Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Start

When I look back on this now over a year later, its hard to read.  But this was the start of our journey with Natalie's JRA.   (Jan 2013)

Natalie is driving me insane.  For the last week, she has been having these long periods of total upset.
  • Started a week ago with a few nights of whining in her sleep.  At first I was worried that she was upset I hadn't gone to get her when she called out for me during a nap time.  
  • Then on Friday evening, she had her first night of melt down.  About two hours off and on of serious upset crying.  
  • Saturday, she was fine though.  We had been really worried that she would be so upset that I'd have to cancel book club, but she was great.  
  • I can't remember Sunday mostly.  We did go to a party briefly where she didn't want to leave my side and a dog terrified her.  Not sure if there was crying at bed time.  It all blurrs.  
  • What is different about the beginning of this was that it seemed Natalie wanted me to hold her close at bed time and give her hugs.  But then at some point it changed and she just wanted to sit on my lap and suck her thumb, or have me read to her, but not kiss or hug or touch her.  She'd push both of us away while sitting on us. 
  • Monday, she was upset off and on.  Just extra sensitive to everything.  I didn't dare leave her alone at play group to change William and she got very upset over other kids getting in her face.  That is when Miss Linda noticed that she wasn't moving her head right, like holding her neck stiff.  EArlier that mornign I'd kinda snapped Natalie's head back to give her some medicine and I was worried maybe I'd hurt her.  Anyway, I called the doctor and we went in.  The person we saw, most likely a medical assistant since I didn't recognize her as one of the doctor's in the practice and she seemed too young, just said it was her teeth.  
  • Tuesday we had a melt down at the library during story time and a few other small ones.  Other kids and adults were making her extra senstive.
  • We knew that Natalie had 3 teeth coming in.  Two I noticed by on 11/2, the other one on the 12th.  The doctor also said that Natalie had a sore in her mouth, like a kanker or something.  But Natalie never says her mouth or teeth hurt.  She doesn't exhibit signs of teething.  She eats fine, in fact better than she had been in some cases.  She is sucking her thumb more.  She isn't pulling at her ears.  After those first nights of whining, she is sleeping like a rock once asleep, including falling asleep earlier in the car on the way home, and sometimes to, activities. 
  • For a while there Natalie wanted me to wipe her chin and neck with a tissue.  
  • She has trouble getting up and down on the furniture.  This happens two different ways.  Sometimes she says she can't get down.  Other times you'll watch her trying to get up and down and she just can't seem to do it right.  She keeps trying, visiably getting more and more upset.  Her body movements just aren't right.  But then there are other times when she says she can't do it and you just don't help her and she does it fine.  
  • Today at nap time, she kept crying out every few minutes.  So I went in and she's sitting up.  She tells me she can't lay down.  So I help her a little.  Every night she lays down on her stomach, then rolls over on to her side and back sucking her thumb and hugging kitty the same way.  But she hasn't been doing that the last few nights and wasn't doing it now.  So I helped her on to her side and then I didn't hear another peep from her.  But it was 2 o'clock now and she was just starting her nap.  I went in at 415 and turned on the light.  She was totally asleep.  When I saw her flinch a little a few minutes later, I woke her up the rest of the way.  She started crying immediately.  She didn't want to get up at all.  I wound up letting her stay on the bed curled up with her kitty for at least ten more minutes.  Then I said she could come watch TV.  She sounded happy about that and got up out of bed fast, but then stood there crying next to bed.  I'm not sure if its because I left the room too fast or she moved to fast and it hurt something or what.  

We can't figure out what it is.  As soon as we think we have an answer, we suddenly are unsure.  At first it seemed to be just teething.  But that didn't make sense with her not moving her neck and her having trouble getting up and down on the furniture.  Our home visitor and play group facilitator both were very concerned and didn't think it was teething, but maybe something more like a pulled muscel in her neck.  But then there are times like tonight when it seems it is all just tantrums and drama to get attention.  She went from being so happy and her usual self, my Natalie, back to crying. 

Mike thinks its ridiculous, but could this all be a reaction to William?  I mean, maybe it started out as the teeth, but maybe its now a desperate ploy to get any kind of attention she can.  Maybe all these weeks that we thought she was so well adjusted, she was really upset and now its coming out in this horribleness.  Maybe she is so desperate to get my attention that she would rather make herself so upset and cry.  I'm so confused.  There is just no answer.  We are supposed to see the doctor again tomorrow but I feel like its going to be a waste of time.  They are just going to say its her teeth again, or some thing else that doesn't solve the problem.  With my luck, she'll act totally normal whiile we are there, then get upset as soon as we get home.  I'm also wondering if she is so smart and so good with language that she is taking in all she is hearing us and others say about her around her and that is a big part of it too.  I think I need to not talk about this in front of her anymore.  During bath tonight it occurred to me that maybe some of it is that William is helpless and William cries to get what he wants and she is acting like a baby to get attention.  I feel like these ideas are too complex for her, but I'm not really thinking she is doing it consciously. 

It just devastates me that maybe its because I didn't pay enough attention to her.  Most of the time, I'm fine with them by myself because they allow me to pay attention to them one at a time.  Every once and a while there is a hellish moment when both are crying and I can't really do anything to help either one.  I just remember her crying on the couch and him in the infant seat and me putting my head down and rocking him counting in my head in hopes that it would make it go by faster.  It was moments like that I was just dying for there to be someone around to help.  Overall, I feel like I'm not giving either one enough attention.  I feel like I've gone the last couple days barely seeing William's face when I just want to spend all day making him smile at me.  I'm either paying attention to Natalie as she's upset or he's breastfeeding or asleep.  I miss his smile.  I feel like I'm neglecting him, but at the same time it feels so wrong to be cooing and smiling and singing with him while she's on the couch miserable, sucking her thumb, staring blankly at the TV, pushing me away when I go to comfort her.

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