Thursday, May 14, 2009

Raising Denver Part 2: Hurdles

Being 3 months early didn't slow Denver down one iota in weight gain to leave the hospital. The nursing staff remained pretty impressed with him through out. That's a comforting thought when you have a baby that can't leave the hospital until he weighs five pounds.

They only put him on oxygen once and that only lasted a few hours. I took a lot of time off work for my little man and my wife since she recovered from a c-section. By the time he finally came home they were having patience issues. Oh well.

We celebrated his home coming and spent lots of time getting used to a new schedule around the house. The first thing everyone noticed about Denver was his crying. He didn't. At least not as often as you would expect an infant to. This worried us but we forged forward and considered ourselves lucky to have such a happy baby. We checked on him more often but he sure made it worth it. He had to be about the most smiley baby I ever saw.

His little eyes would just light up whenever someone came to him. I'm still trying to find the photos so I can post them and show them to you. Even though he had reflux like my daughters did, and like I did, he didn't cry about that either.

As he grew he started into development toward crawling. Most babies roll first, not Denver. He started holding his head up and went to scooting, skipped most of crawling and started pulling himself up on things by 6 months. During this time, I did something really stupid.

Oh no! What could I have done? Well, we all teach our kids bad habits at some point in time. As it turns out, Denver and I liked to put our foreheads to each other (which made him giggle endlessly) and I would say "bonk bonk" (no I wouldn't actually bonk him, geez!) but he sure took it as a way to play. He became the head butting baby. His first word may have been Dad, but his favorite word was BONK. Out of the blue, if you held him too close, he would smile and slam his forehead right into your face. Yep, dumb Dad taught him that one and got to hear about it for months.

It was never enough to hurt him and that, at least, was a plus. As he started to walk, we noted that he always stayed up on tip toes. We didn't know at the time that this was a sign of things to come. He also developed hydrocephalis (water on the brain- and NO, not from headbutting people) but he developed past and overcame it. We had him in a little bit of therapy for the tip toe-ing but he soon moved past that too. He wasted little time on walking once he learned and jumped right to running.

Now a new problem presented itself. Denver wasn't responding to pain stimulus. He would fall, hit his head on a coffee table edge or a door and bounce right up and be off again. Not a single tear ever fell for the longest time. He was ticklish as anything, but if he ever hit anything very hard, until he was almost 3, nothing. It's scary when your child doesn't know if he hurts himself. You find yourself getting paranoid about everything he does.

Fortunately, today, that's not the case. He's seven now and knows pretty well, but in part 3 I'll show you just how scary it really got.

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