At sixteen weeks, Bryce is, in many ways, coming out of that newborn stage. He is much more responsive, which is so fun! He finally started smiling at us a few weeks ago, and although they're coming a little bit easier for him, he still makes us work for it. He has begun reaching for toys a little more purposefully and is very content to lay on the floor watching Connor or his toys. He is verbalizing so much. I love hearing those little baby sounds! Sometimes when he smiles he even does a little chuckle-type sound which makes me hope he'll start laughing pretty soon. He has found his hands, and often holds them together over his chest. He also likes to suck on his hands. He is still very active and can spin himself around 180 degrees when laying on his back.
One of the downfalls of coming out of the newborn stage is the fact that he can't/won't sleep through everything like he used to. He wakes up easily--especially when he hears Connor's voice, and for some reason has decided that he doesn't like to nap in his crib. He much prefers being held. Not always possible. Sorry, buddy. I realize that he doesn't need 20 hours of sleep a day anymore, but a couple hour long naps in the crib isn't too much to ask, is it? Needless to say, napping has become a source of frustration for Mommy and Daddy the past few weeks. He does fairly well at night...still gets up once or twice to eat, but generally sleeps (in his bed) well.
The early interventionists from the school district have completed their evaluations and will begin their weekly visits after Thanksgiving. His case manager/teacher will come out every week and the OT/PT will come as needed...probably about once a month. They will monitor his progress and give us things to work on that will fit into our daily routines. I really like all three of the women assigned to him, and will enjoy having them visit. His neck is getting a little stronger, and he can now hold it up for a few seconds, but there is still room for improvement. It is the one thing, physically, I still worry about, because I know it will set him back in other ways if he can't hold it up soon. (Still working on squelching my desire to compare him to other, "typical" babies.)
Bryce has already changed our outlook on many things. I find that I am much less judgmental of people who are different. I don't think I was really prejudiced before, but I didn't really think about people with disabilities much. It may sound horrible, but I guess I saw them as a little less human than the rest of us. I know now that I was so wrong. Now when I see people with disabilities, I force myself to say hello--to think of them as someone's child/brother/sister/friend--because I know that they are those things. If Mike and I want nothing else from Bryce's life, it is to raise awareness of Down syndrome. We already know that he is just as worthy of love as anyone else. He already has feelings and a personality like anyone else.
Recently, there have been many articles/stories in the news about people with Down syndrome. Many of these articles I have come across on Facebook. I like to think that maybe, just maybe Bryce has something to do with that. I know that as a country, people are becoming more aware and accepting (have you seen those adorable ads featuring babies with Downs??), but I also like to think that when friends and family come across those articles, they think of Bryce and want to share. Last week I posted this picture of Bryce smiling. It got 97 "likes" and 17 comments on Facebook. I honestly don't think it would have gotten such a response if he wasn't "special". I am overwhelmed by how accepting and loving our friends, family, and acquaintances are. Bryce is one blessed little boy!
Take care everyone!