I don't think I understood patience until Matthew was born. We knew Matthew may have delayed development, but we were not sure what that meant. As a mother, you watch for every milestone that your newborn meets and you proudly announce to the world that your child is more advanced than 90% of the babies his age.
When Matthew didn't cry until he was 1 month old, I guess I should have figured that all other milestones would be delayed. I kept watching for him to smile at me. I knew that would usually come around 5 weeks. But that day came and went. I think he was nearly 3 months old before I saw a slight smile. During that time, we dind't know what to expect. If he isn't meeting milestones, then what will his future be? There was a part of me that wasn't ready to accept his delay. If I accepted the fact that he is delayed, then I would have to come to terms with the fact he wouldn't fit into society's understanding of "normal". But now I ask, what really is normal?
Over time, we realized that Matthew is meeting milestones, but he is on his own schedule. Knowing this, we have no reason to believe he will not meet a milestone, but we just do not know when. We must have patience.
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. James 1:3
I do believe that most of his delays are related to his low muscle tone. You take for granted how much muscle it takes to just hold up your head. The muscles around his eyes were also weak, and he didn't focus or make eye contact with me until he was about 3 1/2 months old. I think he was about 6 months old when he was able to roll over. It was 13 months before he coudl sit up.
Swallowing was extremely difficult for Matthew due to the muscle in his esophagus. He may not have completely mastered swallowing, but he is doing much better. You can't survive without swallowing, and he had so much trouble with the bottle, that he did eventually get a button for tube feeding. We know it is temporary and he will eat by mouth, we just don't know when.
Friends of mine have babies who are younger than Matthew, and they have been walking for a while. I have to remind myself that Matthew is so unique and he is not going to follow the same schedule as his peers. He mastered army crawling when he was nearly 10 months old, but wasn't quite strong enough to lift up his body and crawl with his knees. Unfortunately, with his belly on the ground, his button would pop open, and he would leave a trail of milk behind him.
Every milestone is a huge celebration. He did start crawling a month ago. I will never forget the feeling when I saw it for the first time. Amazing!
(It took me forever to post this because I was trying to up load a video of him crawling, but can't figure out the video, so you will just have to look at these still photos and imagine him crawling)
I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1