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Down syndrome, Our Family

Mason at 9 Months

In case you hadn’t realized, this week is updates on the kids week.  I do have some projects and recipes coming up soon, but January is my month to sort of get organized, plan, and de-clutter.  So, I thought it would be appropriate to update you on some family news.  Hope you don’t mind!  {I know the Grandmas enjoy it}.

Sunday marked 9 months for Mason.  Wow, time sure does fly by!  It seems like with each child the time just goes by even faster.  The past nine months have been wonderful, but also emotionally challenging at times.  We have been so blessed to have a child with Down Syndrome whose overall health is excellent.  This is not the case for many people with DS.  Many have congenital heart problems, thyroid issues, trouble with vision and hearing, even gastrointestinal difficulties.  Mason has thus far been free from all of those things.  And, we praise the Lord for this.

Trying to open Christmas presents

He got a little frustrated

Physical development is generally delayed in children with Down Syndrome, and we have seen some of that with Mason.  He was tested at 5 months, and was coming in right about 3 months behind with most development.  We have been blessed to be enrolled in a program called Babies Can’t Wait, which is excellent.  They provide various therapies for children with developmental delays, all at no charge, for those who qualify for the program.  This has been a tremendous blessing for us!  Right now Mason just has physical therapy, so once a week, our PT comes to our home and works with Mason for an hour.  I sit with them and learn the different exercises that we should be doing with Mason during the week to help him progress at the appropriate levels.  Being able to have therapy at home is wonderful, especially with having other younger children at home right now.

Physical therapy is hard work for this little guy!  Most days he does fine, but he has occasionally refused to participate by pouting and screaming at the PT.  This is not normal behavior for Mason, who is always happy, so we know that he is working hard.  This past week during the last few minutes of our session, we looked down to discover him like this:

Proof that he gets tired from these sessions.  However, the physical therapy is definitely proving to be effective.  He now rolls all over the place, and is quite close to being able to sit up on his own.  We can see that his muscle tone is improving and our PT is very pleased with his progress.  We’ve even started working with him on hands and knees so that he’ll be ready to crawl when the time comes.

Watching football with Daddy.  Mason is a typical sport-loving boy!

I haven’t been consistent with feeding Mason solid foods.  It just takes so much time!  But, we’ve been back at it the past two weeks and it’s starting to go more smoothly.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep food in his mouth, as he tends to stick his tongue out instead of using it to pull the food back.  And, he is definitely a messy eater.  {I’ll be sharing with you soon about an easy bib to make for your messy eaters–so be sure to come back}.  I was able to nurse Mason up until about 7 months, which is the longest I’ve ever made it.  Then, I got pregnant, so I had to quit.  He transitioned beautifully to formula and I have to admit I’m glad to be free from breastfeeding.

Mason is the happiest little guy and is so much fun.  The girls love that he responds to them now with smiles and laughter and they look forward to when he’s able to crawl and play with them.  They don’t understand that he has Down Syndrome, and won’t for some time, but we emphasize with them the importance of always loving and caring for their little brother.  So far there is no problem with them in that regard!  They are quite the doting big sisters.

The days to come are still unknown, but each day we just rejoice in the gift of our son, as we rejoice in the gift of each of our children, and we lean heavily on God’s grace and strength to face whatever the next day brings.

Thanks for letting me take the time to share with you about each of our kids this week!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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9 Comments

  • Reply Jessica @ This Blessed Life

    Oh my gosh I laughed aloud at the picture of him conked out on the floor with his butt in the air! He is SO cute! 🙂

    January 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply leslie.kidd

    I’ve loved reading about your kids and seeing their pictures. This post’s pictures are especially sweet…the floor one is too funny and that last one is just so sweet. I love his eyes in the last one – beautiful! Thanks for sharing about your kiddos.

    January 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm
  • Reply Mary Beth/Annapolis and Company

    Awwww…he is so sweet, Lauren! Beautiful eyes and all the baby chub he’s hanging onto? Absolutely precious! Keller’s still clinging to his too and I love it! Thanks for the details about DS…I’ve always been interested in learning about it and can’t wait to follow your story. You are doing such a great job!

    January 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm
  • Reply Lydia

    How things have changed since Bible study days. It would be fun to get us all back together!

    January 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Heather

    I love all these pictures! I really like his expression after he couldn’t open his presents…so funny!

    January 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm
  • Reply Anonymous

    Loved your comments Lauren! You are a wonderful mother and Mason and the girls are blessed to have you as their mom! Keep up the great writing! I love following your days and your ideas are great! Praying for you in the days ahead! 🙂

    January 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Love these pictures of Mason–especially the one with his lip sticking out. Such a cutie and so blessed to have the mommy and daddy and big sisters that he does!

    January 20, 2013 at 6:00 am
  • Reply sherri lynn

    ohhh my goodness he is such a cutie! I don’t mind your posting about the kids, I love seeing recent pictures of them! Miss you guys! Wish I could travel up north with you next week!

    January 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm
  • Reply Laura D

    I loved all these photos of Mason. He is such a handsome guy! I’m so glad that you’ve been blessed with free PT and can see the difference it is making.

    February 3, 2013 at 1:55 am
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