Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nursery, Signing and Christmas Market

Noah is doing unbelieving well at nursery, today Pete put him on the bus, he had a bit of a cry and was apparently fine when he got to nursery. I went to collect him and he was playing away posting shapes through holes. I waved at him and he was excited to see me but took his time in coming over to me. I am really happy that he likes nursery. The only problem I have now found is that he has become very clingy outside of nursery. He has started to cry when I go out of site. Its speech and signing is coming along really well. He has started to say a lot more over the last few weeks and he is picking up signs really well. I am now trying to encourage him to either sign or say two words together, last week he signed baby sleep which was excellent. Hopefully nursery will now help with this as he will get one-on-one care. Even though I talk most of the time to him, there is only so much baby chatter I can face.

Noah has got one of my little traits, Pete keeps telling me that I always point out the obvious for example if I see a Christmas Tree, I will point it out. Noah now points at things and names them, for example door, light, shower, dog.

This evening we went to the German Market which is in Birmingham for Christmas. Noah loved the Christmas lights, the carousel ride and the food was really yummy. Whilst going round the stores we bumped into a black Labrador puppy, it was lovely (even though I am not really a dog lover) Noah took to it straight away. And you'd never guess what the puppies name was Noah of course. What a coincidence.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick update on nursery

Noah got on really well at Nursery today, he cried when Pete put him on the bus, but apparently fell asleep a couple of minuted later. The nursery staff were able to take his attention to the toys which he loves. Apparently he went in the ball pond and down the slide several times. He cried at dinner time, but I think that was because he was getting tired. So all in all he had a really good day at nursery.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Update on Nursery

Well last week was a very stressful week, Noah just didn't take to nursery. He cried constantly unless I was there. So this week I am trying a different tactic. I stayed with Noah today, when I did go out of sight he started to cry but the guys there took his attention to something else. This lasted for about 10 minutes until he got really upset. I am sure once he gets used to the new surroundings and the people who help out he will settle down just fine.

We have also had a busy weekend, on Saturday we looked after my cousins daughter (6 months old), Noah was really gentle with her and started to sign Baby sleeping. He can sign them separately but has not put the two together until Saturday.

I gave Noah a chocolate on Saturday and I'll leave you with the mucky pup himself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hatton Country Park

On Saturday we took Noah to Hatton Country Park, despite it being very cold Noah had a great time, we got to see all the animals, including the guinea pigs which Noah took a real liking to. I can imagine in a few years time on the car journey home finding a guinea pig hidden in his jacket ;-) He liked them that much.

We went for lunch afterwards, where he was given a balloon. He had such fun with the balloon. Take a look at the video clip.

Noah didn't get on well yesterday at Nursery, I took him to Speech and Language before nursery and then dropped him in afterwards. He roared and roared. I went into another room to wait for him to stop crying as I would not leave while he was in such a state, after a long time he still wasn't settling so I went in to get him. I hate seeing him so upset, but obviously nursery will benefit him. He is still very young to be going to nursery and to be honest if he didn't have Down Syndrome I wouldn't be sending him. But he needs to start playing with other children and mixing with new adults to prepare him for pre-school. He has become very clingy and I am a great believer that things that happen in your childhood affect you in later life. Therefore I will not put Noah through anything that may traumatise him. He is going to be collected on the bus tomorrow and Pete will be putting him on so we will see how he gets on. Fingers crossed he will settle in just fine.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First day at Nursery

Well it finally came, Noah's first day at nursery. He wasn't too well this morning, I think it must have been all the excitement from his birthday, but he still had a smile for me. The little bus turned up for him at 9.50am and he was put on the bus. I think he was in shock as he didn't do much when I said goodbye. Apparently he fell asleep on the bus, but woke when he was taken from the bus. I went to the nursery just to check up on him and he was really pleased to see me kept hugging me and coming over to me, which was really cute. I stayed for about 45 min, when I left I said goodbye to him and he waved. I contacted nursery at 12.30 to find out how he was and apparently he had cried but had fallen asleep. His nursery teacher was going to wake him up and give him some lunch. The bus dropped him back just after 2.00pm and he was really pleased to see me, he had a few sobs every now and again. I talked to him about his day and I said to him did you get on the bus and he said bus.
He is really starting to copy words that I say now as well as saying and signing his usual words. At the moment Noah has about 50 signs and words.

How did I get on without Noah? Well it was horrible I hated every moment, I felt lost, I know its the best thing for Noah he gets to meet other people and socialise with other children, it just starts to prepare him for nursery and then school. But I was at a loss of what to do without him. I’m sure it will get easier especially if I know he is enjoying it, at least tomorrow I have more time with him as I am taking him to Speech and Language before I take him to nursery.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday to the big birthday boy. I cant believe how the 2 years have flown by. You have grown and changed so much in those two years. But you will always be my baby.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Special Child

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities continued...

