Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stressful Past Month

From the last time I posted, the stress levels have quadrupled (probably more). I've broken out, which I haven't experienced since high school. I've lost weight, which I don't necessarily mind. I'm six pounds away from my goal weight. If I could find the time to tone up, I would feel great. I've been having nightmares. Basically, I've been a mess.

What began stressing me was having to take the GRE, which I took yesterday. I was suppose to be in school this spring semester. I had gone to talk to the head of the department I'll be going to school at to find out more about the program I'm interested in, which is a Master's in Urban Education with an ESL certification. Since, I'm going back to the school where I have an undergraduate degree from, I was kind of hoping they would not make me take the GRE. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Since there wasn't enough time to take the GRE and get accepted into the program for the spring, she told me to apply to the certification program and whenever I'm ready to take the GRE I could and then apply to the Master's program. What's ridiculous is the difference between the certification program and the Master's program is six credits. Can you believe that? Anyway, I applied to the certification program and got accepted. I figured that at anytime I could take the GRE. So, I'll take my time with it and really prepare for it. I've taken it once in the past and did horrible. So, I wanted to have enough time to get ready for it.

I applied for financial aid and got rejected, which I didn't understand why. Well, I went back to the head of the department and she informed me that since the certification is not a "degree" program that financial aid is not available. She said that I could either pay out of pocket or take out a private loan, none of which are an option for me. I don't want to take out a private loan right now and I'm not getting rid of any money I have saved up with the way the economy is going. So, I cried and cried on my way home from school, which I must of looked ridiculous because I was on the bus and everyone was staring at me.

This was happening around the holidays. Once they were over and I was able to get my sh*t together, I decided that the only way I would be able to go back to school is if I took that damn GRE. I signed up for it as late as possible. The deadline to apply for the fall is April 1st. So, March 21st was doomsday for me. I bought my GRE test practice book and started pounding the studying. I didn't concentrate on the math part because I'm not good at it and a month and half of studying math wasn't going to help me much, but I worked really hard on the vocabulary. While there was down time at work, I would study and if I got any time at home, I studied (that didn't happen very often).

Yesterday was doomsday. I took the grueling exam and found it to be a bit easier than the material I was using to study, except of course for the math. All the studying paid off and I did decent. It wouldn't get me into Columbia or NYU, but it was more than what I need to get into the program at my school. So by the end of today, I will apply to the Master's program and financial aid. If I get accepted or not is no longer up to me. I did my part.

If I were to tell you that taking GRE was the only thing causing stress in my life, I would be lying. On March 14th, I took Will for his regular check up. Let's just say I left the office feeling like the worst mother ever. I'll start off with his weight. When I took him back in December, he was weighing 24lbs. Back then, the doctor had told me that he had gained too much weight. He went from being in the 25th percentile to the 50th. So, she had to told me to make sure that it didn't jump to the 75th percentile. Fast forward to his check up now and he lost 4 ounces and is down between the 10th and 25th percentile. I told her that he just had a stomach virus and that's probably the reason why he's lost weight. I told her that I got the same thing and lost 9lbs. But because of this, she wants to see him at 21 months instead of his 2nd birthday. She wants to make sure he's gaining weight.

I get that she has to check out the weight loss, but I was annoyed. It's four ounces. I don't stop my son from eating. He eats snacks all day long and drinks 16 ounces of milk. If I'm having dinner and he wants to eat off my plate even after he ate, I let him. He's eating real food like chicken or beef with rice and beans. He loves his cookies, ice cream, and cinnamon raisin bread. Trust me, he's eating.

On to the next thing that really made me feel like a loser and it's the more serious of the two. She asked me how many words he speaks. I told her that I wasn't sure off the top of my head, but it was around 15 words. She looked at me and said that he should be speaking 20 to 50. My heart dropped. I told her some of the words he says like he asks for water by saying "agua". So she told me that probably the reason for this is because he's bilingual and might not know what language to use. She also asked me if he did puzzles, which he hasn't. I have one puzzle for him, but Louie had chewed one of the pieces. So, I've had it put away.

Needless to say, I left the office feeling awful. How could I have dropped the ball on Will? How could I have not noticed that he's not speaking as much as he should? How could I? It's my fault. There are several things going on here and these aren't valid excuses, but it's what's going on. I get up at 5:30am, drop Will off at my parents' by 7, and finally pick him up around 6:00 to 6:30pm. I get home around 6:45 to 7:00pm and right away I start making dinner. Dan doesn't get home until after 7 and he helps me finish dinner off. We eat around 8-8:30 and then it's time for Will to go to sleep. I don't interact enough with him. He plays around me or just hangs out watching me. On the weekends, I play with him, but you know how that goes. There are tons of errands to run and tons of cleaning to do.

Since that doctor's visit, Dan and I have adjusted how we work things when we get home and I also had a long talk with my parents. I told them that he can't watch too much tv and to make sure that they label everything when they speak to him. I don't care that it's in Spanish. I just want him to speak more. I also told my mom not to anticipate his needs so much, to let him ask for stuff. The doctor thinks that's another reason for his lack of talking. We know what he wants so he doesn't find the need to let us know verbally. When we get home at night, I still start dinner, but the minute Dan gets home, he gets on with it and I sit down with Will to play. We play with the puzzles, blocks, and read books. I manage to eat a bit and then I try to give him milk (oh yeah, she wants him to stop drinking milk from a bottle, so I've been battling with him to drink milk from a sippy cup). I read to him some more and he finally goes down to sleep.

