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Posts Tagged ‘sibling’

I’m an hour early for the celebrations this year. May officially turns 2 1/2 tomorrow, but we are celebrating now with her uncle and aunt who are in from Perth, Australia. What better gift for May’s birthday than two more people around to spoil her!

Considering how far May has come, I’m especially excited as to what the next six months will hold since May started with doing more physio and other therapies, and also – fingers crossed – will be starting at a special school in January.

In keeping with previous birthday posts, let’s all celebrate May’s amazing accomplishments!

(Bouncing encouraged, but optional.)

May, when you were born, here is what the doctors definitely knew you would be able to do:

– pee

– breathe

At two and one half years old you can:

– sleep in your big girl bed (but not through the night grrrr)

investigate your new sibling’s mouth

– enjoy being on your tummy so much you giggle rather than cry

even prop yourself up on your arms and have a look around 

– lift your head up and hold it up in awkward positions

– relax and remain in a side lying position without support

– show the potential to control your hands and arms more

– play independently in your Bumbo or bouncer for 30+ minutes

express your disappointment with Welsh rugby

Happy Birthday May! We love you!

____________________

You can read more from Stacie on BabyCenter or Twitter!

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You’ll have to look closely here. As quickly as I could in such an awkward position, I tried to capture something I’d never seen before. The shaky footage is due to me grabbing my computer, the only thing with a camera to hand. Also, the upload plays at a slightly faster speed than real life giving it a silent film like quality. Not to mention I started weeping.

All this, and yet it is such a miraculous moment that I’m uploading it anyway.

Here May reaches out and for the first time I have ever seen, touches something other than our faces. And, it’s her brother.

In my wildest dreams, I never expected May to acknowledge Ieuan so early on. I didn’t get my hopes up on her acknowledging him at all – not until he was old enough to make his presence known. But here, May gently reaches out with an open hand, caresses his face and sticks her index finger in his mouth for him to suck on. She did it here, on the video, but also numerous times throughout hour they lay together under the playmat.

Don’t lose hope parents of special needs kids. Amazing things are always just around the corner. Of course, we endure the desperate eternities between milestones, and even our milestones are not conventional, but sometimes we are rewarded with the most beautiful moments of our lives.

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Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby has a new home now. Come visit us at mamalewis.com.

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When I wrote my 100,000 hits post, it was only February of this year. It took almost a year and a half to get there, and now a third of the time to get here.

But, that’s not what I really what I find amazing. 200,000 hits is small potatoes compared to everything else that happened in that short amount of time.

May discovered her mouth. She enjoys making clicking and humming sounds. She spits like a champ. She sings along with us. Her laugh is infectious. I defy anyone to not giggle along with her. What a joy she is!

May’s seizures disappeared. We go weeks without seeing one now. Let me repeat that for those of you new to my blog. We go weeks after almost two years of frequent seizures, at their height over 100/day. To rid herself of these, May had to endure medicine trials. That’s how she learned to spit like a champ.

May learned to sleep through the night. We should win a medal for that.

May moved on to chunky food and put on the pounds! Finally! (And, from this, I learned that my instincts are right. Two fingers to so-called experts who doubt and patronize thoughtful, reflective and informed parents.)

May became more independent. She mastered the Bumbo seat. Which means, she can sit – be it aided. That is an amazing step forward. Not to mention, she LOVES her Bumbo. She also loves her bouncer. In both of these, she will happily play on her own for 20 – 30 minutes at a time.

And, just in time – because she needs to be more independent after the major event of the year. A healthy, baby brother for May!

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In my last post, I discussed how May doesn’t understand the concept of a sibling, nor does she recognize that someone new has taken up residence in her home. Still true. (It’s okay. Don’t feel bad. We don’t.)

She does, however, react to Ieuan when he is physically placed next to her, as demonstrated in the video below.

The video is a bit longer than I normally post. This is down to my lack of any editing software. I would suggest you start the video about 2 1/2 minute in to get a full flavor for May’s reaction, if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

It is not my intention to bore you to death with long videos of my children.

That said, I can’t think of a better way to die…

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Since Ieuan’s birth, there has been one question we’ve been asked more than any other, even more than “Are you getting any sleep?” (Answer: No)

The question is: “How has May reacted to her new brother?” Sometimes people ask who really understand May’s cognitive functions. Always, it is asked with genuine interest. But, it is not a comfortable question for me to answer.

