Nurse and mother-of-three MELANIE PRESTON from Knoxville, Tennessee writes about life with Daytrippers New Year Baby; ELLIOTT PRESTON. Melanie has agreed to regularly update We Are Daytrippers (THANK YOU!) to share with readers about her experience caring for a child with down syndrome. (Don’t miss the beautiful photos of Elliott’s previous five months at the end of this post).
“Last year this same week we found out Elliott would have an extra chromosome and while I wasn’t shocked, it certainly wasn’t what I “wanted” … fast forward to the beginning of 2015 and he is everything we wanted, needed and more!
I suppose it’s fair to say he makes us appreciate the little things in life more. Things that I’ve never even considered with my other children … like reaching for toys, propping up on elbows and then hands, et cetera. Sure, I remember Elliotts siblings milestones (mostly because one was super late and the other was super freakishly early); but did I celebrate them? Not like we do (and will) with Elliott.
There is just so much work involved for something so simple like reaching his hands above his shoulder height (that was a huge one!). Low muscle tone is also a subject of concern. It is real and fascinating. One of the neatest things to see is his older sister (by 17 months) is his biggest cheerleader. She claps and jumps up and down for him – it’s adorable and I hope she remains his biggest advocate throughout his entire life.
Overall, Elliott is doing well developmentally for a child with down syndrome. We are working with physical therapists to help him sit and he is making huge strides. The occupational therapist discharged him because he had met current goals and will re-evaluate when he is around 10 months. He is about to start some puréed foods so we have an evaluation with speech therapy just so they can see how he does. Speaking of appointments … can you say more than we can count? Seriously! It’s been busy in the Preston household. That’s really the only “change” to our lives in the past year and to be fair – a lot of those appointments are not only Elliott’s but his siblings as well, so it could also be very much part of having three kids?!
We have a cardiology appointment coming up in a few weeks to see how the two holes in his heart are healing so that’s our next big “thing.” We have been so thankful this year to have had a positive experience through diagnosis, delivery, and beyond. It’s very helpful to be surrounded by so many supportive family, friends and medical professionals but sadly I am incredibly aware that is not the norm. Sure Elliott is different but so what! (Aren’t we all?). Difference is what makes us unique and he is certainly no less unique than I am! So Happy New Year 2015 and cheers to being maybe not so different after all?”
Past articles with Melanie and Elliott:
- Read about when Melanie found out she was having a baby with down syndrome: http://wp.me/p4FQqM-11
- Read about when Melanie delivered Elliott herself in the car (a shock to all!): http://wp.me/p4FQqM-2v
- Read about Elliott’s first month of life: http://wp.me/p4FQqM-3R
We cannot get enough of these adorable pictures of Elliott’s first five months: