Friday, 28 October 2016

Right back at the beginning...

Milly was a beautiful baby...
Now I know a lot of parents say that, but she really was.  Lots of people used to stop and tell us - even one of the midwives during our six day stay in hospital.

Six days?  Yes.  You see, Milly had jaundice and I had complications from the Epidural's they had given me.  I couldn't empty my bladder at all after giving birth.  It would fill (as they do), I would get the 'needing to pee' signals...  but no action.  I had five catheters over four days, and it felt like peeing razor blades for months afterwards.
But I still drank plenty as I was breastfeeding and that's just what you have to do.

When we went out shopping as a family you could guarantee that while I was in the shop and Husband was waiting outside with Milly in her pushchair, people would stop by and say 'hello' to her - much to Husband's annoyance as he really didn't like random strangers coming up and talking to her (or him)!
Like I said, she really was a beauty.  Still is, in fact.

But even beautiful babies have their quirks, don't they?

From what I've read, it's highly unusual to diagnose a child with Autism before three years of age unless there's a strong family history of it.

But retrospectively speaking, I do wonder how many 'clues' we had even way back then that might have helped us get Milly diagnosed sooner.

She was the baby who never napped in the day.  You could only cut her nails if you took her out for a walk in the pushchair (yes, I really did go for walks around and about with baby nail clippers in my pocket and I really did just stop 'willy nilly' on the pavement to cut them).

She was always fragile and clingy when she woke up.  I used to just have to sit and hold her until she felt 'right with herself' I guess.  Anywhere from five to fifteen minutes would normally suffice.  She would sit on my lap and be held with her head next to my chest.
Maybe listening to my heartbeat helped, I don't know...  but a definite 'shift' took place once she was ready to face the world.

Housework rarely got done.  The vacuum cleaner scared the (beep) out of her.  Husband's sneezing reduced her to tears...  and she was such a slow eater - even right from weaning.
I kid you not, a small bowl of Puffed Wheat (by small bowl I mean about a measuring cup in size. Puffed Wheat's like Sugar Puffs without the coating) could be started at 12 noon and still be being sucked to death an hour later.  I just got used to doing things at her pace - which was very slowly indeed.

She never crawled.
If she wanted something out of reach she would just make this pinching motion with her outstretched hand and we would get it for her.

And those bouncy chair things you hang in doorways?  She never bounced.  She just balanced very gently on one toe and swayed gently from side to side.

When she was about fifteen months old, I sat her in her highchair and gave her her first crayon and piece of paper.  I showed her what to do first...  and then she made a few crayon marks on her own fresh piece of paper.  Husband then picked up the crayon and scribbled a small circular blob on her page, which resulted in Milly bursting into tears.  As soon as I scratched it away (not that I could get it all of, but being crayon meant at least some of it could disappear) she stopped.
Even way back then things had to be done in a certain way.


Toddler years are when shopping equalled coming home with a ball...
Every single time - for a while.
But she was such a delight that we didn't mind.  We absolutely adored out beautiful, gentle little soul of a girl and it was just a passing phase.

And she really was a delicate, gentle soul...  even way back then that was obvious to see.

I just wish we'd know about Autism in girl's way back then...

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