An Update on Sawyer

In an earlier post I discussed that my anxiety had been growing because Sawyer seemed somewhat “floppy.” This was something that I noticed early on. When I held her at two months I noticed that she had very little head control still. She also wasn’t putting any weight on her legs at all. They were completely limp. This caused me great worry.

Part of me was thinking back to when Landon and Brigham were infants. Both of them were very strong right from the beginning. They were holding their little heads up like champs and their legs were holding weight from the first week. They were sitting up unassisted by four months, pulling up to stand by six months and Brigham even took his first steps at eight months! I know that that’s not the norm. But it was hard not to compare Sawyer to the boys’ development since that is what I had already experienced.

I tried to push it out of my mind but postpartum anxiety got the better of me. My fears grew as I started to google things. Let me just reiterate to new moms – Google is NOT always your friend when you have questions.

At her four month well check up I shared my concerns with our pediatrician. She examined her and while she was doing that I told her that she seemed to be meeting all her other milestones. She was rolling from back to belly, smiling and laughing and tracking with her eyes. She had never been sick. She was gaining weight and following the growth chart perfectly. There were really no other indicators that anything was wrong. Just the fact that her neck and legs seemed weak. The doctor told us to work with her more and if she wasn’t much better in a month to call and she would refer us to a physical therapist.

Fast forward a month and I still had concerns. I had really pushed Sawyer for the last four weeks to put more weight on her legs and to hold her head up. I thought maybe it was my fault because I do hold her and cuddle her a lot. Maybe it’s just that I wasn’t allowing her to use her muscles enough. So I would lay her on the floor and then gently pull her up by her arms. Sometimes she would do a good job at pulling her neck to her chin. But there were many times when she wouldn’t pull it forward at all or it would sort of plop down once she reached a sitting position. Naaman (and probably everyone else) thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. And that very well might have been the case. Call me overbearing but I just wasn’t comfortable with ignoring this.

I told the pediatrician that I was still concerned and she referred us to a physical therapist for an assessment. That was in late May and we finally had our appointment yesterday.

The physical therapist held her for awhile and I could tell she was trying to figure out exactly how weak Sawyer is. Finally she said that Sawyer has a mild case of low muscle tone and a bit of hyperflexibility in her legs. However, she didn’t see any red flags to warrant further testing. I asked her why this would happen and she said sometimes it just happens for no specific reason. She did say that there is a genetic component and asked about our other kids. But neither Landon or Brigham ever had any issues with strength.

I did tell her how difficult the end of my pregnancy was and she said that my illness and all the antibiotics could have caused her little system to be overstimulated. This could explain why we could barely wake her up the first month. She slept so soundly, as if she was absolutely exhausted. I don’t blame her one bit! I was tired after all of that awful sickness too! I’m not going to lie, I feel a lot of guilt. I feel like maybe if I had tried harder to be healthier during my pregnancy this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if I had eaten better, exercised and taken more vitamins, Sawyer wouldn’t be so weak. But I know that’s just me giving myself a hard time. I have to let those thoughts go because it’s in the past.

The therapist showed us some great exercises to help Sawyer continue to gain strength. Even with the low muscle tone she does not feel that Sawyer is delayed in any way. That is music to my ears! But she does want us to work with her as much as we can and come back to be reassesed in a month.

I feel so positive moving forward and even though I think that Sawyer is going to be fine I am glad that we went. It really eased my mind to have a professional take a look at her and give us a diagnosis, however mild it is.

Our sweet girl gets a little bit stronger every day and I know someday soon all of this will be a faint memory.

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Now Sawyer – it’s time to get our workout on, girlfriend. I wonder if they make baby leotards and legwarmers? ;)

Filed Under: Adventures in Parenting, Pregnancy #3, Sawyer5 Comments

Six Months of Sawyer

I can’t believe I’m writing this already but our sweet Sawyer just turned six-months-old! How is she half a year old already?! I’m sure every mom thinks this but I swear we were just leaving the hospital with her yesterday!

The past six months with her in our family have been an absolute joy. Sure, there have been challenges and rough patches while adjusting to a family of five. But it truly feels like this is how it was meant to be. I’m not really sure how I ever lived without Sawyer in my life. Every morning when I go into her room she looks up at me with eyes barely open. A huge smile appears on her face and I instantly melt into a puddle of goo. And it’s pretty much the same thing when I put her to bed at night.

I know it seems like I’m gushing but, well, I am. It makes me so happy that she is here and I have been soaking up every moment I have with her.

We just had her six month appointment and she is getting so big! She is now 15 pounds, 12 ounces, more than a two pound gain over the last two months! She is in the 94th percentile for height! The girl definitely likes to nurse. I haven’t really been counting but I would guess she nurses anywhere from 6-8 times a day still.

