Friday, April 13, 2012

Our "Typical" Child, Camila

We knew we wanted more than one child.  Dan always joked of wanting a baseball team and all the girls that came in between.  I was thinking more along the lines of three, but we definitely wanted more than one.  When Finn came along, I knew we had to rethink our previous vision.  Let's face it, having a child with special needs and medical issues takes a lot of your time, money and energy.  Yet, I knew we had to have at least one more :)

From the moment Camila was born, I could feel the special bond she and Finnley shared.  Finn just new Camila was part of the family.  He totally understood and he loved her! 

I took 12 weeks of maternity leave and I was lucky to have our nanny come three 1/2 days a week to help.  Most of the time though, I left Camila with the nanny while I took Finn to doctor appointments or to therapy.  I felt really guilty that I slighted Camila of some of our bonding time.

I realized quickly with Camila that I had no idea what I was doing.  I felt like a first time mom all over again because everything was so different than it was with Finn.  She latched on right away, she slept through the night fairly quickly (although this changed), she gained weight, she didn't have reflux, her joints weren't so loose, etc...All of those baby books I through out the window when I had Finn, I brought back. 

We only went to doctor apts for well visits.  When we introduced table foods she chewed by herself without a year of therapy to help her chew!  She rolled early, crawled early and walked at 9 months.  At 16 months she says more words than Finnley does and she signs about another 50 plus.  She runs, she jumps, she kicks a soccer ball and she can swim on her own.  Things that took Finn so much work and repition to acheive she just does naturally.  BUT we celebrate each of her milestones as much as we celebrate Finn's.

Camila simply sparkles.  She loves shoes.  She loves being funny.  She loves shoes.  She loves swimming.  She loves shoes.  She loves playing with Finn's trains when he is not around.  She loves shoes.  She loves Elmo.  She loves shoes.  She loves playing with my hair while she falls asleep.

One of the best things about me no longer "working" is that I get one on one time with Camila while Finn is at school.  I worry about things I have read about "typical" siblings and how there is a high depression rate due to something similar to Guilty Survivors Syndrome.  I know she doesn't understand why we have to spend so much time running Finn around to the doctors or therapy now and she may not for a long time. 

I love watching Finn and Camila together.  They are basically at the same level right now with most things and they feed off each other and they both learn from each other - the good and the not so good.  There are areas where Camila is already more "advanced" than Finn.  I thought this was going to be hard to watch because I knew one day it would come, but it isn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I'm so proud of her and the fact that Finn is learning from her is a wonderful thing. 

I sometimes miss picking Finn up from school early as we did for 8 weeks.  As soon as Finn would enter the hallway, Camila would run down and give him a big hug and kiss.

I hope Camila grows knowing how very special she is and how wonderful she is.  I don't want her life to be all about Finn's challenges, but I do hope that they remain close.  One day, Dan and I will sit her down and explain Finn's Syndromes and I don't know what that conversation is going to look like yet, but I do know her feelings for Finn will never change. 

I don't know if we will have a third or not.  I think we learn towards not, but we aren't quite ready to get rid of the baby stuff just yet.

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