Speech Therapy Re-Evaluation

Wow! It’s been six months already! Six months that we’ve been working with Nicole in speech therapy, and the immense progress we have seen in these short six months is nothing short of incredible!

When we first started speech therapy,  I didn’t think Logan needed it?! He was about 11 months, and I thought it was perfectly normal that he only used two vowel sounds. But then again I just have a very biased opening on how perfect he is. {shoulder shrug here} But he wasn’t interested in books, he couldn’t use anticipation, and communicating with us was nearly impossible.

we had oooooo’s aaaaa’s galore tho

But apparently, speech therapy is sooo much more than just learning how to speak correctly! Now? Now Logan understands that certain words have certain meanings. He loves to read books, and can successfully turn the pages. There’s comprehension, anticipation, and repetition involved in each session. He’s learning that not everything is just useless sounds garbled together. When I say “up” he’ll now throw his arms in the air for me to carry him. When he wants something he’ll signal “gimme”, or when he wants to open something he’ll knock on its surface. All the skills we’ve learned in speech therapy.

And that’s just the beginning! With the careful tutelage between Patty and Nicole, Logan can now use certain hand signs to communicate what he wants and needs. We can successfully wave “bye-bye”, sign “gimme” and “open”, and signal to himself as “me”. And with each new sign that he learns to master, the tears and weeps for joy are contagious across the floor as we all celebrate in his triumph. I love this little dude so much, and watching his communication skills grow over the last six months has been nothing short of extra-ordinary.

I still have a few goals that I’m hoping will stick to this little man’s brain. I’m hoping to get him to clap (on command! dance, monkey dance!), to recognize his momma and poppa (whether in a photo or by pointing), and to finally make those vowel-consonant sounds. But honestly, with the progress he has made? I feel like these might be short-term goals because he’s been crushing them all!

 

You got this Little Dude. ♥

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and yes I realize this post is about 17 days past due. But life gets crazy, and that’s what its been like around here, just pure fu@#&*g chaos. But it’s here now, so please read, enjoy and then share, so others can enjoy it too!

So anywhooo..

We have several fun things going on, which, please feel free to get involved in. We love having new friends and old friends, and sometimes friends contact us and say hi.

Actually, we just like having friends in general.

 

 

We’re currently putting a massive amount of our free time into fundraising for the Down Syndrome Association of Miami, in hopes of reaching our goal to donate $2,000 to the Miracle Walk happening in Coral Gables, FL on November 3rd. Our link for more information is listed below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/downsyndromeawarenessfundraiser

 

 

We’re also inviting local members of our community, family, and friends to sign up for the Miracle Walk and to join our team. Logan’s Loud Loonies! You can sign up directly on the DSAOM website and choose our team.

OR!

You can buy tickets on our Eventbrite page, linked through our Facebook. Join our team, and the day of the walk you receive an official team t-shirt (as well as the official walk t-shirt), and the chance to add to our donation goal. Our link for more information is listed below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/336893087097040/

 

Anddddd Finally…

the bake sale!

In an extra attempt to really reach our donation goal we will be selling mom’s home-baked, with real love and real ingredients cakes and cheesecakes.

The proceeds of each cake will be put towards our GoFundMe goals!

Current favorite flavors:

Golden Oreo Funfetti cheesecake with homemade whipped topping
Dulce de Leche topped brown sugar cheesecake with Oreo crust
Jack Daniels Tennesee Honey with a buttery graham cracker crust
White Chocolate Raspberry with homemade whipped topping and a buttery graham cracker crust
Plain cheesecake with homemade strawberry topping and a buttery graham cracker crust

We are also accepting custom flavor requests, and offer size variations in: 4″, 6″, or 11″ options!

Simply Text (305) 490-9461 or email us jroque810@gmail.com

with your name and cake request for more information!

Don’t be shy about asking for details on how to get involved, and don’t pass on the chance of meeting this beautiful soul, and getting involved in our beautiful community.

Join us, and lets spread kindness around like confetti….

