Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some Firsts

First haircut!
Emmett at 10 months old just had his first haircut. He had a rocking mullet in the back, and we just couldn't take it any longer. I was already cutting Cole & Dean's hair and so I figured I'd give Emmett a shot, too. He didn't cry at all! Just was a moving target. :) Here's my big boy!



Death to the mullet!

First independent drinking!
Another major first is that Dean is drinking liquids, completely on his own. This primarily is his almond milk. When Dean was born, he lacked most of his newborn reflexes, including the sucking reflex. We tried (and agonized over) in each feeding to get him to suck. We saw 4 speech therapists to help with this and used all the tricks other PWS parents taught us. Just when he started to suck around 4 months old, he stopped eating (thank goodness for the G-tube!). This still baffles me when I think about it. Finally, we got Dean to take his bottles by cutting open the nipples on them and basically squeezing the milk into his mouth so he could swallow it. That, combined with his liking for solids, allowed us to ditch the G-tube when Dean was 9 months old.

Dean still didn't like to drink, at ALL. Sometimes he just plain refused to swallow the milk or even spit it out. We'd give him the sippy and he'd pour it on the ground. Umm, thanks.

We eventually "progressed" (I'm using this term loosely) to bribing him to swallow by reading books. Read a page, take a sip. Read a page, take a sip. On and on until he got at least 18 ounces EVERY SINGLE DAY. Appropriate words to describe this would be maddening, tedious, annoying.... Dean didn't seem ever to be thirsty and didn't seem to care one lick whether he drank anything. Dr. Miller told us that this was somewhat of a PWS thing (the hormone regulating thirst is disrupted), but that Dean seemed to be an extreme case with this. We tried all sorts of liquids, sippy cups, regular cups, straws, you name it. NO interest. We had to pour the milk in his mouth.

Enter tonsil & adenoid surgery. For some odd reason, he's seemed to have a sense of thirst FINALLY since having the surgery. It's like someone flipped a switch and he is all cool with milk (or any liquid!) now. Dean will now drink on his own as long as we give him the cup and make him sit down and actually do it. He still can't suck (we've tried, speech therapists have tried), so we take out the valve in a regular sippy and he pours the milk into his own mouth. It's so wonderful not to have to bribe him anymore! No clue why he suddenly is into this, but we'll take it.



Believe me, friends, it is a victory that we will take!

9 comments:

Janet Gulley said...

Honestly, I have a collection of the plugs for sippy cups. Ayden Jane is capable of sucking, but never deemed liquid worth the effort!

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Janet, that's really interesting! Dean's new speech therapist just this past week tried to get him using a straw or something like that again and said he was completely uninterested. Even with his newfound appreciation for liquids, that was too much!

Janet Gulley said...

Since your discovery of the return of reflux from Dean's sleep study, I wondered if that was part of his 'dislike' of liquids?

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Ooh, good thinking! Actually, Dr. Miller's theory (and the theory of a few of the SLPs) when Dean stopped drinking at 4 months old was that it was reflux. Dean had recently started GH and GH apparently worsens reflux. Hmm....

Dorette said...

Our firstborn could suck but with rather severe sensory intergration disorder (esp in his mounth) EATING any solids was an issue. I had to puree foods extra-extra smooth for the longest time.

3 1/2 years later, we still do family victory dances for every new food that our lil man is prepared to try :-)

Since we had such a hard time to get him to try solids (as opposed to living solely off milk), I never thought that other families faced a smiliar battle with regards to drinking. Interesting

For me, parenting a kid for which certain milestones doesn't come as easily and naturally as for other kids have given me a whole new appreciation of God's small mercies in everyday things.

Diana P said...

yay Dean!! hurray :)

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Dorette, indeed!! well said.

Elizabeth Phillips said...

Can I just say how much I love Dean? I tear up when I think about him and how sweet he is. I just can't even think about your dear family without coming face to face with how God answers prayers.

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Thanks, friend. I know you love him, I can see it in your face when you see him. :) It means the world to us.