I love him to pieces! And he sure is loving that tongue lately! I keep checking for teeth but there is none to be found! He's all over the place these days. He has perfected his army crawl and he tries to follow me everywhere. And when he is hungry he heads towards the corner of the kitchen where he KNOWS I keep his bottles. He's too smart for his own good! He's gotten into the dog food more times than I can remember. I even hid it from him around the corner and he spotted it! And now he knows it's there. He loves to cruise in his walker but gets stuck too often and starts to yell. He finally got the hang of sitting up on his own. I'm just more excited about not having to drag his car seat to every store now. He's learned he can pull himself up with assistance and that's all he wants to do now. I'll put my hands on the ground and he gets so excited and hurries over and grabs my hands and gets up! Then he gets annoyed that I'm still holding on to him. Let go! Sometimes I wish he could just walk already! He is just so busy! And he loves when we clap for him. He gets a huge smile and gets so excited. It's so cute! HE is so cute!
At his 6 month check up 2 weeks ago we found out he still isn't gaining weight! I swear I stuff that kid full! He was only 13.6 pounds. When he had surgery over 2 months ago he weighed 14.5 pounds. I figure he's just a skinny little boy like his dad but the fact that it has been taking him so long to put his before surgery weight back on worries me just a little. I brought him in for a weight check on Tuesday and he only gained 6oz in the last 2 weeks. His doctor still wasn't pleased with the progress and said to feed him more! So if I thought I stuffed him before I sure am now and he eats everything I give him! We also saw his surgeon again a few weeks ago for another check up. He was still very happy with how his lip and nose are looking. I mentioned his weight and he said we'll see him back in 3 months and discuss his palate surgery then. In the mean time we continue to beef him up! He needs all the extra weight he can gain so he can lose it again after another surgery...
I finally feel like his eating has improved. (Huge sigh of relief) He has been much quicker and only occasionally has trouble. His spoon feeding has been a ton better too! It rarely comes out his nose any more. It took him a while but he learned how to swallow it with out pushing it out his nose. THAT has to be tricky. If you think about it your palate has a major roll in swallowing. Go ahead, swallow. Now imagine swallowing with a big gap in the roof of your mouth that leads straight to, and out, your nose! That's some pretty tricky maneuvering that has to be done. Poor guy though, as soon as he gets the hang of eating it just gets all messed up again by his NAM, surgery, and now surgery again. Babies shouldn't have to be troubled with eating and surgeries and pain. But you know what? He is just that much stronger. I really admire him for all this extra stuff he has to go through. It's all he's ever known I guess. It's all I've ever known too! I feel like my next baby will be a breeze! With the hope that it will be cleft free. I'll be glad when this palate surgery is behind us. And by then we'll need another vacation.
A couple of weekends ago we went to the Craniofacial Foundation of Arizona's retreat at a Phoenix resort. We got to stay 2 nights and it all it costed us was $60! We had a nice big room and even got t-shirts. It was just a relaxing weekend! We went to the parent focus group our second day there. I was hoping to meet other parents with cleft babies but it was a little different than both me and Curtis expected. There was only a few parents there that we notice that had children with clefts. There was even older patients there that had clefts that we met. Most of the stories I heard and saw were much more sever than a little ol' cleft lip and palate. I don't remember any of the names they were diagnosed with but they all had to do with facial and head deformities. Some affected their eyesight, hearing, and other deformities of their body. And some to the point where they were mentally challenged. We met the parents of a 3 year old who was deaf and their whole family and even the little girl all knew sign language already. Two other parents we met had kids with the same thing and were both told it was a one in a million diagnosis but they found each other online and are now good friends and help each other out. That was kinda cool. One had a daughter who was only 16 and had already been through 26 surgeries! 26! It was crazy to hear. That night they also fed us dinner and on our last day they fed us breakfast. It was real nice and we want to go again next year.
I loved hearing all the different stories and to see the huge amount of hope these parents had in their children. It really, really made me thankful for Hudson. To see how much worse it could have been for him or us. I can't even image what those parents have been through compared to Hudson's NAM experience and his ONE surgery so far. It makes what I worry about seem so simple. I'll take mine over theirs any day! There is always someone out there who has it worse than you. We need to be thankful for our own trials.
1 month old and 6 1/2 months old
My 3 stooges.
Nothing is cuter than that sweet little face and big blue eyes of his.