We watched Jess reach her milestones - delayed compared to most other babies - but she was progressing. From the reading we had done we knew it would be more difficult for Jess to achieve her milestones due to her low muscle tone. It was soon obvious that we had to break her milestones down into smaller steps e.g. rolling, and make her do them, over and over again, to train her brain. We had a wonderful book on gross motor skills which became our closest friend. It showed us step by step how to teach Jess how to achieve rolling, crawling, climbing etc. All the things that regular babies and toddlers just do on their own.
Having the two older children was a blessing for us. Jess wanted to be with them and doing what they were doing. The day she crawled, Nick and Melissa were drawing and she wanted to be with them. They kept moving to get away from her and she kept crawling to get to them! From then on there was no stopping her. She did also crawl in her own way with one leg straight out but we worked out it was because she had trouble sitting from a crawling position, so this was another skill that we had to break down into its small parts and teach her how to do.
We also started teaching her Makaton - sign language, so she could communicate with us. This was successful. We wished we had known Makaton when Melissa was little.
And bouts of jealousy would bite me hard. I would look at other babies of the same age and I would feel sad. It just didn't seem to be fair.
In fact the jealousy and sadness would hit so hard that I spiralled into depression.
At my ladies bible study group we were talking about our upbringing and our families....this on top of lack of counselling after having Jess, led to me having a major meltdown.
I immediately sought help - that afternoon infact there was an open appointment - God was already there in my situation. At the counselling sessions I had to deal with my Crouzons, growing up in my family and having brothers who were resentful of me having Crouzons, the sudden death of my dad, Jess having Downs, my visual impairment, allowing myself to be in an abusive relationship...everything really.
God was good again. He gave me a wonderful caring counsellor who listened to me and helped me work through all my feelings. I knew I couldn't change my life, I didn't understand why I had this life....but I could accept that this is my life, these things happened and I could move on, choosing not to be depressed or bitter. I could choose to be happy and positive.
I also went on anti-depressants.
I didn't want to go on anti-depressants because of the stigma associatd with them. But as a dear friend said ... 'If you had a broken arm you would go to the doctor and get it fixed.... so if you have depression you go to the doctor and get help.' Best advice I have been given. The anti-depressants and counselling allowed me to smile again.
© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey
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