The photo shoot went very well and thanks to John Hopkiss Ltd we have copies of the photo’s. So a big thank you John. An article will hopefully be in one of the local Birmingham papers. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will run the article as I want to raise awareness of some of the therapy centres parents that have children with special needs can access and the need for more charities like Bibic. I will let you know when I hear more. Here is one of the pics of Noah.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities

As it is the European Year of Equal Opportunities, we have been contacted through Bibic by a reported and asked whether they could photograph Noah and they will then see whether the local newspapers would be interested in running an article about Noah. They are coming to take the photographs today. So I will keep you posted as to how he gets on.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Noah the Pussy Cat

Noah hasn't been well this week, he has a really bad cold and is on antibiotics, but he is keeping his chin up. Last weekend Noah became a pussy cat for the day. Here are some piccys of him.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Breastfeeding a baby that has Down Syndrome (Ladies only)

This is a follow post from Noah's birth and Diagnosed with Downs Syndrome.

When Noah was born he had to take antibiotics to help prevent infection due to his dilated kidneys, they had warned us about this before hand. They scanned his kidneys after a couple of days and confirmed they were fine. We continued to give them to him until two weeks after his birth when he had his second scan to confirm they were still fine.

Noah also had a heart scan a couple of days after he was born which showed a VSD and a heart murmur. They told us that it was nothing to worry about, it was something that all children have but they normally close before they are born. It was followed up in February 2006 and they told us he actually had an ASD. Again this was followed up in January 2007 and they confirmed that the heart murmur had gone and the ASD/VSD had closed.

Before Noah was born I was adamant I would breastfeed our baby, giving him/her the best possible start into the world. Once Noah was born I asked Pete to find anything he could about breastfeeding a baby with down syndrome as I new I would have a difficult time.

I found it extremely difficult to get Noah to latch on, I was worried, he was loosing weight and he was just so sleepy most of the time. To get him to wake up I would have to undress him and blow on his tummy, stroke his face and make a lot of noise. On the third day of being in hospital, I was just so worried about him, his weight loss and the fact that he still wasn’t latching on properly I broke down in tears. They say the 3rd day is always the worst day when you have your baby blues. I didn’t feel I was getting the support I needed from the midwives, until a lovely midwife came to see me and told me they would get the breastfeeding counsellor to see me.

I talked about Noah and his lack of breastfeeding, the midwives were worried about his weight so we decided I would express and give it to him in a cup, every three hours. Can you imagine what that was like especially during the night. I would spend at least 30 minutes trying to wake him up, then it would take about an hour to feed him and then I would have to express again. I hardly got any sleep whilst at the hospital. I was using the hospital expressing machine. It was hard work but I new that I was doing the best for my little man.
Did I feel like giving up? Yes especially during the night feeds and also with the negativity and lack of support I was getting from some of the midwives.

I was discharged from the hospital on the Tuesday I just wanted to go home. Noah was feeding a little bit better and was still taking little bits from the cup.

But by the following Sunday he had lost more weight, he still looked jaundice and had not opened his bowels since the Monday before (a week). The midwife was worried that he may have bowel problems and obviously she wanted to get the jaundice checked out. We ended up back at the hospital. They kept us in hospital to keep an eye on Noah.

It was decided that as Noah’s sodium level was higher than normal, I would put him to the breast for 5 minutes on each breast and top him up with 60ml (by cup). His first feed was fine, the second he didn’t wake up but took it all anyway. The third 6.00am he woke for and took straight away.

On the Tuesday he had done two poo’s and had gained weight as well we were allowed to go home.

After that it wasn’t plane sailing Noah didn’t take to breastfeeding straight away but by Christmas I wasn’t expressing he was solely taking milk from the breast. He was also sleeping through the night from 6 weeks.

With patience and persistence we had done it. It definitely got easier as his strength and muscle tone picked up and to be honest we haven’t looked back since. I’m so glad I was able to breastfeed Noah. It was the best thing I ever did and I believe it has helped with Noah’s speech, he babbles for England.

I understand it may not be possible to breastfeed your baby due to the baby having health problems, low muscle tone etc. But you could always express milk if you feel up to it and give it in a cup.

Here are some added benefits to breastfeeding your baby: -

 Protection from infection and bowel problems. Babies with Down Syndrome are especially prone to respiratory tract infections and problems of the bowel. Your milk will provide your baby with immunities to infection and ease of digestion that formula cannot.

 Improved mouth and tongue coordination. Due to the unique sucking action required to breastfeed, these babies experience mouth and tongue coordination improvement, which promotes their speech and language development later on.