Dan and I decided that just in case there's something else going on with his lack of talking, that we would have him evaluated. If there's some developmental delay, then we'll be able to get on it immediately and help him out. Dan called Early Intervention and we're waiting to set up the appointment. We also, along with my mother, think that maybe we should put him in a daycare for a day or two that way he gets to interact with other kids. My mother says that as much as we play and teach him, he needs other kids around him. Dan and I need to figure out how to work this because money is really tight with us. My job is not secure at all. I've also been looking for like Saturday classes in my area like a Mommy and me, but my county seems to be lacking those kinds of classes.

Wow, sorry for this long post, but that's what's been going on. Let's see how this turns out. I'm hoping for the better. It's not the end of the world if he's a little behind. I just want him not to fall so behind that he has trouble around his peers. If there's more to his lack of talking, then I want him to have all the possible resources around to ensure that he's helped. I'm mad at myself for letting this go on without noticing. Well, it's a lesson learned. I'll keep you posted.


gretchen said...

Wow- you have had a lot going on! Congratulations on the GRE- you should be really proud of yourself. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back! I have thought about going back to school but have not gotten up the nerve to do much about it, so I am impressed.

As for Will's development, I wish that doctor hadn't made you feel so bad about everything. My pediatrician was always kind of the opposite- blew off everything as no big deal. But there was one visit when Henry hadn't gained weight and I had to take him to Children's Hospital for blood tests. That really sucked. Anyway, I can tell from the photos that Will is happy and healthy and you guys are great parents. Try not to worry so much! :-)

Xia Diaz said...

Thanks Gretchen! It's taken me years to gather the nerve to go back to school. One of the reasons was because I was afraid on how I would score on the GRE and the other is because I hadn't made up my mind on what to do. My undergrad hasn't really gotten me anywhere and I'm tired of working crappy jobs. With Will around, I just want to be home as much as possible. If becoming a teacher is the way to go than so be it.

As for Will, I'm really concerned about providing him the resources he needs. Once he gets evaluated, I'll feel better because I'll know if he's taking his time like with everything with him so far (29 hours of labor, didn't really catch on to the breast feeding even though he did it for the whole year, didn't start walking for real until Dec, and started teething at 14 months) or he has some cognitive issues that we need to address. Sigh...

Karmen said...

Hi! I found your blog through your knitting/crocheting blog ... (I'm a knitter, but don't do much crocheting). You are NOT a bad parent! My sister took my nephew to be examined a couple of years ago because he wasn't saying much at all, even at 3 years ... he is five now, and his vocab is great!

Xia Diaz said...

Karmen thank you so much! Crocheting or knitting is something I haven't done for quite a bit. I hope to find some more free time in the near future.

It's awesome that your nephew's vocabulary is great. I really believe with the right help, the majority of kids prosper. Within the past few days, Will has been saying more words and babbling more. I'm taking that as a good sign.

Karmen said...

I hope you'll have time to get back into crocheting/knitting soon. Actually I haven't touched any of my projects in weeks! It's so sad! I know what you mean about time ... My husband and I are both taking grad classes, he's working two jobs, we're in the middle of this enormous, long application process with a company, and we're ttc for 7 months now. Life can become so so stressful! But God has used these things to help me know him better and so have a deeper peace in him even in the middle of the craziest times. I know we'll get through this stage of life, but I want to have peace NOW, you know?

So glad to hear your baby is saying more lately! I guess how a child's speech develops may also depend somewhat on his/her personality? I don't know; I'm not a child expert, for sure! But it's a thought.

Anyway, nice to "meet" you.

Xia Diaz said...

Karmen, you definitely have lots on your plate! Good luck to you! I'm glad your inner peace keeps you going. I meditate often, which I feel helps me confront everything that is thrown at me. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Hey Xia,

Dont freak out with what the doctor says. Will is very active now & ofcourse he isnt going to gain like he is suppose to. Also just because he doesnt speak 20-50 words is not a big deal. Doctors have a book of timeframe & they think that babies are suppose to follow that. Each kid develops at their own pace. Look at Jose how long it took for him to talk & now he has been in honor roll for 4 yrs now. I'm not saying you shouldnt do stuff with him to help him develop. You should. But you shouldnt let a doctor make you think your a bad mother cuz your not. Willie is a very smart baby. Look at how he knows Bryan name & how he was asking for Bryan's help that nite that we were over your house & you wanted him to sleep.



Melissa H said...

XD -

Late to the party and this just showed up in Bloglines. (grr)

I can imagine how crappy you must have felt at the pediatrician's office because, well... they have a way of doing that to all mothers, I think. One possible thought on wanting to see Will at 21 months instead of waiting until the 2 year is to ensure that he doesn't have an absorption problem. The reason that comes to mind is that my endocrinologist is actually sending me out for bloodwork for that very thing because my Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 just will not come up, despite taking prescribed supplements.

Second, I hope that I can ease some of that guilt. I was a stay at home mom with Conor from birth until he was 2. Then, I telecommuted for the company that I worked for before I had him and occasionally went into the office. I quit again when he was 3 and 1/2, when I found out that he was autistic. Now, yes: Conor obviously had neurological reasons for his delays. But, guess what? I was with him 24/7 and he still only spoke when he needed something. My friend's son hardly spoke at all until he was 3. She is also a stay at home mom. Because of my own atypical experience, I remember wondering (silently!) whether he had a speech delay. Now, he doesn't shut up!

You're a wonderful mom, doing everything that you do for your family.

Xia Diaz said...

I really appreciate all of the support you all have given me. I'm seeing improvement in his speech and how he plays. We're still having him evaluated just in case, but I am more at ease. :-)