Note: For the privacy of my Son, I will name him Michael from here on.
I knew from the beginning that something was "different" with Michael. Little did I know then that it would take 13 years to finally find out the correct diagnosis of Aspergers.
His constant cries were unconsolable. With my first Son, born 4 years earlier, I would pick up when he cried and most of the time, unless he was hungry, he would stop almost immediately. With Michael, picking him up would lead to only louder crying. My husband, his Father, and I would spend hours pacing the room cuddling him, to no avail. His cries were often piercing. Often I would sit with Michael and begin to pull him to my breast to nurse, yet he would arch his back and pull away from me. I nursed my first Son for 3 1/2 years ( yes years, not months!) I had went to LaLeche league meetings during his pregnancy and continued for several months after his birth. They advocate baby led weening, which made sense to me, so that's what we did. Nursing my first was a wonderful, bonding experience and from the beginning I had no problems. He thrived, weighing in at 20 pd.s at 6
Months and 30 pd.s at 1 year.
I nursed Michael for 11 frustrating months. I often felt like I was force feeding him, as he pulled away from me. With my first Son, I was a great Mother in my estimation. With Michael I felt like a failure. The guilt I felt at times was often overwhelming. Was I doing something wrong? I thought that Michael might have allergies as he developed a rash all over shortly after birth, and after that eczema. His Dr. poo-poohed the idea, yet I believed that could be the case. If his "colic"
Which the Dr. called it might be caused by the food I was eating, getting into my breast milk, I had to at least try something. That begin a period of several months with my diet consisting of little else other than brown rice and lentils! It didn't help and I became more discouraged and frustrated. What was wrong with my Child, and as his Mother, how could I make him happy, or at least stop fussing? It seemed the only thing that kept him calm was putting him in a baby carriage and start walking. He would be content for long periods, until I stopped for any reason, and then the crying and fussiness would start. For
My own sanity we walked for miles every day!
Michael's constant fussiness and crying took a toll on my marriage, which was strained to begin with. It also took a toll on his Brother, who was used to getting a lot of my attention before Michael's birth. It seemed like most of my time and energy was spent on trying to comfort my "un-comfortable" Son. Guilt....
again. I think one of the lowest points in my life came on the day I decided to try bottle feeding Michael, at 10 months. I got the best non-allergy formula I could find and sat down with Michael to feed him. He fussed and cried for some time before I asked his Father to try. For several minutes he attempted to get Michael to suck on the bottle without any success.
At that point my husband threw the bottle against the wall, said I give up, and handed Michael back to me.