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Continuing on with our story, Lennon came home after 56 days in the NICU. I was really wondering how our wonderful pup at home would take the transition, especially since I did not carry Lennon. I know Dogs can sense pregnancies so I was worried that she wouldn't connect with our son. The nurses at the NICU allowed me to take home the blankets that Lennon was wrapped in during his stay. Each night when we said goodnight to our sweet boy, we left with a blanket smelling like him. We would give it to our pup, and each time, she would wag and by wag I mean that tail forcefully wagged, as she smelled what our sweet boy would smell like. I walked through the door and she immediately became a mother to him as well. She gracefully smelled his tiny body and would rest her head on my lap as if she was saying my baby is home. It was the cutest moment ever. Little did I know that it would be the start to a wonderful friendship.
Lennon did have tons of doctors appointments to make sure his health was still stabilized, and to make sure there was no decline. He was on several rounds of breathing treatments and other medications. He also developed a serious acid reflux. By golly, that boy could scream and nothing helped him. Finally getting him on the right meds for that though, he became a healthy and happy boy. Just one month after him being home his special pediatric doctor told me we are graduating you to a normal pediatrician. I told him no, we love you, and he grabbed my hand, and this little old man said, "We love you guys too, but I see sick babies and this little guy isn't sick anymore."
We still saw the cardiologist and pulmonologist to make sure his lungs and heart were good. About a month later, he was only seeing his regular pediatrician. He was such a chunky baby and was meeting perfect growth, as well as being above on his height.
For the first six months, all was good. He was hitting milestones, and although a bit behind, he was still hitting them. Around nine months old, we had a check up with his pediatrician, all was well, a perfectly healthy boy. However, around this time I started to notice behaviors that typical boys wouldn't do. I noticed he would bang his head on things. The highchair was his favorite, he would rock so hard it would be such a loud crash. I would do all I could to stop him from the behavior, but it was almost like something he had to do. Then came head banging on my tile floor, so hard that it would leave huge welts on his forehead to the point that I was literally at the doctors every week to document the events. I would consult with the doctors, and I was told time and time again that this was normal boy behavior. Little side fact: I worked in many nurseries and was a nanny. I did not see behavior like this before, however, I was assured time and time again he will grow out of it. Time flew by and soon we celebrated his first birthday. At this time I noticed low verbal skills, but there was a sense of trying. Mama and Dada where staple words. I sought again for help, and at this point, I started asking about autism and was told no and he was fine. It was like I was talking to brick walls or pushed to the side because I didn't have a PhD. For the next year, I would just work with my son to try and make things easier for us and easier for him.
Finally, after the year, we moved an hour away from our pediatrician and I thought it was time to look for a new doctor. I had a sit down conversation with his new pediatrician, and I knew right then and there, that he was already invested in our lives. I explained everything while he observed him. He had me go to several specialist. Hearing and neurology. At hearing, it was determined that he doesn't have hearing issues and neurology, without out a doubt, told me that he is autistic. I sobbed in the office. Not because I was sad, but because I finally had the answers I had been looking for since he was two. It was like a giant weight lifted off of me. My baby will now get the help he deserves. That diagnosis came late October, and since then, we've been on waiting list for speech, ABA, and occupational. I also signed him up for early enrollment for school. They will provide speech and occupational at school. ABA is something we will have to wait for, but it's okay. During the time of his diagnosis, I had submerged myself in support groups and learning as much as I can. I've learned that his needs for sensory seeker and also some sensory issues. Loud noises and grocery stores are the worst. I've learned so much. I will continue to write about this journey, even though I'm terrible at grammar and spelling. However, if I could help just one mother or father with a special needs child, then my job has been successful. I will talk about frustrations, hard times, sad times, great times, venting times, and most of all, what it's like to raise LOVE. Thanks for taking the time to read my words, and if any of you have any questions and or just want support, you're welcome to reach out to me. I don't know the ethics on here for reaching out. I'm still not sure how this works, but we will find a way together. Until then, remember you're not crazy and you are your child's advocate and his or her's voice when they don't have one. Fight. Fight. Fight. And fight again. Until you have the answers you're looking for.