Here is a developmental update on Liam. At his one year appointment he weighed 23 lbs. 3 oz. and 30.5 inches long! Our pediatrician is still using the typical developing child’s chart instead of a DS chart, because he is doing so well growth wise. For height he is in the 80th percentile and for weight he is in the 55th percentile! I’m so proud! He is such a big boy!! However his head circumference falls in the 5th percentile which is typical for DS. They checked his vision at his appointment too and it came back within normal range and they’ll recheck it every year to make sure… I’m so thankful for this result!!
Physical Therapy update – Liam will get on all fours and rock and make a tiny attempt to crawl, maybe 2 movements forward. He’ll move his hands forward and then usually either move to sitting or just fall on his belly;). He moves from laying on the floor to the sitting position really well! He often gets on his hands and knees and then up on his toes… it’s pretty cute! He loves to stand so right now we are working on cruising. He’s still a bit slow at it but will move his feet with a little guidance and will sometimes do it on his own. He also of course LOVES to bounce! His DS allows him super flexibility… I mean he can do the splits and lean all the way forward. So we have a little hip band that I put on him throughout the day that helps him keep his legs from sitting too far apart when he is playing; they are called at-a-bands. He does a good job playing on his knees but prefers to stand… and he can pull to stand from sitting or kneeling pretty well as long as he can get a good grip and I’m behind him to catch him in case he falls because he’s still a bit wobbly. He stands up in his crib now… as of two days ago and I think he’s pretty proud of himself. The first time I went in to get him and saw him standing he gave me a big smile and started bouncing;). For a while I was pretty emotional about him not crawling yet, but at this point I am thankful that he’s not getting into everything while I’m getting bigger and heavier these days!! I’m so proud of him and he’s so fun to watch just make his way around a room to get to his toys. He’s a pretty content happy little guy with his toys!
We are going to have a speech evaluation done on him in the beginning of January and hopefully begin speech therapy shortly after. He has just recently (the week he turned 1) started to become talkative and saying ba ba, blah, blah, da da, and some other consonant that I don’t think is in our alphabet;). It’s sure fun to listen to him now!! I have been using some sign language with him for a while and he understands a hand full of it. He knows what these signs mean – eat, juice, up, all done, and milk. He doesn’t do them back to me yet. The only one I think he does sign is momma… not completely sure, but I think so! He is also a good waver and knows when I wave to him and say ‘hi’ he usually waves back… so cute!!! He loves to wave and often gets carried away staring at his waving hand!
He also holds his own bottle now when he drinks! I’ve been working on it with him for a while now so it’s so good to watch him do it all by himself. He does need a little refocusing once in a while but for the most part he has it down as long as I’m holding him and he’s not too distracted;). He also drinks juice out of his sippy cup all by himself. It’s time to start weaning him from the bottle and onto a cup… we’ll see how that goes. I’ve tried a couple different kinds and he’s just not interested yet.
His gross motor skills are great and his fine motor skills are pretty good. His pincer grasp is still a work in progress… like he can’t quite grab a puff (if you have little kids you know what this is) off his tray yet with his pincer… but can every once in a while with the raking motion. If it’s something bigger like a banana or carrot he can handle that. He has such a great Early Intervention teacher who has been helping me work with him on his OT. Right now we are working on dropping a toy with purpose. He can pick them up well and bang two toys together and pull toys out of a container, but he won’t put them back in yet.
Oh and he is teething! He got his first tooth on December 10th and has been working on the second one that should pop through any day now. The one he has is on his lower left side, front tooth. It’s so cute and a bit crooked;). Because of this it’s been a rough last week and we are ready for daddy to come home. How come he’s gone when sleepless nights happen… interesting timing;)!
I can probably put down a whole lot more but it’s time for my nap… because it’s time for his;)! I live for his naps these days! Baby sister is going to be here before we know it!
