Austin is 7 months old now. It's been a whirlwind and it's been difficult, but I am, generally, happy. I don't remember the 26th of every month anymore. I don't think about Riley every day anymore. But I do think of him. When I pass his sunset picture frame in my bedroom. When I drive by the cemetery where he is buried. But I don't look at Austin and think, "Riley would have done this a year ago", or think, "Riley would have been a little over a year old now". I feel very fortunate that I survived my grief, that I recovered and have moved on with my life.
These days are more focused on Austin and his growth and development. He was born with thumb hypoplasia, a very rare congenital abnormality where his thumbs did not grow properly at
birth. Eventually he'll have some sort of surgery on his left thumb (it has zero function). His right thumb he can use, but will most likely have limited usage.
We saw an occupational therapist this week. According to her his gross motor skills are delayed a little over a month. So of course you can't help but panic that something more is wrong with him. Or like the fact that he's not "babbling" yet. He squeals and giggles and laughs, but he's not doing the "baa baa, ma ma, da da" that he's "supposed" to be doing at this age.
I remember with Neil (who was 9 weeks premature) having the same fears during his first year. Eventually he caught up - but he had reason to be delayed. He was premature. Even then, with his corrected age, he was still behind on everything - crawling, walking, talking. So rationally I know that Austin will probably be the same. But emotionally it's so hard. You just want your kids to be "perfect". I'm sure there are lots of other parents out there has the same fears but it's oh so hard. And it's hard too when none of your friends are dealing with anything remotely like this. They've never had any real "problems" with pregnancy or childhood development, so it's rough. And when I try to talk to my husband about it he just tries to brush it off, saying I worry too much.
It's just tough. I really, really don't want Austin to have anything else wrong with him. I know that if he does we'll deal with it, but gosh it's tough. And unfair. And frustrating. And it just makes me mad.