Summer has flown by for all of us. School baseball has begun and tomorrow is the first day for Thirteen and L starts next Tuesday. Finally, we will be back on a more typical schedule and life will become more mundane. Riiiiight. The babies are doing great as am I. I explained it to my girlfriend the other day that how I feel now in the 6th month is how it felt at 8 months with a singleton. Like you ate six pancakes and are at capacity – but oh no, there are three more months to go.
Everything is measuring perfectly just as it has all along but people make remarks about how small I am which is just as bad as telling a mother she is huge. I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. I’ve never carried a lot of weight through pregnancy and I eat well and drink a ton of water. I am plenty big, I just hide it well and I have a long torso, which again is deceptive to how big you really are. My retort – “you should see me naked.” The problem for me is that I have enough bad thoughts in my head and worries. I don’t need comments that feel negative or that I am somehow carrying abnormally. Most people don’t mean anything by it – it just pops out, and I am pretty sure most think of it as a compliment. However, it makes me feel defensive. I’ll get over it soon enough when the weight and growth comes toward the end and all of a sudden people will say “geeze you’re huge” cause you know that is coming.
Nevertheless, this is the emotional side of being pregnant. I find that I am crying more easily. The other day I was sitting with L at the pool feeding her dinner and it was crowded with families and children galore. A conversation was being held by people who were standing around me about school and children getting ready to start or parents looking to see what school options are best for their child. I was sort of half listening because I know every option there is for a school but that is like telling someone what religion or political party to side with. I usually stay out of it and even if asked, I only give a small amount of input. Mr. Ex’s other children lived with me for 10 years and went to several different public and private schools in town. I have one in a private religious setting and one in the public schools and I research the heck out of all options for both kids and will begin this journey again shortly in order to choose a high school for Thirteen.
Anyway – the conversation turned when a parent began to make a joke about how said child didn’t have to go school. Didn’t need to learn, read, math, move away, never get married, no college, all of the things that a child is supposed to do – right? It was a joke. I know this. The sensible part of me knows as well as the smartass side of me. However, each comment became a hit to my gut. The irony was that sitting right there in the midst of this joke/conversation is a little girl who will never have the ability to do many if any things on that list. My sweet little one who was shoving her grilled cheese in hand over fist was oblivious to the joke, and everyone was oblivious as I kept my head down and swallowed hard around the lump.
I would have died if anyone had noticed because pity is not something I reach for and I certainly NEVER EVER want anyone to feel bad for something said in jest. It was just another conversation where words can become hammers to the heart for someone who walks a journey that is different from the norm. I wanted to stop the conversation/joke and ask – what if you truly were faced with that list and know that your child would never achieve those things ….. ?
Hormones are reaching for their peak so it is understandable that I am feeling this way. I am watching babies more now and asking how old and then comparing the age to what I recall. I no longer remember what it’s like to have a typically developing baby so I am often shocked when a parent tells me the age. My girlfriend was sitting with me last Sunday, her daughter was in the high chair, and I watched as she tried for her mothers’ attention and response. It was an amazing exchange of non-verbal communication so I asked “how old is she now” and the response “8 months” and I was blown away. Babies are amazing and the rapid rate of learning is truly staggering especially to me as I am sure it is to those who are raising children with developmental delay.
It will be interesting to see how these two babies will change life – if they are typical in development, which I pray for every. single. day. To watch as Thirteen grows and morphs into a teenager has been a joy even though I cry every year when he turns yet another page. He is a joy for me even in the midst of driving me to the point of banging my head on the wall at times. I am looking forward to Larkin being pushed by her siblings and watching the challenge, they will bring to her life. I also understand that there will be grief associated with siblings moving ahead developmentally.
Larkin has changed so much since we weaned her off the Ketogenic diet. Think of it as a jump from having a 6-month-old to an 8 month old and at times she is like a plain ole toddler. Throwing toys, food, and picking on the dogs. She is working hard to walk but is still weak at her core. Swimming all summer has helped a great deal and I bought a compression vest for her to wear at school. The compression will help her feel stable and know where she begins and ends in space. I am looking forward to her teacher conference and bringing her back to school so they can see her progress. No bottles, and a sparkle in her eye, giggles abound, and hopefully she will stop pulling other people by the hair by next Tuesday.
One big development is I am seeing less of a delay when you say her name. If you call her name out it used to take 10-20 seconds for her to process and turn – now I am seeing her turn to me immediately, which is a HUGE stride to her neurological progress.
I’ll take pictures the first day of school – I’m looking forward to her meeting that list head on – learning, reading, math, whatever the path may bring because that is the joy of having a child. Watching them thrive and grow no matter the pace. Slow and steady wins the race.