Well I finally remembered my camera and I’m glad it was on a day like today! The lesson after Liam’s canceled so we got to stay a bit longer, and I’m so thankful because he was having a blast!! This was his best lesson yet! I wish I could’ve recorded every moment. He started off with his usual “please don’t take me away from my mommy” mad cry, but then eased up and enjoyed himself after a few minutes of tears (and after I left his sight). We are so thankful to have the opportunity to work with coach Beth! She coaches for the Special Olympics and really has a heart for teaching kids with special needs!! We started lessons with her in September when Liam was 9 months old and he has definitely had his share of crying lessons but I think he has turned a new leaf… thanks to Beth’s hard work and daddy’s help!
I posted some pictures on Facebook but thought I’d show you some videos too. I took so many, so here are a few of the highlights I was able to capture today. You’ll notice he knows when she’s going to put him under water to he knows to take a deep breath… so cute!!
We had the opportunity to take Liam to Kevin Wimpy’s photography studio to have his picture taken with the most darling scene of Santa in his toy shop! It was Liam’s first time seeing Santa and I was a little nervous because he was overdue for his nap. But much to my surprise, he went right to Santa and actually enjoyed being on his lap! It was too cute! So now we are left with the decision of which photo to choose to have them print for us. Ahhhh! I can’t do it! So maybe you can help me. Plus I wanted to show you just how cute they turned out;)! These are the ones I have it narrowed down to…
So cute… Santa loves Liam and Liam loves Santa;). Let me know which one is your favorite!!
Our good friend Sara Harper came over and captured some GREAT footage during Liam’s first birthday party. Enjoy this video!
…I gave birth to my first born, Liam Jeremiah Thiessen! He was born at 12:18pm and weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. When the nurse cleaned him off and handed him to me I had no idea what kind of prize I was just given. At that moment we had no idea he had Down syndrome. We were just admiring our perfect little baby boy! I just knew he was perfect for me. God’s chosen one to be my baby boy! He is entrusting me with Liam’s care and for that I am forever grateful to our creator for choosing me to be his momma!
Five hours later a pediatrician from our chosen clinic came with our labor and delivery nurse to give us an update on how Liam was doing. He sat beside me and told us that Liam was showing some characteristics of Down syndrome. Those characteristics included slanted eyes, extra skin on the back of his neck, one line through his left hand, and low muscle tone. He said he wasn’t a 100 percent sure but that a blood test would tell us if he had an extra 21st chromosome or not. A couple things went through my mind… I was in denial… “this couldn’t happen to me”… while at the same time thinking “he does have DS – this is what God chose me for.” It was a strange feeling. I believe God had prepared my heart for this news but it was still extremely hard to hear, mostly because I had no idea what that really meant. I had no idea the blessing I was given!
The pediatrician left the room and the nurse stayed behind and asked if she could pray with us!! What a gift she was to me that day! Not only did she do a fantastic job taking care of me throughout the birthing process but she wanted to pray over us after receiving this news. God sent her to us in that moment! Anyway, we did go through the process of grieving a loss of what we had expected. But it didn’t last very long as we got to know and love Liam for who he is! I believe God’s grace was poured out on us as we learned to love our little boy with DS. I think we are the lucky ones to have the chance to raise this precious boy. He is truly a gift and I can’t imagine him any different. He is so loving and happy and easy going. He is definitely much more of an observer than a mover. He’s pretty content to just sit and play with whatever is in front of him (which has come in handy lately;). He loves music and books and anything that makes noise when you bang on it;). Each stage of growth this past year has been my favorite… so I look forward to many more years as his momma!
God looks at Liam and sees him as his beautiful creation and so do I! We have chosen this life verse for him – Psalm 139:14 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Or another translation I like is, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful!” God has already used him to touch lives… including my own… and taken us places and challenged us in ways we never dreamed of. I pray he continues to use his little life to touch others and point them to Jesus!
Happy FIRST Birthday Liam! I love you and am so blessed to call you mine!