Posted by: Sandi | October 12, 2006

The early years

Jessica was born in September 1996, weighing 4 lbs. 3 oz. and only 17″ long. She had no medical complications and was taking the bottle well, so her NICU stay was thankfully brief. Because of her small size and other physical characteristics, a syndrome was suspected and at 2 months old she was diagnosed with CdLS.

As many other families have experienced, we were given a bleak prognosis based on outdated medical texts…she would probably never walk or talk, would not want to be touched or held (this said as I was holding her, ha!), would be cranky and fussy, yadda, yadda… The only good info we were given was the phone number to the CdLS Foundation! What a lifesaver they were; current information and best of all -hope.

Well, Jessica grew into an active, rambunctious little girl. She crawled at 10 months, sat at 15 months, and walked at 23 months. She’s run full-speed ahead ever since. She was never a “cuddler,” but she’ll allow for the occasional kiss or hug -and if you’re really lucky, she might sit in your lap for a minute or two. At age 1, she began learning sign and used that along with gestures and a few spoken words…she always got her point across! These days she speaks in very short sentences.

Jessica’s medical issues have been few. She does have GERD which is treated with medication. As a baby they discovered a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) which eventually closed on its own. And she had surgery at 14 months to correct esotropia (lazy eye muscle).

Behavior, on the other hand, has been quite a challenge!! Jess has always been hyperactive and headstrong (stubborn as a mule actually). Around age 5 she began exhibiting aggressive behavior towards others and is something we still struggle with to this day. However, as tough as life with her can be at times she makes up for it with her beautiful smile, silly giggle, and wicked sense of humor. She drives us absolutely crazy but we love her dearly.


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