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Paranoid mom

I’m convinced, I’m a paranoid mom. Maybe I’ve earned the right to it, but maybe not. Either way, it’s there, just a part of me.

Ryley’s five. He did not start kindergarten this year, and I’ve made my peace with that. He was absolutely NOT ready. I see the difference in him, the confidence he has being one of the older kids in pre-K, having done all this before. He’s the old pro at Calvin Christian Preschool’s Pre-K Class.

But I still worry. Will he ever be ready? Will he ever know all the things I think he should already know? I sometimes focus on all the things he *can’t* do……can’t write his name, can’t recognize his letters or many numbers, can’t tie his shoes, can’t read, can’t always focus very well, can’t contain his frustration…..We started flash cards for his letters the other day. He doesn’t call letters by their name, he describes how they look. An *A* is not an *A*, it’s one line down, one line down, one line across…..a *P* is one line down and a circle. Is this normal? Thanks to Darcy, I’m a lot less stressed about this today than I was yesterday, but it just hangs there in the back of my head.

When you have a preemie, you’re never done having a preemie. It hangs around, even after they are declared “developmentally caught up”….It doesn’t end at two years old, it doesn’t end at three years old….When does it end? When can I stop worrying and waiting for the other shoe to drop? This year it was the asthma; what will it be next year? I know that preemies, especially micro-preemies, have higher incidences of ADD, ADHD, and learning disabilities. When Ryley was said to be “developmentall caught up”, I wanted to put all those things out of my head. But they won’t leave. They keep hanging there, telling me my child is not “normal”, that there may still be something wrong with him that I don’t know about yet. Physically, he’s got it together. What about his brain? Does it see things the way other kids do? Does it function the way it’s supposed to? It took two years to get him potty trained (and we’re still not even close at night)….How is that “normal”?

When we tell Ryley’s story, we always end with “and now he’s a *normal*, healthy five year old” but I never feel like that’s the whole story. And I’m afraid it’s just not quite the truth…..

As parents of preemies, do we ever stop wondering? Do we ever know for sure, I mean COMPLETELY know, that our child is okay?

9 thoughts on “Paranoid mom

  1. Donna, Having no experience with an older preemie, I have to tell you, what you are experiencing is common with full termers also. My Taylor wasn’t potty trained completely until 4 1/2…then she decided she was ready when I told her she HAD to to go to school. She had set backs…due to prematurity hitting our family so hard. So it’s not uncommon among children in general. I know you struggle…but he has high self-esteem & the support system of a herd of lions behind him. When the time is right, it’ll *click* with him!! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this at all….and you are not paranoid, you’re a concerned mom!! Nothing wrong with that…that’s what makes you a great mom!! HUGS!
    Sharlene

  2. Donna, I wonder the *same* things all of the time. Sometimes I read more into an incident…a look…a slur of speech….than I *really* should…sometimes I am right….sometimes I worry *so* much, especially about Benjamin…in the back of my mind, I know he had a bilateral grade III turned to grade IV on one side with mild hydrocephalus…I *know* this…and I think…we cannot have gotten off *this* lucky….what am I not seeing…what is a part of this picture I am *not* seeing….*sigh* I really do know those feelings..*all* too well. We are in this together. Hopefully, with your voice amongst a choir…other parents won’t have to deal with these issues due to having a premature child. HUGS! Melissa

  3. Hi Donna, My son in 3 1/2 former 25 week old preemie and I feel almost exactly like you do. My son is doing so great and everyone says he is “normal” now. I feel like I can’t relax – if I relax something bad might happen – learning disability, pnuemonia, something. But I do try to remember how much we have been through and how great they are. And when he gets older no one is going to ask him how long it took him to get toliet trained. It just won’t matter when he’s thirty. I have to tell you my preemie was potty trained quite easily my 41/2 year full term is still not potty trained. Sometimes we have to kids have their way about them – and it might not be a preemie thing at all.

  4. Donna,
    I watch and learn from POPs like you and Michele. You are paving a path that many of us have not yet encountered. We will wait patiently with you, not ready to exhale either.
    I know we talked about the arbitrary assignment of names and meaning to those little pencil squiggles. I have faith he’ll get it. He shows so many strengths and so much understanding in many areas.
    I know if your worries to prove to be right and he does have some sort of learning needs that require additonal help, that he has the BEST mom and dad and help pull him through. I know that if he feels defeated that you are the BEST person for this job. In that regard, he is so very blessed.
    In the meantime, I wouldn’t panic. His teachers have seen a LOT of kids and the range of normal for his age. They would be seeing some red flags if things weren’t going well. *hugs* I will be eagerly following and praying that he is just more interested in superheroes right now.
    Darcy

  5. Thanks, guys….I commented in Kara’s blog that this is a family of support and love….You all have proven that once again. Hugs!
    Donna

  6. Donna!!! Let me be the first to say that our children are NOT NORMAL………they are EXCEPTIONAL!!!!! They have come before their time, have beaten the odds, and face their challenges…..not disabilities……with loving families right by their side. Whatever our Ryley’s and Benjamin’s cannot accomplish today…….doesn’t mean that they will never achieve it……it just means that they are taking the scenic route to get there. They are building strong foundations and will build upon that foundation to learn wonderful things!!! Ryley will show his strengths and will work on his weaknesses in school……..and you will beam with pride!!!! Everything you said in this blog….I have felt it too………but our sons will teach us many things way beyond the ABC’s!!!! I can’t wait until Ryley starts kindergarten…..your doubts will turn into such pride!!! Benjamin struggles with somethings, but each day he accomplishes one more step!!!! I am there for you…..because we take a different journey with these EXCEPTIONAL miracles!!! Hugs,
    Brenda

  7. Brenda, Thanks for once again opening my eyes to a better way of looking at things. Ryley is one of my many preemie heroes, and my special, exceptional Miracle, scenic route and all! Hugs!
    Donna

  8. Oooooh, I love what Brenda said. I think we will *always* be “Parents of Preemies” and never just “Parents”. I seriously get eye rolls from friends and family about my worries and my boys are only 14 months!! Ryley rocks. He is an *amazing* little guy and how he will soar in what he does! I think we are so “lucky”… the littlest things seem huge. Sullivan began walkinga t 13 months…. “on time”… yet I *never* expected anything “normal” (read: “typical”) out of children. At least not until they’re twenty or so!! I think *any* parent never completely never knows their child is okay. It is harder for us because we are given more reason to worry. ((HUGS)) to you!!!!!!

  9. I am at the beginning of the journey (my son is 4 months/2 months adjusted) and I have already had these thoughts, so I appreciate you vocalizing yours. I finally put the books down, closed the “other” websites, stop listening to stangers and embraced my child for who he is. There are always going to be instances where I “wonder” but if I get to a point of disapointment or frustrations (which I have) it is not going to help our situation so instead of focusing on what he’s not doing, I focus on what I can do to help him learn what he is exploring at that particular moment. Needless to say, we have to take it one day at a time. Our miracles are awesome to watch as they grow and we are all stronger for our struggle. I love the idea that we are taking the “scenic route.” shoot, I don’t want to speed along the freeway blending in with everyone, never noticing life going by. My great grandmother said to stop and smell the roses, in this case I guess we are taking it slowly so that we can enjoy every moment of it.
    take care,
    Andé

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