Baby Two, Round Two, Do we know the signs yet?
Round 2, Baby 2, are the signs the same?
My first son was 16 months old when I found out I was pregnant for my second son. The pregnancy was complicated from the very beginning, and, after losing a baby six months earlier, I was a nervous wreck. The pregnancy started like most do, a missed period and a positive test . At eight weeks along, I started bleeding. No cramps and not a lot of blood,but enough to make me run to the hospital fearing the worst. The ultrasound showed a sub-chorionic hematoma, meaning the baby had pulled away from the uterine wall and reattached himself. For the time being, I was told to take it easy and not do any heavy lifting.
At ten weeks, horrible nausea gripped me. I could not so much as roll over without throwing up. Another trip to the emergency room and some anti nausea medication and an IV and I was on my way home...and then my other son caught my morning sickness, I guess it was the flu.
Eleven weeks pregnant and the worst cramps I've ever had, back to the emergency room, another ultrasound, a new problem. I had a cyst growing as fast as the baby. It was about the size of a small tennis ball. It was the cause of all the pain. They did not know if I would carry the baby to term or lose him. Eventually, the pregnancy straightened out. It was painful, but no longer risky. I just couldn't wait to have that baby boy .
The day had finally come to meet my little boy. I had been in for false labor twice in the past couple weeks and now they were planning to induce my labor. November 09, 2010, my little boy was on the way. When I got to the hospital, they found I was already having contractions. They added some medication to help my labor progress. Six hours later, and me begging for pain relief, it was time to push. He came out first try.
Just like with my first son, Jude was perfect. I could not stop looking at him. All I wanted to do was hold him.
The first weeks...
Jude was the complete opposite of Gabriel. For all the times Gabriel did not want to be held, Jude could not get enough of being held. Jude would nurse for an hour if I let him and then get mad when I tried to lay him down to sleep. Actually, he seemed to never sleep. Our sleep schedule was completely backwards which is difficult to accomplish when you have to be up in the morning with a toddler. Jude would go to bed at seven or eight at night, wake up for a feeding around ten at night and then stay awake until three in the morning. After five hours of fighting with him to sleep in his crib or the pack and play in my room, I would break down and feed him in my bed where we would promptly fall asleep. Jude would wake up at five thirty for another feeding. He would sleep while I was dosing. I would sneak out of bed at six thirty and make breakfast for Gabriel and myself. Once Gabriel was up, I would set up my breakfast where I was going to feed Jude, and get Jude out of my bed for his breakfast. Once everyone was fed and cleaned up, Jude would want to be held for an hour or so. I would try to put him down to play so I could play with Gabriel and take care of the dogs. At nine, Jude would eat again and take a half hour to an hour nap. I would give Gabriel snack and attempt an art project while Jude was sleeping. Jude was up at ten thirty, another feeding. I gave Gabriel lunch at eleven. After Gabriel was down for nap, I would eat my lunch as fast as I could, offer Jude another feeding, and settle down on the couch with Jude for a nap. Gabriel and Jude both woke up at three. Another feeding, snack, and outside play if it was nice out. Jude would nap around five for about an hour and be up just as Gabriel was going to bed at night. Then the night routine would start over. Jude kept his schedule like this, except without the morning and evening nap until he was nine months old.
Missed milestones... red flags right?
Wrong! I was living on an army base in Kentucky. Jude was missing milestones left and right. At one month old, Jude could barely pick up his head. He was no where near rolling over, made almost no sounds other than crying, and NEVER wanted to be out of my arms despite my insistence that he play in his safe area for at least ten minutes at a time several times a day.
At his one month check up I discussed the concerns with the doctor , but it was normal. Jude had a big head and was "top heavy" in medical terms. He also had oozing pimples on his cheeks but those were just normal baby acne...right.
At four months, Jude was not rolling over, could not support himself to sit at all, could not grab or pick up toys, and still acted like a two month old baby. I brought up my concerns again and again was told I was over reacting. My first son was often early with milestones and I was clearly just not used to normal development.
Six months old and more of the same. Jude still could not roll over, sit up, and was not attempting to crawl, he could barely hold his head up when he was on his belly. He still had oozing baby acne. He still seemed so young. Again, I talked to the doctor and again I was told I was over reacting. He was not late, just on time.
When Jude was eight months old, I moved to New Hampshire. I brought him to a pediatrician I trusted. She went to sit him on the scale and Jude almost fell off. On top of it, he did not reach out to catch himself. The pediatrician was stunned. She asked if he was sitting and if I had noticed if he was behind on anything else. I told her everything I thought he should be dong but wasn't. She agreed he was delayed and within two weeks, Jude was receiving early intervention.
Upon enrollment, we got see how behind he was. Jude should have been sitting, babbling, grabbing toys, trying to crawl, able to roll from belly to back and back to belly, ready to eat solid foods with some texture without gagging, able to hold down his bottle feedings. We set his six months goals as some communication, able to cruise holding onto furniture, able to catch himself when he was falling, able to feed himself.
Therapy to now...
For the next ten months, Jude received early intervention once a week for a half hour. They worked on strengthening muscles so he could sit, the feeling of falling and putting his arm out so he could catch himself, sign language , kneeling so he could crawl, touching textures so he could get used to it. All in all, he was what the therapist called a rock star. He cooperated, he was happy, he loved the one on one time. Judge progressed. He was late for everything but he was moving ahead. At eleven months he started scooting around on his bottom, at twelve months he started crawling, at sixteen months he could pull to stand and at eighteen months he started to walk. Better late than never. In all that time, Jude did not utter a word. We got his hearing tested, normal. Then the therapist let us know, Jude is showing the red flags for autism. He just plays with one toy for too long, only likes spinning things, doesn't respond to his name, and so on. At eighteen months old, we knew Jude had autism. Our only hope was that he would outgrow it because the doctor couldn't be sure until he was two. Jude is two now. He still has autism. He doesn't talk.
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