 

♥JG

Starting Feeding Therapy

Starting Feeding Therapy

Sooo.. let’s talk about how much fun we have been having in feeding therapy. I mean, I knew Logan was going to like it because duhhhh.. FAT GUY loves everything! But oh.em.gee my friends: logan in feeding therapy, discovering food, is the most magical thing my momma heart has ever seen.

Through Cindy’s (linked here @talk.eat.play ) careful tutelage we’ve discovered so many new types of food! Plus we have experimented with so many new textures, messes, and flavors. And you wanna know what the best part of this is?

He likes to eat my cooking

You have no idea how much that satisfies my momma soul.

Considering how little (to practically nothing) Evan eats, the fact that Logan LOVES to eat every soft steamed whatever I put in front of him is amazing! And what’s more… you best believe its flavorful, and full of spices and seasoning! Because the kitchen is my happy place. I love that he loves what I love. You know?

And honestly, Cindy is amazing in how she encourages both me and Logan to discover new things in the kitchen and in our diets. The other day… I cooked with vegetables (ugh! it disgusts me just to say the word!) made them into a soup, pureed that sh*t, and BAM! guess who ate pureed broccoli and cheddar cheese soup.

This momma and son duo.

Dude, it had onions, carrots, broccoli, and potatoes. Things I would never eat! Never in a million years.. but within 30 or so minutes we were both three bowls deep. And loving every veggie-filled bite. 

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So. Much. Fun.

 

-JG♥

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

I like to joke that you would never guess Logan ate from a feeding tube for the first 5 days of his life. He’s a chunky monkey that likes to eat everything and anything you put in front of him. And if you’re eating something, you best believe, that yep you’re going to learn to share! So naturally, when feeding therapy was suggested, I was a little confused?

 

This fat guy?

He’s a champ at taking down his bottles lightning fast, which has come to require that we cut open the nipples (old Cuban traditions) — so that he can huff down the liquid mud we make his formula into. He’s basically drinking his oatmeal out of a bottle.

We even, maybe occasionally put his compota’s in there as well.

Cuban traditions die hard.

He also eats a whole bowl of Abuela Milly’s homemade purees, which contains all kinds of delicious goodness. Beans, meat, chicken, potatoes, rice, vegetables, spinach… you name it, he eats it.

Apparently, cutting the nipples is frowned upon by health professionals, and it’s time I let Logan learn to play with his food. Yes, it’s great that he eats well, and is of a healthy weight. But no, there are certain milestones he should be meeting which he is not. Primarily, we need to build the strength of the muscles within his jaw and cheeks, to give him the correct stamina he needs to chew. Right now, he’s a bit lax in that department.

Ask me if Logan can hold his bottle?

-Nope.

Can he chew soft solids?

-Nope.

Does he chew on puff cereal or children’s teething cookies?

-Nope.

-Can he drink thin liquids from a bottle?

-Again, nope.

These were things which were worrisome, but I didn’t think too much on. After his Feeding Therapy Evaluation, though, there are a few changes we’ll need to start making to his eating routine. Starting with new bottles, {eye roll here}. Ask me how many times I’ve heard this schpeel lol

The recommendation: we’ll be doing feeding therapy 2x for 45 minutes sessions.

 

Follow along to get updates on how he does!

Here we are, 10mo. later…

I didn’t originally want another baby. I was satisfied with just Evan and content enough to raise just him. However, my husband (sneaky bastard who knows me so well), appealed to the younger me who dreamed of a large family — similar to the one she grew up in.

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We tried one time, a random day on my ovulation cycle, exactly 2 weeks off the pill. When we woke up the next morning, we second-guessed that decision and said:                    “maybe we should wait” | “maybe we’re not ready” | “maybe in another year”

But guess what?

You don’t get to choose.

I knew instantly I was pregnant with Logan (which is probably why I felt like it was the longest 9mo. ever). The vomiting began just 2 weeks into gestation, and it would never stop. I’m not saying I gagged a little in the mornings, had a bit of nausea, or threw up a bit of stomach acid.

No, my friend. I. THREW. UP. All the time. ALL THE TIME.

