Sunday, March 1, 2009

Garrett's story Part 1

I want to tell Garrett's story from birth to present for a couple reasons. First, he isn't getting much blog time. Secondly, since he has some special needs, his story may help others in a similar situation. Garrett has developmental delays which are not too severe, but worrisome enough to wonder if he will lead a completely independent life as an adult.

Garrett was born on Sept. 16, 2005. He weighed 7 lb. 11 oz. and was 18 inches long. He was conceived in the normal way, no fertility treatment, and was born after 38 weeks of a mostly uneventful pregnancy. Here he is right after birth.

His APGAR scores were normal, and we were thrilled to finally hold our beautiful baby boy after waiting 38 weeks. He was beautiful. Here he is after they cleaned him up a little. The scratches on his face are from his long fingernails in the womb. One of the first things I did after he was born was to cut his fingernails.

The only things we found unusual right after he was born was that he shivered a lot. I kept calling the nurse to tell her that he was cold, but she would take his temperature and say he wasn't cold, that the shivering was from an immature nervous system. I didn't think anything of it at the time since he seemed otherwise normal. The other unusual thing he did was suck a lot. As soon as I put him to my breast for the first time, he sucked for an hour and a half. Every time he would breast feed, he would suck for over an hour. The hospital discourages pacifiers because they want the baby to use that sucking to eat, but after one day I begged for a pacifier because Garrett was making me so sore with all that sucking. A stark contrast to his sister who would suck 10 or 15 minutes, max, and then go to sleep. She still eats like a bird.

We brought Garrett home after 2 days and we all adjusted to having a newborn in the house again. Here are Erin and Garrett. Garrett was a week or two old.

He still shivered sometimes, but that diminished over time. He also twitched a lot when he slept, so much so that it would wake him up. So I swaddled him for every nap and at night. It helped a lot. When he was about 4 months old, I tried to put him down without swaddling and he would wake up every time. I continued to swaddle him until he was at least 6 or 7 months old. He also wasn't rolling over at 4 or 5 months like his sister. He rolled over for the first time just days before his 6 month doctor's appointment. I spoke to the doctor about him not rolling over and she said to just wait and see. Some kids are just more laid back than others and don't hit all their milestones at exactly the same time. So we watched and waited.

Garrett wasn't able to sit up unassisted until he was about a year old, consequently he spent a lot of time in the johnny-jump-up and excersaucer so that he could look at the world from an upright position.

We noticed that he liked to spin himself around in the johnny-jump-up and make himself dizzy, but we really didn't know what to make of that. He also liked to roll around on the floor and make himself dizzy that way, too.

Finally, by the summer of 2006, when Garrett was about 10 months old, he was able to sit unassisted. It was a big milestone!!

Notice how the dark brown hair has given way to soft golden locks.

At his 12 month appointment, the pediatrician decided that it was time for Garrett to get some extra help with his development. She referred him to ECI, a government agency that provides services like Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy to children under three years old who qualify (to qualify, you must be at least 3 months behind on several milestones). Garrett qualified for PT and OT. The ECI website in Texas is

The pediatrician also referred him to a neurologist to see if there was something going on in his brain that was causing him to miss his milestones.

To be continued..................

1 comment:

JAMIE'S CREW said...

ECI is really not as well known as it should be in my opinion. It is a great service. I am glad you are publicizing it.

Many of my friends from my twins club have received services from ECI. It is also important to note that services are provided on a sliding scale as far as cost. At least, that was the last information that I had on them.

Good job!