Ok, so actually he is 14 months now, but I am just getting going on the blog and have a little catching up to do! My little man turned one on Sept 14th. His first year has been an amazing roller coaster ride! He was born at 36 wks and spent his first 9 days in the NICU. We brought him home with an apnea monitor and our life felt controlled at times by the alarms. He had at least one “real” apnea alarm every day. It became exhausting and emotionally draining feeling like I was just “waiting” for him to stop breathing. Ask any mom what one of her biggest fears is and she will most likely tell you her fear is that her baby would stop breathing during the night. Well, for 12 weeks I had to put my baby to bed every night KNOWING that he would stop breathing. Guess that would explain my obsession with his monitor and how before bed I would check the plug in the outlet, check to make sure the belt was tight enough on his chest, and lay in bed and watch the blinking lights on the monitor.
At 7 wks J4 got a cold and as a result he stopped breathing over 30 times in a 24 hr period. He was admitted to the PICU at Scottish Rite and we spent the next week at the hospital. He recovered fully and by 12 wks of age he just stopped having the apnea, literally overnight! He continued to wear the apnea monitor until he was 8 mos old. His pediatrician was awesome and she told me, “We will keep him on the monitor as long as you want to, you will know when it is time to take him off.” And I did, mother’s instinct I guess.
Then we got to move on to his eye problems! At 7 months old he was diagnosed with farsightedness, well above what would be considered acceptable for a baby his age. Apparently some level of farsightedness is normal in young children, I didn’t know this. He was followed by his PO (pediatric opthamologist) and when there was no “natural correction” of his vision by age 11 months he was prescribed glasses. Convincing a 1 yr old that he needs to wear glasses is a daily battle. Our hope is that we will be able to prevent his precious eyes from crossing due to the farsightedness. At our last appt the PO warned me not to be surprised or upset (yea, right) over the next few months when I see his eyes cross. He said that most likely his eyes will cross some, but should be straight when his glasses are on. In fact, he told me not to even call him unless his eyes were still crossing with the glasses on. Heartbreaking. J4 would be the 5th generation in our family with strabismus, at least as far back as we can count. But, it could be worse, this is correctable and he is a strong little man!
Now at 14 mos, J4 is showing some signs that he may start walking soon! His biggest motivation is keeping up with the older three! He is a joy to his dad and I, even at 2,3 and4 am when he wakes up crying for his paci! We could never imagine our family without our precious blond haired, blue eyed, glasses wearing, fit throwing, jabber talking little man!
It has become tradition for Nana Sue to write a poem to be included on each of the grand children’s 1st birthday invitations. Here is J4′s poem:
There is one little guy, Justin Timothy by name, whose tale must really be told.
The events still amaze us, astonish and astound us, as they continue to daily unfold.
If you start at his birth, write it all down, and go all the way through today
There are not enough books or lines in a poem to portray
The joys and the fears that have gripped at our hearts
And sent our emotions clear off of the charts!!
He looked so small in those hospital beds even under the greatest of care
We felt so helpless we could only bow down and appeal to our God in prayer.
His life, Dear God, is what we ask; Your breath is what he needs.
Just let us take him home even with the wires, the monitor and the leads.
A myriad of issues with eating and such, and sometimes he would forget to breathe.
We were extremely happy when, later in the year, he actually remembered to teethe!
So it’s been a whole year, and those first few months have almost faded away.
Now, if his Mommy is not fast enough, he will bang a spoon on his highchair tray.
You see — he’s here and intending to stay. Did we think he wouldn’t recover?
“Excuse me,” he says. “There’s no time to lose. I’ve got a whole world to discover.”
Now put on his glasses — he may wear them or not. He’s calling the shots nowadays.
And he’ll do whatever a fourth child must do to get his attention and praise.
Like grabbing Daddy’s head with his two hands and pulling him face to face
Then Dad’s heart will melt and Justin will giggle while granting this slobbery embrace.
So smash your cake little just and fair one. That’s one dessert you really rate.
And then continue to amaze and impress us with every exploit small and great.
For as it is written, the just shall live by faith. And our little Justin will do no less.
Go forth, little guy, and take your place — our lives and your family to bless.
We love you little man!
I will have a second post with the pictures from J4′s one year photo session(s)