When he was born, we were debating between names. It was either going to be James, Nathan or Micah. He came out and the nurse said, "He is vigorous!" We took one look at him and knew that, although we loved the first two names, they were just too "soft" sounding for our vigorous boy. Micah means, "Who is like God," or "Gift from God." We chose his middle name, Nathaniel, meaning "God has given." But I'll get back to that in a minute.
Micah's life started out with some complications. The complications weren't huge (although he was), and although I hoped and prayed for a natural birth, I had to have a c-section. He was born on June 24, 2005 at 9 lbs, 7 oz.
He got sick a lot as a baby. Numerous ear infections, 104-105 degree fevers, coughs...you name it. He was prescribed 12 antibiotics in one year, making him develop antibiotic resistance. Blood tests could not determine why he was getting sick so much, and he was exclusively breastfed, meaning he should not have been sick very much at all. But the rules didn't apply to our boy.
At 2 1/2 we could tell he was speech delayed, and went through a rigmarole of tests to figure out why. A psychiatrist used the word "autistic," but we knew that in this case, she was wrong. She then downgraded it to "asperger's syndrome," but we knew that wasn't right either. Many, many tears were shed.
After more illnesses, we took him to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who diagnosed him with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and said he'd had fluid in his ears for over a year, which had caused the speech delay. Finally, some answers. Then surgery. The hardest day of our lives thus far. He was so scared, that he fell asleep on Martin's shoulder as they took him back to the room for sedation. Then he woke up on the table, screamed and reached for Martin, and Martin had to walk away. Our hearts broke again.
Years passed, and he started getting better. His speech improved. He graduated speech therapy. Finally things were getting easier. Then came Kindergarten. What started out as a year of hope turned into a year of frustration, as he has faced numerous issues in his class environment. Another struggle, another year of tears.
Today we went in for a routine dentist visit, with a new pediatric dentist who I found (after hours of reading reviews on the internet). We have a lame HMO dental plan; pretty much the worst available, yet the reviews of her were mostly positive (except for one where she diagnosed a kid with 10 cavities who was later found to have none). We had a negative experience today; she was not gentle, was rushed and he cried a little. I sat in that chair watching him for an hour and a half, thinking, "Why can't something be easy for my boy, just for once?" She came back with the x-rays: 8 cavities, one mini root-canal, and one crown needed. Um, come again??? (I should specify that they are between the crowded molar teeth, so they are affecting 4 sets of the same top/bottom teeth - likely from not being able to floss well that far back)
We have worked hard to keep our boys away from sugar and juice, no milk at night before bed, brushing twice a day (by us) and flossing. I was shocked and in tears. She recommended that he be put under anesthesia for all the work to be done at once, which would be somewhere in the ballpark range of $1200 just for the anesthesia, not to mention all the work that needs to be done. Did I mention we don't charge things like this on credit cards? Again, "why can't something be easy for my boy, just for once?"
( Micah's first dentist appointment at age 2)
I went online to research something and saw all the judgments against parents whose kids have cavities. Everyone blames the parents, which is sad. In my family, everyone has soft teeth and it really does seem to have a genetic aspect. So, I'm prepared for the judgments but disappointed too; in other words, I won't be posting about this on Facebook. (Only here on my blog, where I know you all show only love, right???)
Tonight I'm thinking of all we've been through with Micah in his 5 short years. It is in stark contrast to Jaden, who has hardly had any issues at all. Yet Micah is strong, and so good for the doctors and the dentist, and we are so proud of him. He did not complain at all today. He said "thank you" to the dentist even after she made him cry.
Somehow, even before our boy was 10 minutes old, we could tell he was vigorous. He is a fighter, and he is strong-willed, yet I see the benefits on days like this. He would go through a lot and would need to be strong. It hurts my heart to see him have to go through pain, yet he teaches me so much through it. He is truly my "gift from God."
On another note, we have seen him grow leaps and bounds in the past month or so. He has started reading and is flying through small books (of mostly 3-4 letter words, mind you, but still so exciting!). He is coloring like a pro and we even see a little artist coming out of him. He is one smart cookie. I love my boy so much, and I hope one day things can be a little easier for him too.