My pregnancy with my son was my second pregnancy, and fairly uneventful. No fertility treatments like with the first. The first night my husband and I left our sweet first born overnight, we got pregnant with our second. She was just 6 months old at the time. It was a BIG surprise, but a very welcome one. We opted not to do the amniocentesis, as we had no reason to suspect developmental delays, as I was not of advanced maternal age, and nothing of the sort runs in my husband or my families. I did have some issues with weight loss early in my second pregnancy, but he was always on track or ahead of schedule regarding his size. I started to gain weight by month 5 or so, and gained less than 20 pounds total. I got huge, just in the uterus, and had a lot of problems with sciatica and low back pain. I was one crabby and crazy lady. I was very emotional and irrational; just ask my husband and sister. He was very active in utero and I was very ready for his arrival those last few months. My first pregnancy, I suffered from gestational diabetes. The second I did not. By the end of my second pregnancy, he was measuring WEEKS ahead. I was induced at 39+ weeks. He came into the world very quickly, in fact, I had to hold off on pushing until the doctor could get there. Before I knew it, I was holding my precious 8 lb 5 oz 19.7 inch, hungry baby boy.
We brought home a very alert and active baby boy. In the beginning, it was VERY hard having 2 little ones just 14 months apart. At the time we brought my son home, my daughter was not walking yet. Boy, it was a lot of work. We quickly got into a routine, and things were good. He was rolling over by 6 weeks (yes weeks) and then eventually began to army crawl and quickly moved onto crawling and walking. Can I just be really honest and admit that I don’t know what his first word was?With my daughter, I counted her first word as the first word she used in context, not just a random word she said. He got to a point where he was using a few words. He had even said “grandpa” and “grandma” at one point. He was, and still is, SUPER active. He was so different from our articulate and detail oriented daughter. He was always getting into things, climbing on furniture, stealing the TV remote, making messes, and always going full throttle full speed ahead at all times.
He’s Just a Boy
Eventually, I was starting to feel overwhelmed by his tendency to get into trouble. He just wouldn’t listen. In fact, 99% of the time he would just ignore me completely. He didn’t respond to any kind of discipline and just didn’t seem to care. I kept thinking “Are boys really this different than girls?” The answer to this is “yes”, but once he got older it became quite obvious that his behavior was not due to him “just being a boy”. I would express my concerns to others and would always hear “Amanda, he’s a boy!” In fact, I called a doctor to express my concerns and he was very kind and listened to my concerns but also mentioned “He is a boy.” Guess what? He’s not “Just a Boy.”
As noted before, I was worried about my son. He was not responding to discipline, I could not control him. I was in fact starting to feel like a bad parent. Yep, I felt like I was doing something wrong. Later my mommy instincts really kicked in and I just knew, absolutely knew, that something wasn’t right. I knew I wasn’t unfounded in my concern when one night my husband came home and said “I just don’t think he’s where he should be.” referring to our son. This was BIG because my husband works insanely long hours and doesn’t get to see the kids as often as we would like, and HE was noticing. We also started to notice that by 18 months he had basically quit talking altogether. The only words he was using were “ball” and “car” (still his only words used to this day). As I mentioned before, I called a doctor and was told that there could be something there, but because he had an older sister that never stopped talking that that could be part of it, but it was concerning that he wasn’t talking. He said we’d wait until his 2-year Well-Child exam and go from there. I of course consulted with Dr. Google and quickly realized that my son was showing almost all of the red flag signs of autism in a child his age.
- No eye contact.
- Little to no words.
- Not responding to his name.
- Wondering if he was hard of hearing. (He seemed to be “ignoring” everyone.)
- Preferring to be by himself.
- No interest in other children.
- Not smiling at others.
- Speech Regression.
- Flapping/Stimming (Moving his arms up and down rapidly and going up and down on tiptoes and also shaking his head back and forth while running around.
- Seeming to be in his own world.
- Bolting (Just running away without looking back.)
- Fearlessness. (He will just dive into a body of water without even thinking about it.)
- High pain tolerance.
He actually has more characteristics and signs that we noticed later on after learning more. He has also exhibited more symptoms as he’s gotten older as well. The above are just the things we were concerned about by his 2-year Well-Child exam.
Since his 2-year Well-Baby exam we have started to notice more things:
- Spinning. (He will randomly spin in circles.)
- Not utilizing silverware.
- Not liking haircuts or fingernail or toenail clipping. (Not like the average child, but to an extreme.)
- Does not use gestures. (Such as reaching for someone to be held, shaking his head “yes” or “no”.)
- Doesn’t point to things he wants.
- Doesn’t wave “goodbye”. (He did do this in the past.)
- Narrow focus on single objects.
We don’t have one yet. I’m going to do an entirely separate post on this because it’s confusing and frustrating.
I know this post may seem cutoff and unfinished, but it’s a long and confusing journey. For now I just wish to share what we noticed and caused concern.
-A Mom’s Faith Unbroken