Milestones

So I haven’t been updating this blog nearly as much as I should, I have been neglecting the internet in a bad way, but I’m thinking that’s a good thing because I’m trying to have as much mama/Thatcher time as I can. I think I spend way too much time tethered to my phone, and now that I’ve (mostly) quit junk food and cut down about 99% of my TV time, I need a break from the interwebs too. It kind of feels like I’m neglecting a friend, but better that than actually be neglecting my child.

I guess what I felt like writing about today is what I am working my way through right now. Thatcher will be six months old next week. It’s huge. I’m in total disbelief that it went by so quickly! It’s terrifying! 

But what is really getting me is that Thatcher’s development is really stalling. It seems like since he was born, I have been comparing him to “typical” milestone charts. I know it’s wrong, and that I shouldn’t be comparing him to anyone at all, but I can’t help it. I’m pretty sure all parents do it. How can you not? When I go on Facebook, all I see are parents showboating how “special” their babies are. I legitimately saw a claim last week that someone’s one-month-old could roll from her front to her back, a feat that Thatcher has yet to figure out. And I’m guilty of it too. It’s not that I’m trying to brag, it’s that I’m so thrilled that he is excelling that I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’m so proud. 

But lately, I have nothing much to shout, and everyone else is so much louder, and it’s drowning out the celebrations I should be having. I knew from the beginning that Thatcher would be a bit behind in his milestones, but I didn’t really accept it. I told myself it was true, but I watched him surpass expectations and excel, and I told myself it would be like this forever. And I’m realizing that it won’t. Eventually, other kids his age will be crawling, and he might be starting to truly sit unassisted. They might walk, while he starts to crawl. Maybe they will be talking in short sentences while we are still grasping some simple words. And I think it’s going to be hard. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

And I am insanely proud of everything he does, don’t get me wrong. We are working at unassisted sitting, and he is finally rolling from back to front bilaterally. After two or three months of rolling only one way, I was over the moon when he finally “got” it last week after hours of coaxing and practice. But it’s still hard. It’s still a loss, and maybe it always will be. And it is just leaving me so torn. I feel like a mama’s job is to be fierce and proud and fighting for her babies. She is supposed to think everything they do is perfect (okay, maybe not drawing on the walls or having a tantrum at Loblaw’s, but you get the drill). And I feel so guilty about how I’m feeling. I don’t know why I’m telling y’all this except to get it out there and hope that someone, somewhere has felt the same and it’s not just me. I can’t really even put it into words, exactly what I’m feeling, because it comes out wrong. It’s not disappointment with Thatcher, but rather with that one damn extra chromosome that is affecting our lives. My hope, I guess, at putting this all into words is that some kindred spirit somewhere will find this and read it and understand. And I won’t be alone in my feelings. I love Thatcher so much and I want him to have everything in the world. I want him to be exactly who he wants to be, and it’s heartbreaking to think that some things could be out of the realm of possibilities in the future. 

I saw a video posted on Facebook yesterday, about a mama whose daughter was born with DS and she ended up opening a cupcake shop bearing her daughter’s name (http://www.cristinastortinashop.com), and in the video interview she said that the doctors told her they were “sorry” that her daughter would never be a doctor or a lawyer. Her reply was that she didn’t expect any of her kids to be doctors or lawyers, what was so different about her youngest? I get what she was saying and I can respect that, but what if one day Thatcher tells me he wants to be a doctor or a lawyer? What then? I want him to be whatever he wants to be. I hate the idea of telling my beautiful, perfect son that he can’t be who he wants to be. 

I guess that’s what’s getting me down. The reality that is hitting me, all over again, is that his life isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are going to be challenges, and we are going to have to work hard. The great thing, the lucky thing, really, is that he will do all those things other babies do. He will crawl, he will walk, he will run. He will do it on his own time, and I will be fiercely proud of him every day of his life. Some children never get to do these things, so for this I am grateful. 

But it still doesn’t make it easy. There are going to be days like today, where I mourn the loss of the ideals I had, so that I can bury them and further appreciate our life as it is going to be. And it is going to be phenomenal, because I have the two best boys in the world to share it with. 

