Yesterday was my baby's 8th birthday. He was my most difficult pregnancy and has been my most difficult child. I always had terrible morning sickness. With each subsequent pregnancy, the sickness would last longer and longer throughout the day. Finally, with this last pregnancy, the sickness would just last all day and night. On top of that, I had terrible swelling...my fingers, toes, hands, feet...but the doctors firmly denied that it was pre-eclampsia despite testing me several times. In the last trimester, I developed a terrible rash, scratching all over my body practically every time we would eat. Every doctor I asked about it said it was typical for pregnancy...just hormonal and to take a bath. I went into labor in the middle of the night, almost a week after hr was due. As we checked into the hospital, they literally called nurses from everywhere to come and see how swollen I was...laughing about how puffy I was, poking me everywhere and watch my skin mush in. Not fun!! But my large baby was born early in the morning and as the swelling started to recede, and he refused to nurse. I was just over it. We eventually found out that my swelling was a result of food allergies that I had developed during my pregnancy and Jonah had the exact same ones. We did not have his allergies completely confirmed until last year, but we had initial allergy tests at a year old. He never took breast milk...only special, ultra expensive formula!
But as you can see, he developed just fine!
|But he always has fun, loves to be the center of attention and is a definite Daddy's boy!|
|As every school year progress, Jonah did better with making friends, listening to teachers, and learning more and more. After completing 4 year old preschool, we decided to send him on to 5 year old Kindergarten.|
|Kindergarten was a great experience for Jonah. There was still a lot of individual attention for him, yet Jonah got to learn more on his own pace. Jonah learned to read and started learning to add.|
|At the end of his Kindergarten year, we had professional pictures taken...along with my other kids, my mom and my brother's daughter. I felt like this picture truly captured Jonah's spirit.|
|Last summer, Jonah unforgettably broke his wrist while we were on vacation. It was a sad way to end our beach trip, but one we will never forget.|
Now, I have a big 8 year old boy...an expert in everything...architecture, legos, James Bond, and anything that I'm not (which is quite a lot!) He has quite a few challenges in his life. Jonah has a number of food allergies: corn, soy, egg, peanuts/tree nuts...we carry the epi-pen everywhere and usually have to take snake everywhere! His environmental allergens are through the roof. We did shots for 9 months, but nothing changed...in fact, they got worse. Next week, I'm calling to make an appointment with a new allergist about possible trying a new technique. Jonah also has severe asthma. We do daily maintenance, but because of his severe allergies, we also have to stay on top of the asthma during key times of the year.
On top of that, he looks up to his brother like a hero...except his brother is autistic and Jonah is not. This means that Jonah has learned and copied behaviors which make him seem to others like he might have a disorder or problem that he doesn't. We get plenty of stares and looks at playgrounds, groceries, etc. It's unfair that at 8, he's been pigeonholed into one disorder or another...and sometimes I have done it myself!
I hope for the next year, I can make Jonah feel like the very special 8 year old that he is...that he is his own individual and that he can do anything that he wants to do and be anything that he wants to be. Dealing with his brother is something that we will constantly struggle with, but hopefully as he matures, things will become easier.
So, Happy Birthday to my little man!!