Sunday, January 26, 2014

6 Months Old

Date: 1/25/2014

Age: 6 Months

Weight: 17 lbs 0 oz

Height: 26 ½ inches

Head Circ.: 41 cm

Eating: He eats 2-3 oz mixed with equal parts oatmeal cereal every 2-3 hours. He also eats pear baby food three times a day. LOVES eating from the spoon!

Sleep: Bed time is at 9:00 and wakes up (from being stuffy/teething pain) at different times. He usually wakes up anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30, and sometimes once in the middle of the night as well.

Likes: slinky, eating with a spoon, putting everything in his mouth, his new playroom, his monkey blanket, splashing in the bath

Dislikes: teething, coughing and runny-nose

Milestones: sitting up on his own, hand-eye coordination when playing with toys, teething, shifting his weight on his stomach and pushing up higher on his hands (a learning to crawl step!)

It is so strange to look back through his one month old pictures. He looks like a different baby. It is amazing how much he has grown in a few months. What a chunky monkey he is now! 

I am happier now, than I have ever been in my life. Anthony has been the biggest blessing, and it feels as if I have loved him for a life time.. not just six months. Being a mother is the best feeling in the world. I will always love Anthony unconditionally, and can't wait to see how that love will grow as he gets older. 

Love you to the moon and back nugget. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me! Happy half-year! 

love, mommy! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Getting the ball rolling

A while ago I wrote a post about contacting the hospital where Anthony was born to share my story and give them ideas on how to properly deliver a down syndrome diagnosis. And, I did. . . well the first part at least. Two months ago I contacted the hospital and got the ball rolling... but then it came to a stop. I talked to someone there and she was very excited to set up a meeting with me to be able to  talk with the staff about my story and what steps they should take in changing their procedure. Sadly, I admit that I did not ever follow through with calling the hospital back to set everything up. It was a combination of a few things that held me back. Being a mother and going back to work takes up most of my time. I feel like I never have a free second to sit down and tie up any loose ends. But, that shouldn't be an excuse. I was honestly just scared. I don't consider myself an expert on how to tell families their child has down syndrome. I just know that I don't like how the news was delivered to me. It scared me to think that I would have to stand up and share my story with the hospital nurses and doctors, and that I wouldn't have much more to offer after that. So, that "big" idea was put on hold ...until last night.

I was on Facebook last night, as usual, before going to bed and I came across something that made me so excited. One of the down syndrome facebook pages I follow started their own digital magazine, and I was looking through their first issue. I saw an article about a mother in Iowa that started something amazing, and I knew that this was exactly what I was waiting for. In honor of her son born with down syndrome, she started making baskets filled with uplifting and positive information about down syndrome. She gives these baskets to local hospitals to hand to new families that welcome a child with down syndrome.

Once I read that article, I couldn't stop smiling. It was as if she was reading my mind, the idea was perfect. THAT is what I can offer to the hospitals! So, I decided to get in contact with her and figure out how she started making her baskets so that I could bring the idea to my area. I want to piggy-back off of her idea and use the same concept but make it my own.

It would have made the world of a difference to get a "congratulations" basket from the hospital, filled with well wishes and positive resources, instead of sad looks,an outdated informational packet, and a long list of what could medically be wrong with Anthony. It's not a good idea to leave the parents with limited information, because then they take matters into their own hands and turn to the internet. Yes, you can find amazing resources on the internet if you know where to look. I know when I first typed "down syndrome" into google I was overwhelmed with information and I almost had a panic attack with the growing list of what could be wrong with my son. Parents need to be told the positive part of their new life, not focus on what could be wrong. Any parent can tell you that no child's health is perfect their entire lives. There will always be something to worry about, as a new parent that's what it's all about, right? ha! But, seriously, it's not the time when you first meet your new son or daughter to have your head filled with so much worry.  Welcoming a new baby into the world should be a happy and joyous time!! In that same respect, welcoming a baby with down syndrome into the world shouldn't be any different.

Okay, back to the baskets! I know it's not going to be easy getting this project started. I need to make a few connections, and contact a few organizations to even get the idea in motion. ... I also need to think of a good name for the baskets in honor of Anthony, my biggest inspiration of all! I think I just wanted to write about it so everyone who reads my blog will know what is to come soon! I wish that Joe and I had the funds to just go out and buy everything I want to put in the baskets and start making them today, but we don't. So, I hope to start a facebook page this weekend as a place to raise money and ask for donations to start making these baskets. ( I even wrote into the Ellen tv show asking for help, I love her show so much and she helps so many people that I thought hey, why not?) Hopefully it wont be too long until the first family receives a basket, and they will know that there are people that care about their child, and that everything is going to be okay! (More than okay, really... my life is so filled with love I could burst!)

In other news..... Anthony has been growing so much it's not even funny! I feel like every day he surprises us by doing something new. Recently, he has been getting the hang of sitting up on his own! I am so so so proud of how hard this little man works. He also has been teething for the past month. So, needless to say, things have been a little hectic around here. A teething baby is no walk in the park. But, I can't complain because even though he is cranky... I can't hide how happy it makes me! Joe and I were reading in one of our books about Down Syndrome that babies with Down Syndrome might not start teething until 1-2 years of age. So, I will take all of the cranky moments with a smile on my face because it just reminds me that it really doesn't matter what is "typical" or not, Anthony will do things when he is ready. I love that little boy!
Teething with my Sophie Giraffe, so tasty!

Actually, I like my fingers a whole lot better! 

See Tigger? I told you I could do it! 

Practicing my balance on daddy!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Bumpy Road

95% of the time I forget that Anthony even has Down Syndrome. It's not something that I think about a lot, because he is just Anthony... my baby! He does all the things that any other baby would, so why would I think of him any differently? The other 5% of the time, I am reminded by things that are out of my control. During therapies, or doctor visits, Down Syndrome is constantly on my mind.

It's weird to think that our life might not be "typical" for everyone... that other mothers might not have to worry about scheduling life around physical therapy, speech therapy, monthly doctor appointments, and trips to the hospital. That might not be a typical life for other families, but it's our normal. Going through all of those things makes me realize that we're not like most other families, and that our road might be a little bumpier. I don't mind all of the bumps along the way, it's just something that we have grown used to. But, it doesn't mean that I don't feel them. With each new bump, I am reminded... brought back.. to what the reality is. Even though there are really hard days...there are also days where there are no bumps at all, and we just enjoy the ride together as a family. 

I think that being on this "bumpy road" for the past five months has made me a much stronger person. I have learned to grow from each one, and it makes it a little easier to endure the next. So much so that most times, 95% of the time, I forget that we even travel a different road. 

The other day, I encountered another bump that caught me off guard. I wasn't ready for it and it hit me pretty hard. Something so simple as a conversation with another person made me want to just curl up and cry. The person came up to me with a sad look on their face. They said they were so sorry. I looked at them and said that there wasn't anything to be sorry for because I have an amazing son, a healthy son, and I love him more than life itself. I don't think the person was deliberately trying to offend me or make me upset, I honestly think they had good intentions. But, regardless it was said again. "I know... but I am just so sorry." And it brought me back to a place that I didn't want to be in. I don't want to be reminded that my road is different than yours. Yes, sometimes it may be hard... but that doesn't mean I am sorry I am on it. Anthony is worth every single bump, times a million. I just wish other people could see that too. 

And that made me think. That I don't think anyone has a completely smooth road in life. Everyone is dealing with something. I feel pretty thankful that Anthony has taught me to embrace each bump for what it is, and to enjoy the ride.