Advertisements

8 responses to “Milestones

  1. Trianna….I think you need to just pause and catch your breath, and quit reading the damn milestones books! They are just guidelines for any child. All children, whether they have special needs or not, reach certain milestones at varying times. I think as moms we get so caught up in where our children “should be” or where other children are, that we end up being competitive about our children’s development. We never know what the future holds for our children. So rather than worry about what Thatcher may or may not be able to accomplish in his life time….focus on what is important today. And please, listen to people when they say cherish every moment, because it really does fly by, my baby will be 6 this summer, I can’t believe it!! Oh….and you know what a crazy proud freak of a Mum, I am…right? Well, my baby didn’t sit up on her own until nearly 8 months, wasn’t fully potty trained until 4 years, and STILL sucks her thumb ( we are working on that!!) So I am sure that is not on track with what the books say! So for this moment in time, just enjoy his adorable smile and giggles and the way he looks at you, and not stress about where other children are in their development compared to Thatcher. You are a great Mom, and he is lucky to have you to always be in his corner.
    PS…I think you were chosen to have this little boy, because you will be such an amazing advocate for him and other children with DS. You are very brave to open up and let people see inside your emotions and fears….kudos to you!! XO

    • Thanks Margo!! This is what I needed to hear! It’s so hard because other people’s posts are just really getting to me right now. I know he will do things on his own time, and I know that in the end he will be able to do it all, so what are a few more months? I know this stuff, it’s just hard to see in the moment. I appreciate your comment! Shaylee is a gorgeous little girl and I LOVED the video you posted about her hair, I even showed my mum. I was dying of laughter!!

  2. I think you are an amazing mama and Thatcher is lucky to have you. I wish I had magic words to help you through this journey.Although this journey of parenthood and the ups ans downs help us and our wee ones build character. I know you aren’t all that religious but I think you are very spiritual…. in light of that remember you aren’t dealt more than you can handle.
    As for the posts. …it might be cleansing to block or eliminate those that do not add joy or happiness to your day. I know you care about those that care for you♥
    Hang in there. …

  3. Hi there! I found your post from the IDSC Babies and Toddlers FB page. I have a nearly 5 year old son with Down syndrome. And it’s still hard 5 years later not to compare my boy with other kiddos his age. It’s human nature; it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing but it’s what we humans do. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I’m at today–happy for my friends’ children and confident in my son’s abilities. There are things he struggles with (speech, toileting) but we take things day by day. I was very much where you are right now when Owen was 6 months old. It is hard and you will feel upset and that’s OK. You’re so early in this journey that it can be hard to see what the future might look like. Thatcher will do all those things you mentioned in his own time. And if he tells you he wants to be a doctor or a lawyer……..well then you’d better start saving for college!

  4. I felt the same way when Emery missed her first “milestone.” It sucks. Us new moms have a long way to go in getting used to this idea. I never cared about milestones with my first because I wasn’t worried. It wasn’t if, it was when. Now I catch myself saying – “if Emery talks, or if Emery walks,” knowing she probably will, but who knows. It’s good you’re processing. You’ll work through it and then you’ll move forward. I think our struggles as moms help us learn more compassion for our little ones. We are all out there alone, but together in our journey. Our love is fierce, but we are allowed to be sad for the hard parts. I guess the bright side is that we get to enjoy our babies longer and everything they do is cause for extra celebration. Thanks for putting it out there. It’s good to know us moms have each other for support.

  5. I also want to say something, not only to you but to all moms and myself… It is great when they meet milestones but damn, all of us moms need to stop be so critical of ourselves and our children. We need to let them grow and develop the rate they do and try to savour it instead of comparing. I think its hard not to compare because its our human nature and its easier to know what people are doing via social media. We all need to have realistic expectations and more important ” let them be little” We will miss these days so savour them!

  6. I could be a kindred spirit! 🙂 My daughter Tessa is two months and I have had to ‘block’ some acquaintances on my beloved Facebook because their children are so close in age to mine and I don’t want to get in the habit of comparing. It’s hard!!! I want her to do wonderful things and I know she will, but my patience is definitely something I struggle with.

    I hope you will keep faith that your son can do whatever he wants and puts his mind to, even if it takes a little longer. I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor!! It’s just too early to know. People with Down syndrome are living lives that are leaps and bounds above previous generations!!

    I am looking forward to hearing more about Thatcher!

  7. Oh Trianna, my beautiful baby girl. My heart is breaking for you reading this, but it shouldn’t be, and yours shouldn’t be either. Thatcher is amazing, every single solitary cell that he is made up of and every chromosome, extra or not. I remember when he was first born and we found out he had Down Syndrome and I asked you if you would love him any less if he had four arms or six legs or two heads, and you said no. I said he is perfect just the way he is, and you know he is. You are an amazing mother and you have grown into the awesome woman I always knew you would be. We always told you that you could be or do anything you wanted to, and I am sure that you will make sure that Thatcher has the same opportunities that you have had. He just might get there a little differently, but with you on his side, I have no doubt that he will climb mountains. Your dad and I have never been prouder of you, and I have never loved you more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s