We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Malakai is 9 months!

Ok... so he was 9 months on Friday... my bad... But there is lots to update!

Malakai is just a super star these days! He has had a real spurt in expressive development. We just have to smile in his general direction to be rewarded with a wide toothless grin and a giggle! It is just so incredibly rewarding! He is also starting to make more definite consonant sounds like ‘ya’ and ‘ma’. He plays with more intent too, really manipulating his toys to do what he wants.

I, on the other hand, decided that he was ready to progress from first foods, such as butternut, sweet potato and fruits, to more interesting tastes... I went out and bought a whole lot of fresh ingredients and a cook book for babies and got started! The kitchen was chaos (note to everyone – I do not cook. My husband does all the cooking in the house. In fact, if he goes out in the evening, he’ll first come home and feed me... LOL!). So, making Malakai’s food was quite out of my nature – but I made my best attempt. Sweet Potato, spinage, peas and leeks; Chicken, cottage cheese, natural yoghurt & pear; White fish, sweet potato and orange juice were some of my attempts. Ok – so they didn’t all go down too well. When Malakai started to gag, I stopped. But he gave it a really good attempt and we’ll continue to introduce new tastes slowly. It has also been a bit challenging moving to bigger chunks of food – he takes them without any fuss, but he chokes very easily. So we’ll go slowly there and I have to really limit his finger foods because of any chunks he could bite off (those little gums are strong I tell you!).

Physically Malakai is getting stronger. He’s sitting more confidently, although he’ll just plop right over without notice – so he’s still got a nice big cushion to break his fall. But now that he’s sitting, he does not enjoy being on his tummy. As soon as his on his tummy he rolls onto his back and does a ‘sit up’ (lifting his head and legs clear off the floor) and holds the position – panting, moaning and straining. Over. And. Over. Again. I must say I am worried that he doesn’t crawl (and bum-shuffles instead) because I can’t keep on his tummy. So, I will discuss with his PT whether we should increase his visits from once to twice a week at this critical stage – because she is able to do things with him that I just can’t seem to get right!

I am pleased to say that Malakai has no seizures at all these days – I am relieved that it was the medicine causing them while being quite angry with the doctor for not realising it in the first place! But what is done is done and I am grateful that there was a relatively simple explanation and solution. As for Malakai’s reflux – it is a challenge still. We did a barium swallow and scan, which showed no physical abnormalities. So we are putting it down to low (internal) muscle tone. We have increased his daily intake of Gaviscon, hoping that he will outgrow the reflux in the next month or two. If this doesn’t happen, we have to do a 24 hour Ph test and then operate (a nissen). So, we are looking at all options and Malakai’s wellbeing and development is critical here.

Yesterday I was very sad and hard on myself for not doing more for Malakai. My husband brought me back to earth quickly though – I am doing my best with what I have. I work full time and only get to spend a short time in the mornings and evenings with Malakai, and with that time I am doing my best. Could Malakai benefit from having me home full time and stimulating him more? Sure. But he also benefits from an excellent medical aid (which pays for all his therapies), living in a comfortable home and a future that is being saved-for every month. These things all cost money. Money which my husband and I have to go out and earn. I have often wondered what was more important – but at this stage, with the global financial crisis, jobs disappearing all over the place, I need to play my part and be responsible to keep our family financially stable.

I wish that I could be home with Malakai more. I wish that I had more time with him. But I know that it will all be ok – it always is. As long as I stick to my two rules, firstly Stay in This Moment and secondly Let Malakai Lead the Way. The moment I don’t follow these rules I leave my peace and happiness at the door. It just isn’t worth it! So, for now, we’re ok. My little boy is probably the cutest little person I have ever met! We’re financially stable in a very unstable global crisis.

We have much to be grateful for. We have much to give thanks for.


Deqlan said...

Happy 9 Months Kai so glad the seizures are a thing of the past! Hope the reflux gets better and please say a little prayer for Deqlan tomorow as we go for hid 3 monthly check up. God bless love Mark Samm Deqlan Logan

Lacey said...

What a little trooper, taking off with his development. A nissen worked wonders for Jax, he's had two, his first one came apart so they had to redo it. Happy Mothers Day.

Lianna said...

Wow! There is a lot going on in Malakai's world! Happy Nine Months! Nine months is magical because that is when I saw many developments for Gabriel. He didn't sit independently til about 12 months, but he loved to pull up. By the time he was 18 months, that desire to sit up and take in action (Malakai must be quite strong to pull into sitting like you described!)started Gabe to cruise on foot, holding onto furniture!

Also, the whole communication thing started to really take off then. We began using sign language, but only a few words. Gabe's first sign was "Daddy". We didn't get more serious til Gabe was 18 months, and I still tend to think we wasted that precious time. Our kids "get it" even if they're not mobile and babbling like their typical peers.

One thing that touched me about your post is your feelings of "not doing enough". I stay at home with Gabe, and I still feel that way, even though I try to be as "active in his development" as I can. I truly think that parents of kids with special needs never really get away from that cloud of guilt. For me, I am trying really hard to be kinder to myself and to enjoy Gabe as he is...Not always easy.

I am sorry that Malakai suffered seizures from medical ignorance. I'd be so angry! I hope that he is well now!

You're on the right track with the feeding, Loren. Don't give up. I think because my husband persisted with textures, Gabe is really open to all foods now. We pureed his food for a long, long time, but kept introducing foods to chew.

This is really important for mouth and tongue muscle control too when it comes to speech later on.

I hope you've had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Cathy said...

Happy 9 months beautiful baby boy!

Conrad, Megan and Our Precious Keaton said...

Hey Cutie pie, I hope your Mom had the most wondeful and blessed 1st Mothers Day and that you gave her tons of kisses! Loren, you are going such an excellent job with Malakai, he is growing into the most beautiful little boy with the most gentle and loving charactor! You nuture him with all your heart and provide him with everything you possibly can! He is lucky to have a mom like you! But then of coarse he knows that - he choose you afterall!
Like Lianna said all us mommys should be kinder towards ourselves! We are all doing our best! Big hugs to Kai!