Some Kind of One-Derful

I can officially say that we no longer have a baby in our life... we have a Toddler. One that has already challenged my capability as a Mother beyond belief. I'm not sure when the switch from "baby" to "toddler" happened, but it has completely knocked the wind out of me.

In the past month we have made the following decisions and realizations based on this new version of our Zachary:

A) We can't go to restaurants
B) We can only drive long distances during nap-time
C) We will not make it through any outing without at least one melt-down
D) We can't say "no" or take something out of Zachary's hands without him throwing himself dramatically onto the floor, kicking, and screaming at the top of his lungs.

Yep. Toddler.

If you were at our wedding you may have heard my grandpa share some insight about me as a child...
I. WAS. DRAMATIC. I would throw a tantrum, calm down a bit, open my eyes to see if anyone was still paying attention to me, and carry on with my tantrum. For this very reason I have always wanted to raise boys instead of girls, thinking that if God gave me a girl she would be exactly like me and that I could not handle that. Well, God's sense of humor should no longer surprise me, but the first time Zachary opened his eyes mid-scream to see if I was still watching him, I couldn't help but laugh. ZACHARY. IS. DRAMATIC. He regularly throws tantrums. He is intent on getting his way, he refuses to get dressed, refuses to brush his teeth, and refuses to get his diaper changed. Everything is a battle.

I spent an entire month feeling sorry for myself, wondering why we got the "out-of-control" child and every other baby we knew was so calm, well mannered, and peaceful. Why am I doomed for produce-isle melt-downs and being known as "The-Lady-Who-Drug-Her-Child-Out-of-the-Restaurant-Screaming" when every other Mom got to pack her child up and go wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted, without problems. I began to feel completely defeated by Motherhood and questioned God's decision to choose me for Zachary and Zachary for me. But my friend Kathy gave me some wonderful insight into the bigger picture.

She pointed out that, although having a strong-willed child will be extremely challenging, it will be extremely rewarding. When Zachary is in school, he is going to be a leader and a role model. He won't be a follower and conform to the world, but he will create his own path and be the one that sets the pace. I don't have to worry about him being peer pressured or bullied, becuase he knows what he wants and he is already learning to fight for it. He will teach others and be looked up to. She also reminded me that no baby is perfect and that I'm not the only Mother to ever have to leave a restaurant in tears.

I remind myself of this during every tantrum, every battle, and in every moment of weakness. Now I don't question my ability to raise Zachary, I am honored to raise him. What a humbling opportunity. God knew exactly what he was doing when he made me for Zachary and Zachary for me.

"I knew you before I formed you in your Mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart." 
Jeremiah 1:5

I'm still having a hard time adjusting to being away from Zachary during the day. Working is rough and still very emotional but I do enjoy my one day off very much. God has shown me the importance of quality time with my son versus quantity of time with my son. About a week after I started my new job Zachary began to fall asleep in my arms every night while we were putting him to bed. He had never done this before and now it is time that is so intimate and bonding for us. I adore holding him, praying over him, and loving on him every night before laying him to sleep in his crib. There are nights that I rock him for 30 or 40 minutes after he falls asleep before I can let go. Being away all day makes me appreciate this time so much.


As far as Zachary's health goes, we're still fighting MPI. Zachary is doing awesome with trials though! We got Cheerios approved which was a MAJOR step in the right direction. There are exactly 6 ingredients in Cheerios, including Wheat. That means Zachary can digest all 6 of those ingredients. PRAISE GOD! Our Nutritionist had encouraged us to stay Gluten-Free until Zachary was 2, based on the fact that gluten-intolerence is pretty common and Zachary would be more prone to it with his sensitive stomach. We decided to just go for it with Cheerios anyway because we really needed him to start eating finger-foods. He did great, our Daycare Provider got on board with this trial and allowed us to risk feeding him a new food during the week. It all went very smoothly which took away some of the anxiety heading into the big "Dairy Trial".

But aside from being able to eat more foods, we still notice some side-effects to this disease. Zachary is extremely small for his age. I constantly have people comparing their baby to the size of Zachary and going on about how small he is - it's getting a little emotional for me. Yes, I know he's short for his age, and yes, I know he's small, but in our eyes, he's perfect.

Unfortunately though, in our Doctor's eyes, he needs to be growing at a little bit faster pace. He's not even on the charts for height and he's about 13th percentile for weight. We know that Zachary has always been on the small side so I wasn't too concerned but the Doctor pointed out that just plain small babies are usually somewhere in the 10th-20th percentile range while it's typically the sick babies that fall below the charts. Zachary is smaller than 1% of babies his age and due to the fact that he has this disease it's a little concerning. It sounds like it's a possibility that even though Zachary can digest these foods without pain, his body may not be pulling the nutrients out of them that he needs while digesting them.

The Doctor asked me to put Zachary back on Vitamin D drops to help his muscle and bone development, as well as continue with his (increasingly expensive) formula and feeding him as much as he'll take - including continued night-time feedings. They are going to monitor him more closely so we'll go back to the Doctor on July 3rd for another weigh-in and measurements. The Doctor is hoping that the Vitamin D will already be helping and that we'll see a significant difference in one-month's time.

Maybe I should be a little more worried about this but I'm just not. Zachary is developing wonderfully, he seems to be on-track or early with all of his big developmental milestones, he sleeps well, he eats fine, and he is happy. Very happy. He is running around, he's immitating sounds and words, he's extremely social, and he loves to laugh. I just adore him. I don't look at him and think he looks sick, I look at him and think he looks healthy. We've come too far with MPI to feel held-back by it now.

We continue to trust God with every step of this journey. As I sit here now we are 3 hours into Zachary's first dairy trial. Something I've been dreading for months. I never again want to see my son go back to how he was. Not 5 minutes in the last 3 hours have gone by that I haven't prayed, begging God to get Zachary through this night with no pain. But we are overwhelmed with joy that we have made it this far. That giving Zachary dairy is even an option and that we do have a chance to get it approved. We are going very slow and completely pressing into God, allowing him to be our strength as we patiently wait for Zachary's body to process a few tiny drops of milk. We are thankful that He is on our side and that He continues to bless us immensely through this entire MPI journey. Our lives, our faith, and our family have been transformed because of it.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
2 Corinthians 4:17 


  1. Yay for Zachary! Yay for Mom and Dad! Just for the record...I think Zachary is perfect, too!! He seems healthy and happy and normal!! Love you guys!!


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