Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Looking Back

I was sitting today and thinking, how far the boys have come from the beginning of our journey.... I look back to that first day when Evan was 17 months old and I woke up to him having a seizure. I woke up to the beginning of a nightmare that I didn't know how to handle. I thought about his second seizure just twenty days later that went on for over ten minutes in the ambulance. The paramedics were not sure if he lost oxygen. I thought about how I couldn't get into the hospital room while they were working on my little boy that was just laying there still. I didn't know if he would wake up or what was causing my angel to have seizures. I waiting outside his room and then felt relief when the nurse told me I could go in. He lay there like he was sleeping. Tubes and wires were everywhere on him. I didn't know what the doctors were about to tell me. He made no noises or moved around. There was just silence and everything was completely still. I remember how I wanted to pick up my angel and hold him. When the nurse looked at me and asked, "do you want to hold him?" I of course jumped up and said, "YES please!". She came over to the other side of bed and said, "let me help you" I thought, I can pick him up on my own, then thought she meant with all the tubes. But no what she meant was help pick him up. He had no muscle tone what so ever. It was like picking up a rag doll. I had no words for what I was thinking of feeling at that moment. The tears just poured down my face as I held my angel in my arms. I kept saying, "it's okay, Mommy is here and she loves you. Please wake up baby, please wake up." They would take my son to get multiple tests and scans and no I wasn't allowed to go with him because I was pregnant with our second son at the time. I would spend the next year and half watching him regress and no matter what I did, I couldn't stop it. No more words. Only screams and scratching, kicking and biting. The night terrors were a nightmare. We couldn't have anyone come over to visit us, he would just scream and run and hide underneath his bed. He wouldn't stop screaming until they left. We couldn't go out in public; he would lose it in the stores. I felt helpless and lost. I would also live in fear that my second son would also begin to display these same symptoms. I feared another seizure would happen. Something I assure you don't want to ever see your child go through. 
Once we were finally referred to a specialist and found out he had Autism. Our first thoughts.... What is Autism? We would soon go home and research Autism. And cried our eyes out because none of the information that we found seemed good. The ideas that we had for our child, were now gone. We sort of felt like we were mourning the loss of our child. I cried for several days. I asked why my child. He didn't deserve this. He is so innocent. It's not fair! 
Then one morning, I looked at my son, and decided that enough was enough. I wasn't helping him by sitting in the house and crying my eyes out. I had to get up and get him help. What ever needed to be done, it would happen. I would make sure that it would happen. The reality of how expensive that help would be would hit home very quickly. And understand that we couldn't afford that help that our son so desperately needed. We just didn't know what to do. 
We soon began our Autism journey, for both of our sons' it would turn out. IEP's, OT, Speech therapy, Neurologists, Psychologists. So much of our lives became about getting the kids the help that the needed. The hell that we lived in, and we felt that no one understood. I can't tell you how many times we heard the "they don't look like they have Autism." I still would love for someone to show me what Autism "looks" like. Actually I know what it looks like. Both of my kids. All the kids and adults with Autism, that's what it looks like. I heard, don't use their Autism as an excuse for their behavior. Of course this would come from those who knew nothing about Autism. I would soon stop talking to most if not all of my former friends. They just didn't understand nor would they ever understand. 
This journey, we are all on it, and I have seen such improvement, achievements by both of our boys. I am one very proud mother of the both of them. They are my heroes. They are the reason I am becoming a teacher. I love them with all my heart. I know that it's so scary when you first get the diagnosis. All I can say is never give up hope! Never give up on your child. I have learned that they will teach me so much more than I thought I could learn. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Milestones and Summer Fun!

I have not really had a chance to sit down and write a blog for awhile. We have been so busy having a blast this summer. So many firsts. And we are celebrating them all! I hope that all had a great Independence Day. It is my Mother's and Grandmother's Birthday! We celebrated them both with fireworks and great friends and family.
I broke down and cried a couple of times as I miss my amazing mother each day. I can't believe she is gone still. But I take with me each day the amazing love and joy she showed me over the years. Because of her I am a loving mother that loves to be affectionate with my kids because that is how she raised me. She was my hero. She still is.
On to the big news of the SUMMER! Most of you don't know, but while Evan was potty trained years ago, we have always struggled getting Christopher potty trained. Until NOW! Over recent weeks he seems to take his diaper off, bringing us a new diaper when he has poopy pants so we were thinking. If he knows when he is dirty and wants it off maybe he is getting ready to get potty trained. We decided that we would go ahead and try to potty train him for the one millionth time! We were honestly doubtful as all the other times that we had attempted it, we ended up in complete and gross failure! With hopes and wishes and lots of prayers we put underwear on him and even pulled out the training potty and took it to the bedroom just in case.
The first day was met with only ONE accident all day. And of course it was a poopy. But we were excited that the rest of the time he was sitting on the little potty in his room and going. So the second day was not as good. We had more accidents and well we were worried that it again would end in failure. But we refused to give up so easily. So the third day went well, only one accident and he even wanted to sleep in his underwear. While I of course was worried about this idea, we decided to give him a chance and see what happened. If he had an accident in the middle of the night we would take care of the bedding and put a diaper on him.
When we woke up the next morning, there were no accidents! Dry underwear! Already a great sign if you ask me! So the fourth day, he was with Grandma, but he did great still, except when he knew he needed to poop and gave her a diaper. Thankfully she called me to tell me he peed in the potty and told me she put the diaper on. I knew his game. If he knew he needed to go, he can go in the potty! So she pulled it off before he could go in the diaper. The rest of the day went well.
Day four again he woke up with dry pants! So this is the big day! He went and got his little potty out of the room, and we followed to see where he was taking it, he marched right into the bathroom, placed it on the floor, pulled down his underwear, and then sat on the big boy potty and peed and POOPED in the potty! Yes that is right. He independently went to bathroom all on his own. He now goes potty on his own, in the bathroom! We have not had a diaper in five days! None! We are so thankful for this wonderful event in our little guys life! He will turn six in less than a month and we honestly feared that he may never get potty trained.
So have you guessed what the Mommy lesson is here? That's right! Never give up hope! Always believe in your kids. They inspire and amaze me each and every day. I love them with all my heart!

Oh and how could I almost forget about my Evan! So proud of him major achievement this summer! He spent each day out in the pool. Trying to learn to swim. Seriously this kid went from not be able to get in water above his waste to learning how to swim at water level and under water! I can't even do that! He now swims much better than me! I am so proud of him! He faced his fear of the water, and while he had challenges and became frustrated in learning how to swim, he continued to try and practice! I always tell him never give up! I love that he didn't give up!

So there you go, we have had such milestones met and accomplishments made this summer! I couldn't be more proud of my two angel babies! I laid in bed last night, and thought how blessed I am that they are in my life. I thanked God for blessing me with these two amazing angel babies. I thanked him for giving me the heart to love them. The patience to take care of them. I also thanked him because when he blessed me with them, they changed me as a person. I have learned so many amazing things from them.

Until next time!!!!!!