And then came John

Studying the various meanings of different scriptures and examining different church groups took up a lot of my thinking for about two and half years.  However, life was still going on for Nolan and I as he ministered and I was busy at home with Daniel and Emily.  I suffered another miscarriage and then became pregnant with John.

John’s birth experience took a turn when the nurse pulled the doctor aside after checking me and said, “I’m don’t think that’s the head.”  A bedside ultrasound confirmed that it wasn’t and that he was laying in a transverse position (sideways).  So, John entered the world by the “alternative route” as a c-section delivery, which wasn’t so bad since he ended up 10# 4oz.!

John has been laid back since birth, which made my recovery a lot easier but affected even his interest in nursing with any energy.   As a typical Spenst baby he specialized in spitting up and did at least that with enthusiasm–going for distance!  It became apparent that he wasn’t gaining the weight he should and was put on Zantac to help keep his food down.  However, I finally had to put him on formula to get him to gain weight.  Drinking from a bottle is a lot easier and it wasn’t long before he lost all interest in nursing.

As time went on it became apparent that John’s lack of enthusiasm also extended to movement.  In other words, he didn’t!  We knew he could, he just didn’t.  When he got to be six months old and showed no signs of trying to sit on his own or trying to move about, we took him to a pediatrician.  Her evaluation was that John had hypotonia, or low muscle tone.  (In fact, one of the indicators was that he was in a transverse position at birth.)  If you think of the soft muscle tone of a person with Down Syndrome it gives you a good idea of the condition.  John could do anything, but it was going to take him a lot more work to accomplish it.  In addition, kids with this tend to have more laid-back personalities and if they happen to have adoring older siblings who do everything Baby wants, well, it takes awhile for the child to see a reason to exert the effort needed.

The solution was therapy and watching that his development went in order and he didn’t digress.  The therapist was great and helped by making him a foam seat to put in his high chair to keep him up.  She gave us exercises, etc. and let us know that he would be fine, he’d just be a little slower.  The doctor had told us that by the time he was in second grade or so we wouldn’t see any difference between him and other children.  That was good to remember as it was almost his first birthday before he finally sat on his own and he didn’t walk until 23 months of age!

To this day, John is my most laid-back child.  He also is my deep one–the one who feels deeply, but doesn’t say much.  When I went to make a photo album recently I realized I have very few pictures of him simply because he’s just not the one hamming it up for the camera.  He loves to be outside at night when there’s a full moon either to mow grass or cross-country ski.  He has a great time with his friends, but he often will spend hours playing in the dirt with his trucks.

John will be thirteen this year on September 28 and although he’s changing, his changes are, characteristically, slower than his siblings.  John will never be one to rush through life.  Some days it’s admirable; others it drives me crazy!  He’s my tenderhearted boy (despite his love of Lord of the Rings movies) and adds his own mark to our home and family that makes us who we are.  He just doesn’t do it very fast. 🙂