I will write more about reaching my breastfeeding goal of six months (!!!) but for now I think I will keep going. I know that breastfeeding is a huge comfort to her when she is teething and fussy and I don’t like the idea of taking it away from her when it’s working so well. So for now, we will continue to breastfeed!

She goes to sleep around 7:30 p.m. and wakes up at 6:30 a.m. It has been like that since she was two-months-old. Yes, I realize we really lucked out in the sleep department. I am so grateful and I’m hoping it lasts!

We started a few pureed veggies and fruits last week. She is not a huge fan but neither were her big brothers. My guess is we’ll probably skip to real food cut into small pieces soon anyway. We did try some puffs and she is awesome at picking up foods already but once she gets it in her mouth she spits it out.

As far as Sawyer’s personality goes, I would describe her as a quiet observer of her environment. She mostly just looks around with wide eyes, she watches her brothers in amazement (or maybe it’s terror?) and she doesn’t make a whole lot of noise. She does have days where she will babble more than others. She’s making more consonant sounds, like ma ma ma, da da da, ba ba ba. She’s also blowing raspberries, which is the cutest!

Her favorite things include bath time and pool time. Seriously, she LOVES the water! She loves it when I kiss her tummy or toes. She laughs a lot when I sing “five little monkeys jumping on the bed.” She loves her pink seahorse that plays music while she’s falling asleep. She is also a thumb sucker. If it’s not her thumb in her mouth it’s some type of teether.

She has two bottom teeth that recently popped through. It’s super fun when she bites me while nursing (said no mom ever, lol).

Our girl is growing and changing so much and we love her dearly! She adds so much joy and fun to our lives!

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We love you so much, our sweet Sawyer girl! The last six months have been some of the best of my life.

Filed Under: Sawyer6 Comments

Goodbye, old buddy

It was 1997, the summer after I graduated high school. Everything in my life was up in the air.

I’m not sure exactly how it happened. But one day I came home and there was a tiny puppy! My parents had gone to pick him up. I think they knew that a couple of their daughters needed cheering up for different reasons. I had no idea we were getting a dog that day. My dad always said he didn’t want animals in the house, which is funny because ever since I was a little girl we’ve had pets.

So there we were getting to know this gorgeous, golden-furred cocker spaniel who had yet to be named.

baby chip

We tried to name him Mozart or “Mozie” because we are a very musical family. But it didn’t stick. A few days after he came home someone used the ice maker on the refrigerator and a few ice chips fell to the floor. Our puppy ran over and quickly licked them up. And that’s when we named him Chip! He sure did love those ice chips.

Chip soon revealed a very bad temper. He would get this glaze over his eyes and you just knew to leave him alone or he would BITE you! Yes, he bit people. It was unfortunate because it could happen unexpectedly. One morning I was sitting outside chatting with my family on the deck. I was swinging my foot under the table and suddenly I felt horrible pain. Chip had clamped down on my foot! That’s when I knew that if he had been in a shelter he probably would not have lasted long. His temperament was often unpredictable.

I remember coming home from college one weekend and I had my favorite pair of shoes in a suitcase on the floor. When I went upstairs my shoes were chewed to bits and strewn all over the floor. I was so mad that I ignored Chip for two days and gave him the silent treatment. I look back now and smile at that.

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His most favorite thing to do was run full-speed in the 3 acre backyard. That was his whole world and he loved to explore it every day. Filled with shade trees and gardens and plenty of birds and bunnies, some of which he actually caught in his glory days. He also loved his buddy, Reubin and truthfully was never the same after his best friend passed away.

In his older age Chip was so sweet. He became deaf, partially blind, had terrible allergies and arthritis and couldn’t walk very well. Last week I helped look after him while my parents were out of town. Every time I went over he was shaking and could barely get up. I knew the time was coming. The time when we would have to say goodbye to our four-legged pal. I had a feeling he wouldn’t last long a couple weeks ago and I took one last photo of him as he rested on the deck.

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A couple days ago Chip passed away in his sleep at the ripe old age of 17. We had 17 years with him. He had a good life. But it was time for him to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I have no doubt that Reubin was waiting on the other side to greet him with his pink tongue hanging out in excitement. Reunited at last.

On one hand, it’s pretty crazy that humans agree to take these little souls in when we all know that someday it will mean heartache. They become a constant in our lives, following close behind us as we walk through the house. Their nails tap, tap, tapping on the floor. The house feels so quiet and empty when that sound is gone. But it’s always worth it somehow because a dog’s love brings something extra special to our lives.

Dear Chip, may you chase many birds and bunnies in heaven, old buddy. Thanks for being a part of our family for so long.

Filed Under: Family4 Comments