I remember the first time I got to hold Owen in my arms, I was laying sprawled out on the surgical table, head cap on, and breathing tube up my nose.. and with Ryan beside me, we had our first family picture. Owen is my eldest, as being a first time parent, he was our first for everything...and we thought we were spoiled with this little man who entered our lives.
As first time parents, we thought it was normal that our child was so well behaved, so quiet... he was an amazing infant and toddler. He was such a happy boy, and he wore it all over his handsome little face. Then I became pregnant with Maddie..and I noticed he showed zero interest. I thought this was normal, first of all he is a boy, maybe he just doesn't care? I gave birth to Madelynn was Owen was 15 months old, and still, he continued to show zero interest in his new baby sister.
Ryan and I tried to engage him in activites with her, help with the bottle feeding, changing her bum.. all kinds of different things.. and still, nothing. I went on to think this is still normal, he just doesn't care. As Maddie and Owen began to grow older, and Owen still only kept 4-6 words in his vocab, we heard everything from everybody.."Owen is spoiled.. you give him everything so he doesn't have to ask, he is a boy and boys take longer".. and yes like I have said before, I had the over-whelming feeling it was Autism, but kept it on the back burner for a while and just vented to Ryan.
When I began to show, (almost right away!) when I was pregnant with Benjamin, this is when I noticed a HUGE difference between Owen and Maddie. Owen still showed no interest, and he just turned 2. Maddie - opposite. She began to refer to my belly as Baby Ben.. and when we would ask where baby ben is, she would point right to the belly...way too cute. When Ben was born 5 weeks ago, you would think Maddie had a baby.. she is my little mommy helper.. wanting to feed, bathe, change Ben.. everything.. what a difference. I STILL thought maybe Owen is still not showing interest in Ben because he is tiny, as he only began showing interest in Maddie when she began to crawl.
Then like every other mom of a child with Autism, I read.. I read constantly. One day I was on one of my websites reading about the struggles some parents are having, and some more red flags then just the, "usual" ones we hear about. The one parent discribed that her son showed NO interest in her newborn, and it continued until the baby started crawling and invading the Autistic sons space... hmmmm... sounded familier. I really had no idea about some of the stuff we were experiencing, till I was fortunate enough to read other parents experiences.
Sometimes I have to say.. thank heavens for the internet and other moms like me who want to embrace this journey and share it with others to learn from.