Monday, February 22, 2010

In the Beginning

Now that my son is in treatment with meds and therapy, I started to wonder about where it all began. What were the first signs of all this? Could challenges from the past be related to this mood disorder?

Looking back, from the very beginning, my son was a “happy baby”. I know this for sure since I journaled this when he was still a baby. But he was my first baby, so I never thought twice about his separation anxiety. How he would cry until I returned home. There were so many times that I would return home from teaching my 1 hour fitness class and my patient, but worn out husband, would hand my crying son over saying “Here, you feed him, he refuses to take the bottle you pumped for him, he only wants you!” This also happened when I tried the daycare at the fitness club, he would cry the entire hour, once they even brought him to me during the class saying that they couldn’t take the screaming anymore and that I needed to take him, so I had to teach the remaining step class holding my baby in my sweaty arms. It was uncomfortable for me to teach and hold him, but he was in heaven, quickly falling asleep.

As he grew I noticed in play groups he required a lot more supervision. He seemed to push the envelope where the others kids didn’t as much. I remember laughing in my church group that “I had to keep redirecting my son, while the rest of the moms where finishing their tea.”

Then during preschool he started to stutter. As it continued to get worse, we enrolled him into speech therapy. We feel blessed that he was cured of his stutter through this therapy.

Also during this time, he started to have bad night terrors. If you have ever witnessed this as a parent, it is pretty frightening for those awake, but for our son, he never remembered them.

As our son grew and his personality developed I realized that our son was a lot more challenging then the other kids we knew. Over time, it became defined to me as being “strong-willed”. One crystal clear example of this was during potty training. Our son refused to wear his underwear and in protest, he smeared poop all over his entire room, twice. Now this isn’t the exploration of a baby in a crib, this was a 4 year old, with 4 year old poop and enough time during his “nap time” (which he never slept), to smear it over all his toys, his carpet, his bedding and even under the bed. When I asked why he did it, he said he wanted his diaper back. So I gave it back (yes I gave in), then a week later he asked for his underwear and instantly was potty trained without another mishap.

When it came to sleep, our son wanted to do it on his own terms too. He would never nap. I remember once when trying to teach him to go to sleep in his room with the cry-it-out method, he body slammed the baby gate keeping him in is room, knocking the gate clear across the hall, even causing himself harm. But it was worth it to him to break free from required bed time.

I am in no way saying that these behaviors are connected to what is going on with our son today, but since there is so much mystery with mood behaviors and children, I figured I would make note of it in case another mom is looking for information they can relate to. And I also know that there are other parents that have been through so much worse, but this is only the beginning of our story.

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