WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Crabby Abby- our "Crabagail"

I was so excited to met Kristi and Cindie and their little ones yesterday. Hannah and Lady A really brought a lot of memories flooding back for us. Abby, Derek and I chatted on the way home about Abby when she was 2-4. We lovingly and sometimes out of frustration nicknamed Abby "Crabagail" and Crabby Abby when she was the age of Lady A and Miss Hannah.

Abby for lack of a better description was a "fussy baby." She NEVER screamed, but if not asleep was always fussing. Though she never seemed to have a lot of volume(probably a muscle tone issue). From the time she was born she had very defined needs as far as her comfort. We found out quickly that she preferred me above all. Which of course I assumed she knew I had the food so it made sense! :-) She needed to be swaddled and held against me in just a few different positions. When she slept she would wake every 15-30 minutes and fuss- we figured out if we moved her arm,hand,leg, head a bit she would settle back down. It was clear she was not a mover and a shaker, she rarely moved her body and we dealt with some constipation for the first couple months until a kind nurse showed us how to make sure we moved her little body since she did not. She lived to swing- I lived in fear that the baby swing would break.. it was 30 minutes of swinging and contented baby that we could get no other way.

She did not lift her head, nor flip, nor crawl.. she finally smiled but it was a rare occurrence. Interestingly, she started to cross her eyes and wiggle her eyebrows at us when she was "happy"- talk about weird!! Of course, looking back we now realize it was her very poor muscle tone in her face that probably made smiling a lot of work for her. My hatred of Pediatricians started with Abby- I "KNEW" something was very wrong with this weird and cranky baby, but I was told, "every baby is different", or "you hold her too much,", or "she will outgrow it." Not reassuring at all! We at the time were in military housing and there were babies everywhere! None of the other babies were at all like my crabby Abby and it was clear to all of us, there was something wrong with Abby. We finally strong armed a referral to an Allergist(the Ped said no 10 times after repeat ear infections in a boob fed baby-idiot Dr!)the Allergist was horrified to hear about the Peds reluctance to refer Abby, especially when testing showed allergies to tomato,soy,corn, eggs, dairy,shellfish,nuts and more! I thought-Bingo- it is severe food allergies which is a nightmare but at least I know(this still did not sit well because despite being allergic to the moon and stars and everything else,she was a very chubby baby!). Avoiding those foods was a challenge but she seemed a little happier, though all the weird physical quirks were still with us..She actually walked at 9-10 months, but could not pull herself up.she was probably close to 3 before she figured out how to stand back without help from us or furniture .She never did put toys to her mouth and had no interest in even trying to feed herself. If you held her under her arms she would pop "wings" - her shoulder blades would splay out! She had celulite on her back.. Her chin rested on her chest. If you tried to hold her hand when she was walking her little arms would pop out of joint at the elbow.. and still the Ped fought us on a referral(we had military insurance called Champus at the time,no insurance would have been easier). At around a year old I think, we finally got her in to see a Neurologist. After all the Pediatricians denial I really thought the Neurologist was going to blow us off. After the Neurologist checked her over, she sat me down and said she strongly suspected some sort of Muscular dystrophy. Keep in mind I was in my early-mid-twenties. The only thing that I heard was "Jerry's Kids." My world was rocked to the very core that day.

The highs and lows over the years have always been extreme with my sweet Crabigail. By age 4 things seem to start working themselves out.. and crashed again at puberty.

Seeing those precious little girls yesterday took me back to my feelings when Abby was their age. At times I felt so overwhelmed, as if I had a choice in all of this and somehow I had picked this for my baby. I am not nearly as angry anymore and have forgiven the disease for what it has done to Abby(although I do have a list of Drs. I would still gladly chew out given the opportunity!!LOL). Believe it or not, I can see the rays of sunshine in our life much more clearly now. Maybe it is that I have grown up and recognized and seen the suffering in this world that I recognize that as bad as things have gotten for us, it could be so much worse. Though, I doubt it. I think those toddler years no matter how mature a person is, we as Moms are very single minded. We are setting the course for the rest of their lives in those first few toddler years. That pressure and responsibility would weigh as heavily on me today as it did 16 years ago.


babyfoodsteps said...

It was a pleasure to have met you too and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so quick to "mentor" Me (and cindie) along this path. You have walked in our shoes years before we did and have the expert eye and the 7th sense to know what is going on with our girls and your big girl at first glance...
thanks for all you share! And thank you for caring for Abby so well over the years... so that we could meet her too!

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