It’s called hyperemesis gravidarum, which translated online means “severe vomiting”. Severe vomiting?! During my first trimester, I lost 30 pounds and was seen in the ER 12 times for severe dehydration. I couldn’t even hold down water. Add to that my loose bladder from Evan’s pregnancy, resulting in tons of amounts of pee coming involuntarily out, therefore making me smell homeless. Real attractive pregnancy glow [cue sarcasm].

I couldn’t leave the house without vomiting and pissing everywhere. On myself, down my pants, in the car, in the chairs I sat on, in the beds I laid in, in the stores I went to. EVERYWHERE. I felt disgusted with myself and spent most of the day at home changing my clothes, vomiting, and crying myself into hysterics.

I want to say it got better, but it didn’t. -_-

They gave me my first ultrasound at week 20, 5 weeks behind schedule. At the initial ultrasound, I was advised that something didn’t quite look right, in a very nonchalant, this is of no importance kind of manner, and that there were some images which the doctor felt might reflect Down Syndrome. They referred me to further testing, but otherwise, I was shrugged off and no other information was given.

At week 22 sequential blood work through the Harmony Blood Testing exam revealed a possible positive marker of Trisomy 21 for our little Logan. They would like me to come in to discuss our chances and other options for testing.

But, our little Logan, who already had a name, who already had a brother waiting for him, and with which whom I had already fallen hopelessly in love — might be, what? defective? No one had even told me what Trisomy21 was, nor did they even bother to explain it.

Google became my friend.

Shortly afterward, we opted for the amniocentesis, and I have to say — as a mom who has birthed naturally twice using an epidural… nothing compares to the pain of that needle piercing through the skin, then the abdomen, then the uterus, then the placenta. You feel, each. and. every. puncture.

And when you have a hyperactive fetus (like Logan), you get to ride that ride twice.

Fun times.  😉

Not.

In less than 2 weeks we got a call from Dr. Q at Maternal Fetal Medicine, that he would like to see me. Today. Within the next hour if possible. At that moment, I felt my heart sink. We were seen immediately upon arriving at the office and given another full work up ultrasound. Shortly after we were given the results, and asked very nicely about whether we had thought of how we wanted to proceed with the pregnancy?

I was so confused in this moment, as termination was never an option, no matter the results of the amnio. Hearing the doctor voice this question aloud, gave me uncertainty for one moment. One. Split. Moment. that I thought I was not meant to have this baby.

But I loved him. I loved him so much already, and I had faith that the universe knows why it does what it does. What’s meant to happen will happen. Have faith in your destiny. All that other horse shit.

So of course, we were confident in our choice to keep Logan, and raise him just like the other savages kids being raised in our house. Dr. Q was nothing short of magical as he followed our case. Through him we found the initial strength we needed, to know that our baby was going to be ok. And he was the most perfect thing we would ever lay our eyes on.

“The world needs more parents like you”

-Dr. Q

And now 10mo. after being with Logan I am ashamed at that feeling of overwhelming loss I had at the moment they told us we had a positive diagnosis. After all, an amnio has a 99.2%. accuracy rate. At that moment I just felt loss, for the life I had begun to envision with my two boys, which now seemed to be so unclear, so tumultuous, and so uncertain.

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I’ve never met an individual with Down Syndrome, and now I was about to be the mother of one. To say I was sadly unprepared is an understatement. But now? Now the only thing I know is that Logan is the biggest blessing we have ever received, and the universe truly does know what you need when you need it.

I spent the remainder of my pregnancy fighting all kinds of emotions as I processed an immense amount of information, and struggled with daily anxieties and fears… all while being unmedicated for the first time in 15 years. To say that my Bipolar Mind had reared her ugly head is the understatement of all these understatements. So, the Support System stepped in, and 2 weeks before giving birth to Logan, I moved back home with mom and dad. Half my stuff in one place, half my stuff in another. But it was the best decision I made. Not only for my own mental health and sanity but for the health of my children and family as well.