I’ve tried several answers:

“She loves hearing him cry. She loves a crying baby! Very funny!”

“She is being spoiled rotten so she is fine with it!”

“She’s enjoying being at home with her mama, daddy and new brother.”

What I really want to say is, “May has no idea she has a new brother.” Because, that is the truth. May doesn’t understand the concept of a new sibling joining the family. She doesn’t recognize that there is anyone new in the house. She is totally unconcerned. She is not excited. She is not upset.

I’ll be honest. I’m sick of answering this question. Every time I have to answer it, I lie. Okay, so they are white lies. (May really does enjoy laughing at a crying babies. The more screaming and pain the more rapturous her giggle.)

Only yesterday, I was still attempting to get May to recognize me. I walked into the kitchen quietly and stood directly in front of her with a big smile on my face. I willed her to identify my face while I remained silent. There was no response, and then, all of a sudden, she burst into a heap  of giggles. “She recognized me!” I cried out to my husband. He was just as excited, because even recognizing the faces of us, her parents, is difficult for May.

So, to be clear, though we may all want May to have a big reaction to her brother, she hasn’t.

But, that doesn’t mean she won’t in the future. If May is going to recognize her brother’s existence it will just take a bit of work on our end. Like everything else, May needs direct access and stimulation over time to build associations. She can’t just occupy the same room as him to know he is there; she has to feel his face with her hands, listen to his cries, be brought up close to him so she can see his eyes.

And, this is exactly what I’ve started to do with her. When I bring her that close, I think she shows a bit more interest. Okay, so she doesn’t grasp that she has a brother yet. But, he does amuse her. Especially, when he cries.

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You can probably guess why I’ve been a bit under the radar of late.

I have all the normal new baby joys and troubles (mainly: Joy! Joy! Joy!). In addition, there have been some particular troubles breastfeeding Ieuan that have left me feeling not only exhausted, but quite ill. You can read about them on BabyCenter.

Besides that here are my top three unbelievable moments of the past nine days:

1. Hearing Ieuan cry immediately after delivery. Incredible. I knew he’d be fine just from his voice. He is!

2. That the staff discharged us from the hospital two days after we arrived. I still can’t believe that we spent less time in the hospital than my entire labor for May.

3. How incredibly amazing a healthy newborn baby is. It is such a different experience and we are so grateful.

Something I do want to mention which has nothing to due with Ieuan is that Small Steps School for Parents, May’s school, is being evicted. They are too nice to call it that, but that’s what it sounds like to me. I don’t have the details, but I do have this email from the school which I hope you will share or share via Facebook, etc, as requested.

Small Steps only moved into this space just before May joined. It is very small, and although it is attached to a special needs school, I’m not sure how the space could be utilized differently. It is not a normal classroom size.

Small Steps School is the only school of its kind for children under-4 in South London. But, it serves a far wider area than just South London – as if half of London wasn’t big enough!

Please help if you can!

Dear Friends, 

Small Steps is looking for a new home!  The local authority has asked us to vacate these premises asap, by December at the latest, so we need your help.

If you know of any empty suitable (large, accessible) premises in South West London, please let us know.  Sole use is preferable, though all reasonable (and radical) options considered.

 Please help us in our campaign to ensure Small Steps’ survival.  Spread the word far and wide, copy this email to your contacts, Facebook and Twitter… we can’t do it without you!

 Thank you.

The Small Steps Team 

P.S.  Please contact us if you would like any more information or if you can help…

Small Steps, School for Parents

c/o Greenmead School
St Margaret’s Crescent
Putney
London  SW15 6HL
Registered Charity 1089161Join us at our Facebook page:

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Today, we brought May’s little brother home from the hospital. I still can’t believe they let us go! I am in total awe at how smoothly everything has gone – so different from our first experience.

I will tell more later. I’m too tired now. I’m only awake because I have to feed the little nipper soon!

Also, we have a name but I haven’t yet spoken to the whole family, so I will reserve the right to not say for a little while longer.

To sum up: happy happy happy.

Photos of May’s first meeting with Peanut, yesterday at the hospital:

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