 Increased brain growth. Human milk has a fatty acid known as DHA that is not present in cow's milk. This fatty acid has been shown to increase brain growth and development. Several studies have shown that children who were breastfed generally score 8 points higher on IQ tests than their formula-fed peers. This increased brain stimulation is especially beneficial for the child with this disability.

 Extra stimulation. The extra skin-to-skin contact that goes hand-in-hand with breastfeeding gives babies extra stimulation to more fully develop their capabilities.

 Closeness between mother and baby. Nursing your baby with a special need assures that you spend lots of time cuddling and getting to know your baby better. It also can help you feel that you are doing something meaningful for your child's well-being.

 Enhanced mothering skills. The skills you will use in the early weeks of breastfeeding to help your baby learn to nurse - the encouraging, the coaxing, and the teaching are the same skills you will need over the years to help your child reach his potential.

Below are some more links about breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome:-

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Answers & Questions with Anne Smith

Monday, November 5, 2007

Noahs Birth Story (ladies only)

On the morning of Friday 18th November 2005 I woke up early, I was getting niggly pains, I decided to have a bath to see if they would subside. I didn’t think that it was anything serious, I wasn’t due for another 3 weeks, and so I told Pete to go to work.

I rang mum just to let her know that I was getting some niggly pains but obviously I wasn’t due for another 3 weeks so it was probably nothing, in any case I told her to keep her mobile with her.

By 9.00 am I was in more pain and decided to contact the hospital to ask for there advice. The pains were coming
every 10 minutes, the midwife said I was most probably in labour and to come in when I felt ready. I put my tens machine on and called Pete telling him to come home when he could, I phoned mum and asked her to come over. We had already told mum we wanted her there at the birth. By 11.00 am the pain’s were coming every 5 minutes. As Pete doesn’t drive he cycles everywhere, and I can remember calling him and asking him where was he panicking as I couldn’t take the pain any longer, I told him if he wasn’t home in 5 minutes I would be going to the hospital on my own. (I was in pain) By the time he got back he looked terrible. He jumped in and out of the shower in a matter of minutes.

When I arrived the waiting room was full. After about 10 minutes I told them I couldn’t wait any longer I was in a lot of pain. So they bumped me up the list and took me into an examination room. I was over 5 cm dilated.

They then took me to the delivery suite. I managed the pain well on gas and air and my tens machine. They had to monitor Noah’s heartbeat all the whole time so I hooked up to a monitor. I was restricted in my movement but I refused to lie on the bed until the very end. (I think this really helped being upright).

They told me I was 9 cms dilated and they said they would have to break my waters. They had to cut and I tore which wasn’t nice but as soon as this happened Noah Michael Edwards entered the world at 4.50pm weighing 7lbs 4 oz. I dread to think how much he would have weighed if I had gone full term.

His daddy and nanny were also waiting to meet him.

I remember him being handed to me as soon as he was born. All the pain I had been in, just disappeared and I felt so much love for this little person and so scared I was finally a Mummy.

We spent some time with Noah before I had to go off to theatre to be stitched up. I could hear Noah crying in the recovery room, I also heard that Aunty Joanne had just arrived. (Mum had only just text her, she must have been stalking the hospital)

When I got out of theatre Pete and I spent some time with Noah. I new he was an extra special little person from the minute I saw him and that didn’t really matter. All that mattered to both of us was that he was healthy and doing really well. Pete and I had made a decision before Noah was born that we would accept and deal with whatever was thrown at us.

Noah is extra special because he has an extra chromosome - he has Down syndrome.

Pete and I felt really positive about this news, it wasn’t a shock it
was probably more of a shock to our family than us, although we had pre-warned everyone before hand. We believe special families are chosen to have special babies.

We still feel so lucky to have Noah, I remember we used to lie on the bed at the hospital looking at Noah saying how on earth did we make such a gorgeous little bundle. I would say to anyone in the position we were in Noah has brought us so much joy and given us so much love in the last two years. He amazes us everyday, he does something new every week. All of the moments with him are very precious. Some days he is a little monkey but aren’t all children!
He will always be my baby.

Bonfire Night and Fireworks

Well Noah has been to his first Bonfire night and Fireworks display. He was a bit unsure at first, I think that the bangs may have been a bit louder than he is normally used to but by the end of it - he was saying wowwwwwww, wowwwwwwwww, he was copying me.

Noah will be two next week, its really scary to think where have the last two years gone to. It has got me thinking back to when I was pregnant with him and the day he was born. I have recently posted about my pregnancy with Noah, for anyone reading, it can be found in the October posts.

I will shortly be posting Noah's birth story for anyone who didn't read it on his website which we have closed.