Now? Now Logan is 10 months, and in just two shorts months, he’ll turn 1. I don’t even know where the last ten months have gone as I have been through some crazy moments. I’ve lost my mind and my cool on more than one occasion, and there have been some hella crazy times. But motherhood is quite possibly the scariest hood I have ever been through. And I’ve seen some {bat shit} crazy stuff in my day.

At 10mo. my little wolverine has made huge leaps in overcoming any obstacles put before him. His “delay” is considered within “normal” (someone please define normal for me) limits and considered on par for someone who does not even have a disability.

He does have a delay in his fine and gross motor movements, so we go to physical and occupational therapy 3x a week, for 30 minutes each. We call it our “gym time”. We have upcoming therapy evaluations for speech and feeding, in hopes that we can get in front of the delay, rather than behind it.

I’ve learned so much from Logan over the past ten months. So much on motherhood, life, perspective, outlook, and love. I’ve learned to be quieter (which if you know me, is a difficult feat in and of itself), I’ve learned to be more patient and open-minded. I’ve learned compassion and strength. And I’ve learned, ultimately, that moms really can do it all, and then some!

♥JessG.

Say Hi Logan!

An introduction to Logan James Galdamez.

Hey There! This is our new space, and we would like to welcome all our new visitors. My name is Logan James — and yes, I’m named after the infamous Wolverine. I’ve been with mom and dad for 9mo. now and it has been nothing but pure love and joy. I have to note that their joy and wonder as they discover this world with me is nothing short of magical.

It was during week 22 of mommy’s pregnancy that genetic blood work came back with a positive marker for Trisomy21.

After an amniocentesis at week 23, mommy received her confirmation of a positive diagnosis for the chromosomal disorder of Trisomy21. Also, more commonly referred to as Down Syndrome. Although, I will say there is nothing down about my attitude, nor my outlook on life.

I was born in June of 2018 at 38 weeks and 5 days. My doctors at Maternal Fetal Medicine, who followed my case weekly — believed it was best for me to come out a bit earlier than we anticipated, due to my growth restriction. During weeks 32-37 of mommy’s pregnancy, I had only gained almost a pound. So, SURPRISE! Here I come two weeks early!

After the initial induction, and finally after having the water broken, I arrived in 15 short minutes. Mommy likes to say that she didn’t even know I came out until I was screaming in her arms.

“Wait, what? He’s out?! That’s it?!”
-mommy on June 27 at 9:42pm

I spent 10 days in the NICU due to feeding reluctance, and PPHN which had me oxygen dependent. During this time mommy and daddy would come to visit as much as possible, while also readying my room at home. 

Mommy likes to joke that “you would never guess I ate from a feeding tube for the first 5 days of my life”. Why? Now I eat like a champ and there hasn’t been food I don’t like. I spend most of my day discovering the environments around me while trying so hard to get the attention of Evan and my cousins.

Those first weeks after the diagnosis was rough for mommy and daddy. But, they know that the universe knows what it does. Therefore, I was meant for them, and them for me. This could be for a reason we don’t yet but certainly, for reasons we have only just begun to understand. Considering how little mom knew about Trisomy21, and the none to nil contact she’s had with individuals like me — it makes sense she was a nervous wreck.

But these smiles make it all worthwhile.

Now, almost ten months later mom and dad aren’t the only ones who have fallen completely, and totally in love with me. Due to my infectious smiles, and the wondrous beauty I see in everything, the individuals I meet and come to know, also come to see the world with the same sense of wonder.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my journey is a slow one as I meet my milestones slower than my brothers and cousin did. Mom likes to say I’m lazy, dad likes to say I’m just observing how it’s done first.

But now, at 9 months I am finally mastering the art of sitting and beginning the learning movements of crawling. When mom compares me to my brother Evan (which, yes yes, I know I shouldn’t) I’m nowhere near the running and climbing he was doing at this age.

But that doesn’t stop me from being the most perfect thing mommy has ever laid eyes on.

Follow along on our journey to hear more about my developments, as well as different material relating to mom’s journey into motherhood while managing mental illness and health.

 

-LJ