Monday, May 11, 2009

It's hard to be a mom!

When I was little, all I ever wanted to be is a mom! I wanted lots of kids, maybe a few sets of multiples! I loved babysitting, loved taking care of kids altogether. Well, than I grew up and had 4 kids, and mostly it's everything I imagined it could be. I love my children more than anything in the world. I would do ANYTHING for them.

Well, this month it has come to a point where I've had to prove this to myself. We've had concerns about Benjamin since the day he was born. The doctor told us to watch for water on the brain because he had such a huge head! He had aspirated liquid into his lungs during birth, and was in the hospital for a week. We were only able to bring him home then because my mom (an awesome Registered Nurse, grandma AND mom) could give him his antibiotics in a shot about 4 times a day (and night). As we watched him grow, we noticed little things about him that we began to label as Benjamin's Quirks. He was an awesome baby, soooo happy, so beautiful. He was an awesome toddler. Well behaved, sooo happy, and the apple of our eyes! But, he seemed to have coordination issues. Walking down stairs was a left foot down, right foot together, left foot down a step, right foot together. Rather than the right foot down, left foot down, right foot down . . . He still does this as a 12 year old. But, as parents, he was our little perfect baby with a few funny little quirks.

In first grade he was diagnosed with ADD, but NOT ADHD. The doctors thought that very strange. USUALLY boys have the hyperactivity issues associated with attention deficit disorder. But not Ben.

Well, grade school was tricky, but we found ways to help him through his learning issues at school and he pulled fairly good grades. He still had a few more "quirks" that we just thought were Benjamin's quirks. He HAS to have his right foot moving ALL THE TIME. Sitting, standing, lying on the bed. He says if he doesn't move it, he feels like he is going to burst. He loved four wheelers and motorcycles, tractors and lawn mowers, street sweepers and garbage trucks. He could tell you exactly how each one works, and what each of their specific names and uses were. But if mr. street sweeper showed up offering Ben a ride in one, he would be soooo scared to get on it.

Now were in 6th grade at the Middle School (or here in Brigham it's known as the Intermediate School) He has 7 classes, and he is getting B- as his top grade, and Fs in 3 of his classes. He has this fascination with writing utensils, and it is almost like an addiction to him. If he sees one on the ground, counter, desk, car . . . he HAS to have it. His 6th grade teachers have called and talked to us about what they are seeing, and we tell them what we have experienced over the years. We are beginning to think that this is more than just ADD.

We research and research and come up with some symptoms in the Autism family that match his to a T. So we call doctors, psychotherapists and get him in. Our thoughts were that he had Aspergers, which is most commonly misdiagnosed as ADD. Now that he's hitting puberty, his hormones are sending him overboard (this is what doctor tells us) and causing his symptoms to be more severe.

Well, we got a diagnosis Thursday from his Psychotherapist, and we were right about it being in the autism family, but not quite the Aspergers. He has what is called PDD NOS. Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. This means that he has pieces of lots of different aspects of the autism spectrum, just not enough of one or the other to label him in one.

What does this mean? More trips to the psychotherapist, more intervention with the schools, possible home schooling if it comes to that . . . and mostly, I dont know yet!

So now I look at everything my other kids do that is quirky, and I worry myself to pieces. I actually firmly feel that my other babies are fine and dandy! We don't notice any quirks that affect their daily living. Just quirks that mean they're kids.

Anyway, breather, unloading all done. That's our newest little family challenge. One day at a time right!

Last night I told my husband "It's hard to be a mom" he laughed and asked me if I thought it was supposed to be easy.

I think it should be!


Angela said...

((hugs)) Amber! You are an awesome mom. I hope that with a diagnosis you can continue on doing what is best for Benjamin. And I do agree, motherhood, as rewarding as it is, really ought to be easier!

Megan and Mike Glines said...

We love ya, and you are doing an awesome job. I am no way that patient. We are thinking about you.

Nik said...

It IS hard to be a mom, there are always challenges. But things have a way of working out, and no doubt you'll make it through with flying colors!

Alana Lange said...

I love that little Benjamin! He was such a sweet little boy. I remember that first day of school he and Alec rode the bus together. Alec was so nervous and Benjamin just hopped right on that bus with no fear at all. He had to sit right by Alec so Alec wouldn't be afraid. We are thinking of you and hope that things will become easier. Two of mine have that dang ADHD and that is difficult enough! I can't even imagine what you have gone through. Hang in there! We STILL need to do lunch!!

Wish upon a Starr said...

Always remember we are here for you. If you need a minute to talk, you know who to call. We love ya, and we know you can handle this. You are very creative in your mothering, I KNOW you can handle this. But again, were here if you need to talk. Love ya lots!!

Michele and Wyatt said...

I'm with you, Mothering should be easier! I think the key is to figure out what works for each mother and her kids. It will be different for everyone. I think you do a great job with your kids. Benjamin is such a great kid. He really is special. Now they've put a name to his "Benjamin quirks", but he's still Benjamin. Hopefully now you will know how to best help him succeed. Good luck as you travel this new road, and know that we love and support you. If there is anything we can help you with, please let us know. We love you and your family and wish we could see you more often. Take care.

The Jeppsen 5 said...

Oh, Amber...that's tough! I think you're doing a great job! You're doing everything right (doctors, second and third opinions, etc.)

You're a strong lady and a super mom!! Being a Momma isn't for wimps, and you prove that!! Love ya!!

Jeri Santos said...

I agree being a Mom isn't for whimps. You wish that you could take care of everyone of their little problems and make everything better -- even when they are older. Benjamin is such a great kid. He will conquer and so will you. Keep up the good work. We think a lot of your family. You and Thomas are wonderful.

Lori Muir said...

Benjamin is lucky to have such great parents. Confronting these issues is the best way to go, and it's also the hardest thing ever. We're pullin for you.

Lynja said...

oh Amber, I actualy do know what you are going through. and I have tears in my eyes. Things came to a head for me after we moved from Hyrum 3 1/2 ears ago. My oldest(4 1/2 at the time) was diagnosed with ADHD, Opositional Defiance Disorder, an angsiety (you know I can't spell, right?) disorder and PDD NOS. Later a specilist at the U of U hospital said that it was most likely aspergers but was not going to diagnose this unless it would help something. The others diagnoses came from his pediatrition and our theapist. Theripy was the BEST thing I did for this family!!!!! I did what is call PCIT through Safe and Healthy Familys through Primary Children's Hopspital. I want you to know that, I know that, Heavenly Father Knew your son long before you did and he knows what is best for you and Benjamin. I know that he will help you through this time and to make the desitions you need to make if you pray. Call me if you want to talk. I know Benjamin is much older than my son so you are facing things that I haven't faced yet. Thanks for the "Now that he's hitting puberty, his hormones are sending him overboard (this is what doctor tells us) and causing his symptoms to be more severe." part. I will keep that in mind.:)