Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jacob vs. Livia

Our 2 kids are SO different. There is almost nothing about them that seems the same. Jacob cried for months and months. Livia is the calmest baby who wakes grunting or cooing or we just hear her rolling around in her crib. She cries a little here and there but if she is crying hard something is REALLY bugging her. Jacob was slow to gain weight. Livia is packing it on. Jacob was a horrible sleeper and Livia sleeps from 7:30pm-7:30am with only one feed... They just have completely different demeanors as babies. It's really neat to experience.

When Jacob was 3 months he had a routine check-up and the doctor noticed that his arms would shake and he seemed unusually stiff. We hadn't noticed anything because he was our first baby and didn't have anyone to compare him to. After an appointment with a pediatrician he was sent to see a neurologist at Children's Hospital then had an EEG, 2 rounds of blood work and an MRI. We were told he had high muscle tone and was presenting with spastic quadriparesis. If you want to read more about his story you can do that here , here and here. He is fine now. Such a stressful time and we are very thankful that it's all in Jacob's past and not part of his present.

We never experienced a "typical" baby. Jacob was often stiff, uncomfortable and upset. Here are some pictures of him having some stiff moments (his legs would straighten, knees would lock, hips would lock and his arms would often shake.

Now that we have Livia we are experiencing what a baby "should" feel like. She loves to have her legs curled up. She kicks her legs a lot. She loves to jump. Jacob didn't do these things. He had to be very relaxed to have his legs curled up. As a newborn he was rarely as curled up as Livia was. Steve and I have said to each other so many times how different Livia feels. We feel silly for not realizing how uncomfortable Jacob really was. We just didn't know. And no one else really noticed either. You needed to be around him a lot to get a clear idea of how he was. Many people told us how "strong" Jacob seemed because he loved to stand and we barely had to support him because he would rarely unlock his knees. Others would comment on how much his arms shook and it wasn't until the doctor was concerned that we really started to notice it too. We didn't know what was "normal."

Tonight I watched a little video of Jacob as a baby and his arms were shaking so badly. It brought tears to my eyes. Tears because I am SO thankful that he is 100% healthy now and tears because I am sad that he was struggling and that he had to go through so much as a little baby.

I am over the top thankful that our little Livia is so different than Jacob. It's an amazing kind of different. A difference that only Steve and I can truly appreciate. As she grows up we hope she is like Jacob in a lot of ways. We hope she follows his footsteps when it comes to how he loves people. He will be an amazing example to her in so many ways. Siblings is a beautiful thing. We are glad they have each other for life.