustrating because it makes me wonder and causes me to question things…Does he have a shorter attention span than the other babies? Is it harder for him to calm down because he doesn’t understand what is going on? Or is he just fussy, tired, hungry, grumpy, or not feeling well? This is what parenthood for me (for us) is like. We never know what is “just Elijah” and what is a symptom of his injury. It’s frustrating to say the least.

How I long to tell Elijah, “No! Don’t put that in your mouth!” Or “Sweetie, don’t touch that!” Or “Elijah, get over here. That’s dangerous!” I’ve thought in some ways, parenting Elijah is easier than it would be to parent other children his age. He doesn’t try to touch things very often, doesn’t crawl, or get into mischief. I’d rather be able to tell Elijah “no” than to have it easy any day (which, by the way, I wouldn’t call our parenthood anything but easy!).

The good news is that he’s getting there. I have seen him putting things in his mouth now once in awhile. Sometimes I don’t know if the item in his hand simply got in his way of him sucking on his hand, but this is how he’ll learn how to do it regardless. Often learning grows out of accidents. I know Elijah will keep it up.

I would have taken development for granted if Elijah had had a normal birth. When I was pregnant, I didn’t know I’d spend my days thinking, “Okay, I have to get Elijah to sit like this to strengthen his arms” or “He hasn’t had nearly enough tummy time” or “Is this a sign of cerebral palsy?” I know I need to relax and enjoy motherhood more, but most don’t understand the agony I go through every day, trying to give my son all the best opportunities in life and never feeling like I’m doing enough. I guess what I am trying to say is… please don’t take development for granted…yours or your children’s. If you are breathing, eating, holding your head up, or sitting you are blessed. For some it doesn’t come naturally and we have so much to be thankful for. Some children never make it as far as Elijah has already. I know that Elijah will develop; it’s just not going to be as easy for him as it is for others. This is hard for me to admit, but I know that God is watching over us, healing Elijah, and cheering him on more than I am (which doesn’t seem possible).

Speaking of development, Early Intervention is coming this afternoon. I always look forward to seeing our OT and this week a Vision Consultant is coming to see Elijah too. I’m curious as to what she’ll have to say. I’ll keep you posted. Please continue to pray for Elijah’s head to grow and for his brain to develop and compensate for his injury. We do appreciate all of the support.

It’s a beautiful day here. I just took a deep breath and smiled, feeling the air making its way to my lungs. Life is good…I hope I never forget it. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Admittedly I haven’t been writing updates as often. Perhaps this is because Elijah is a handful. The last few days he’s been fussier than normal and I always feel like I need to be stimulating him when he’s in a good mood. Those precious naptimes are usually when I try to get some housework done. I’m always busy! I had started a journal earlier this week, but I never finished it. I do find myself composing journals in my head, but the words rarely make it to a keyboard. Anyway, I’m rambling, so here is an update for this week…

Elijah slept for ten and a half hours on Monday night! We’ve been trying to repeat that occurrence ever since to no avail. As a result, Elijah was well rested and happy for our infant class on Tuesday. He really liked the songs we sang at the beginning of class and he had a bottle during the discussion time so I could talk to the other mommies while he ate. I actually enjoyed myself and neither of us had a breakdown. :)

Elijah is getting better at sitting up. At the beginning of class, I sat Elijah on the floor, not expecting him to tolerate sitting. (He often fights having to sit. He’d much rather prefer to lie on his back or to stand on my lap.) Anyway, he sat on the floor by himself for quite awhile. I keep my hands hovering around him in case he decides to throw himself backwards, but it’s great to see him sitting on the floor like the other babies. It was really nice that one of the other moms noticed how much better Elijah was doing at sitting. “Wow,” she said. “He’s doing such a good job sitting! That’s so much more than he was doing last week!” I felt myself gleaming with pride. Elijah continues to improve.

Wednesday we had our OT over to the house and Elijah was more alert again this week. The OT brought us a switch toy, which is basically a huge red button connected to a toy. When Elijah pushes the red button, he makes the toy move. I was pleased to see that he can purposefully push the button to turn it on. He really seems to like it and it’s great to see him finally playing with a toy.

On another note, it’s also hard for me to see on the box a little sticker that says “Special Education.” Elijah has essentially been in Special Ed since he was born (with Early Intervention), but I’ve always felt he didn’t fit into this category. Now that he is getting older and his development is lagging behind, I feel myself coming to terms with the fact that he does indeed need to be in Special Ed. That’s hard for me to admit and I’d say I’ve spent this week coming to terms with the reality that Elijah is different from his peers. I try not to worry, but of course I do. I worry he won’t crawl, walk, or run. I worry that he won’t talk or say “I love you mommy!” I believe in my heart that he will do all these things and more. I know I have to wait for God’s plan for our son to unfold. Anyway, it’s been a week of ups and downs for me, full of rest and exhaustion, joy and frustration. Sounds like life, huh? Hope you all had a good week. :)

Oh, I almost forgot! Elijah is seven months old today! Can you believe it?

Friday, March 7, 2008

We’ve had one of those “we’re busy…but with what?” kind of weeks. Having Elijah withdrawals? It’s been quite a while since I have written an update, so I’ll try to remember what exactly has been keeping us so busy…

“Mommy and Me” went well this week. There was no crying involved. Well, at least not on my part. Elijah, on the other hand, decided he didn’t want to be at school anymore and started to cry near the end of class. The two of us had to leave early because he was being so loud and didn’t calm down until we were walking away from the classroom. (This was after we had to leave earlier for a diaper change). Hmm, maybe next week neither of us will have a nervous breakdown.

Early Intervention also went well this week. Elijah’s OT showed us a few more things to do with him to encourage him to sit and to stand. I am aching for him to be able to sit on his own. He seems to be getting close, but he’s not quite there yet. He can sit for a few minutes, but we have to keep a hand behind him because he throws himself backwards when he decides he doesn’t want to sit anymore.

Tonight Elijah was incredibly giggly. Andy and I were sitting on the couch together and Elijah was on Andy’s lap facing us. Elijah started to laugh at me, which in turn caused us to laugh, and our laughing caused him to laugh again…and back and forth it went. It was fun to hear him laughing in response to a laugh. It means he understands the concept of laughter. I think it’s another step in understanding language.

Speaking of language, it’s so fun to listen to the noises Elijah makes. He is making more of a variety of sounds. His newest noise sounds something like Big-Ger. We tell him, “Yes! You’re getting bigger!” It’s incredibly cute. :)

Anyway, that’s all of the Elijah adventures I can remember for now. I hope you are all doing well. Please continue to pray for Elijah’s continued development.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...