Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hope

 I contemplated not writing this post, but then I thought that it would be dishonest to anyone reading who is on the same journey as Caleb and I.  I want this blog to be as honest as possible, so here it goes.

Most of the time, things go swimmingly here at the Swanberg household.  We feel elated to have been blessed with the most special baby girl on the planet (okay, maybe we are biased).  We laugh because we know there are many people who think to themselves, "Wow, Caleb and Melissa are being so strong, but this whole Down syndrome thing must be killing them inside!  They put on such a brave face."  Hahaha!  This couldn't be further from the truth!  In fact, there are many days that go by when we don't even think about the fact that Rosalie has Down syndrome.  It's only a small part of what makes our daughter who she is.

Earlier this week, I had a bad night.  I think it's the first time since Rosalie has been born that I have cried about Down syndrome.  I came to the realization, that while Rosie may seem like any other baby right now, as the months go by, differences will become more and more apparent.  She will look more and more different from other children, she will develop more slowly.  Babies who were born after her are going to be reaching milestones like sitting, crawling, walking, etc. before her.  All of a sudden, I wasn't seeing the positives anymore, I was thinking of all the what ifs.  What if she can't ride a bicycle and really wants to?  What if she's in diapers until she's 8?  What if she gets leukemia?  What will happen if/when she realizes that she is a little different from other children.  Will it bother her?  I don't know why I started obsessing about all of these things, but I just got overwhelmingly sad.  I sobbed and sobbed until I didn't have any tears left to cry.  It was a big old pity party in my bed at 11PM.

It's times like these (among others) when I am so thankful to have Caleb in my life.  He listened patiently to my worries even though he had to be at the hospital early the next morning.  He hugged me, he gave me Kleenex, and he cried with me.  He made me feel heard.  Finally, when I was all cried out, we went to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I was good as new.  Back to my happy-go-lucky self.  With Rosie in my arms, I felt so foolish for having cried so hard the night before.  As foolish as it felt, though, I think it's normal.  I was talking to my cousin, Sarah, about it, and she told me, "I think it's healthy for you to have those moments!  It shows that you care!  I would be worried if you DIDN'T have those moments because then you'd be a little too 'roll with the punches'".  I really think she's right.  It's those moments that will push me to be the best mom possible to Rosalie.  To do everything in my power to help her reach her fullest potential.

Later that day, I was watching Ellen, and Michael J. Fox was on.  For those of you who don't know, he has Parkinson's.  Ellen asked him how he keeps such a positive attitude despite his illness and he spoke the following words which really resonated with me:  "If you imagine the worst case scenario and it happens, then you've lived it twice."

Wow.  What a great point!  Why spend so much time stressing out and worrying about things that may not be?  If the worst actually does happen, which it often doesn't, then you're forced to go through those emotions not once, but twice!  Instead, try to embrace the possibilities that the future holds.  Work your hardest to makes these possibilities realities.  And always embrace hope.

Look at those little chunky arms!  Love it!

Wearing her "Mommy Thinks I'm A Hoot" outfit!  Thanks auntie Kris!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July Update

I'm sorry that I haven't been better about blogging lately.  Rosalie is keeping me quite busy!  A better way to get daily updates on her is to join our group on Facebook, "A Daily Dose of Rosie".




General Update:

I am amazed with how much Rosalie has grown in the past month; however, she is still quite the peanut.  She hasn't hit the 10 lb mark yet.  One of the most exciting developments is that she smiles socially now!


Rosalie also surprised me the other day during tummy time!  I was so excited to see that she can roll over from her tummy to her back (if all the conditions are right).


Our sweet pea is consistently sleeping anywhere from 8-10 hours through the night.  She wakes up every morning between 5AM-6AM, so my clock is slowly starting to adjust to starting the day earlier!

On the 4th of July, Rosalie made her very first trip to "the County" to visit her grandparents!

4th of July Outfit

First Dip in Madawaska Lake

Checking Out Pepere's John Deere



Health Update:

-2 Month Check-Up-
Rosalie did great at her 2 month check-up with her pediatrician, Dr. Dayle Dewey.  She certainly was NOT a fan of the three shots she had to get, but she calmed down pretty quickly when I picked her up to cuddle her.  It's a little unnerving to hear her cry like that because she has only done it a handful of times since she was born.  Rosalie was still at or under the 1st percentile for weight on the growth curve for typically developing children.  Dr. Dewey referred us to meet with a pediatric ophthalmologist (the American Academy of Pediatrics says this needs to be done before she reaches 6 months of age).

-Genetics Appointment-
Dr. Rosemarie Smith said that Rosalie is doing well for her age.  The best part of this appointment was that she graphed Rosalie's height and weight on a Down syndrome growth curve, rather than a growth curve for typically developing children.  On the Down syndrome growth curve for height and weight, she is at the 50th percentile!  (AKA perfect!)  We are so proud of our little princess!  Dr. Smith also gave us a chart that shows us when we can expect Rosalie to meet her developmental milestones.  I found a table on the National Down Syndrome Society website that shows comparisons of when typical children and children with Down syndrome meet their milestones.  You will notice that the range for children with Down syndrome is much wider than for typical children.


-Orthopaedic Appointment-
We are officially done with double diapering!  After having another ultrasound last week, Dr. Stephen Barr said that her hips are in the normal range and that there is no need for a follow-up visit!  You would think this would save us money, but now it's easier to see when Rosalie has a dirty diaper so we are actually going through more diapers!  :)

-Home Physical Therapy-
Our visiting Physical Therapist, Lisa, thinks that Rosalie is doing AWESOME for her age!  She said that she thinks Rosie will reach her milestones early for a child with Down syndrome!

-Reflux-
We had a week where Rosalie was spitting up after almost every single feeding.  A significant amount.  After eating 1 oz, she would push the bottle out of her mouth and gag if I tried to put it back in.  It was to the point where she was gaining very little weight.  I called the doctor about it and we went in for an appointment.  The doctor thought she was having reflux problems and prescribed raniditine.  We give it to her twice a day in her milk and after a little under a week, we saw a difference!  Rosalie is gaining weight again and spitting up much less frequently.