Tuesday, January 6, 2009
My precious gift (Old Post 1/6/09)
Today is my birthday; I want to share with you a little bit of our precious gift instead receiving a gift. This gift is my baby boy, Thomas Aidan. He is a gift that came from above who has completed our lives. We were ready for a baby that will have a lot of challenges for accomplishing his milestones and health issues. Our pediatrician, therapists and Down Syndrome Center agree that Tommy is a strong and healthy baby who keeps accomplishing his milestones right on track. You will be able to experience a little bit of our joy.
Having an extra chromosome in our family, it is more rewarding and educational than challenging. Because we have learned a lot about parenting by receiving a full guideline from therapists, Down Syndrome Center and our pediatrician, which most of new parents don’t get. We feel that we have the best baby ever!
When Thomas Aidan came home, the transition from the day to the night wasn’t a problem because he picked it up right away. He learned to sleep through the night since he was 2 month old. He responds to his name since he is 4 month old. He held the bottle before he turned 7 month. He learned to drink from the sippy cup in one week. Three weeks later, he was drinking from the sippy cup by himself on the high chair before he turned 8 month. He learned to turned pages of the book by himself, just by washing me reading to him. He is becoming and expert of turning pages. He started waving since he was 7 month and we didn’t spent time teaching him.
He is doing a lot of things at his 9 month. He actually drinks from the straw cup. Not more sippy cups! The therapists and I thought that it was earlier to introduce the straw cup, but it will be good starting earlier because it would take time for him to learn. Our sippy cup broke and I gave the straw cup to him before our training session with the Occupational therapist. For our surprise, he just held the straw cup and drank his juice as he was doing it long time ago. He is also able to drink a little bit from regular straws. He is trying to spoon feed himself. He also started finger food.
He actually stands up for a little while by holding himself with his hands on the coffee table. He is starting to pull up to play with his Baby Play zone. He is not crawling yet, but he seems more interesting on standing up and pulling up, which is good because those stages are previous to cruise and walk. Every baby is different! There are babies who crawl one week and by the next week, they are walking. Other babies don't crawl at all. We keep encouraging him to crawl.
Everybody knows that Thomas Aidan is daddy's boy since he was a newborn. He sees daddy and his face lights up. If you ask him "Where is daddy?” he will look right where his daddy is. I truly believe Tommy's first word will be "daddy". Tommy is also able to understand English and Spanish. He will turn the page of a book, if you give him the command "Turn the page" or "Pasa la pagina". Currently, he is learning "Open the book (abre el libro) and Close the book (cierra el libro)". He understands "up-up, arriba-arriba". He also understand "hold it" or "agarrala". He did sign "more" when he was about 7 month with our Physical therapist. We were so pound that day, but we have been busy that we totally forgot that we were teaching him to sign and he doesn't do it any more. We are on track again teaching him to sign. Next time, I will record it!
Tommy seems to have an independent personality. He has always found a way to communicate what he likes and dislike, what he wants and what he doesn’t want. He gets really mad when things are not how he wants; his face turns in a deep red. He tries to do things by himself. For example: He tries to brush his gums by himself. He had also held my hand to guide me to feed him. I finally understood that he wanted to feed himself. He is also considered a tough baby by our pediatrician, therapists, relatives and us. For example: If you want to make him laugh, play rough with him. He doesn’t cry when he gets a shot –it is more dramatic for us than for him.
He is a “flirt” and he always try to be the center of the attention. He also has developed his attachment stages toward mommy and daddy earlier. According to our pediatrician’s milestone guide, infants try to be the center of the attention and show attachment to their caregivers by 9 months. Tommy does it since he was 7 month old.
When Adam and I went to bed on Christmas’s night, we both had the same feeling. We felt an enormous piece in our hearts. We are witnesses of the God’s presence in our son because he is a healthy, unique, amazing, strong, and cute little boy with a genetic disorder who is giving more than other kids of his age. We feel that having Tommy is meant to be because Adam and I have always had respect for people with different abilities. We both have been rising in Catholic families with strong pro-life beliefs. We both are persistent to accomplish our goals, which make it easier for us to be focused on our main goal: “To raise our son as an independent person, giving him the opportunity to experience everything that will make him an exceptional man.” We think God has put the right people on our path because we have found the prefect health care provider team that have gave us an unconditional support. Our team truly believes in my son's potential. They always encourage us to keep Tommy very active because he can do it.
I want to thank to everybody that has support us in a way or another. I specially want to thank God for choosing us to parenting Thomas Aidan. God knew we would fight to give him the opportunity to enjoy a full life. I want to say thank you our families and friends to be there for us when we needed to talk about the diagnosis. My mom is very special to me because she is my friend and she always gives me her unconditional support. "Mami gracias por hacer de mi la persona que soy, gracias por inculcarme el amor a Dios y sobre todo, por simpre dar el 100% y más para ofrecerme una vida mejor. Seguiré tus pasos para sacar adelante a mi hijo, te quiero mucho."
Having a son with an extra chromosome it is the most rewarding experience that I have ever had. Tommy is teaching us that nothing is impossible for God and nobody is out of our Lord’s Grace.
Happy Birthday to me!