In July, I left Facebook for a while. The only reason I don’t leave permanently is because I have friends and family on there that I do not otherwise connect with, and I don’t want to lose touch. But anyway, here’s why I took the break: social media induced anxiety. Comparisons to others’ lives, mostly surrounding Felix. As I’ve mentioned before, we have some concerns about his developmental milestones, and possible delays. I’m a member of a few support groups of people with babies born around the same time as Felix, and for a while it felt like all of those babies were growing in leaps and bounds while Felix was lagging back fairly drastically. He had “colic” or tummy pains for what seemed like forever, and still continues to have more mild pains occasionally, at 6 months old. He wasn’t making eye contact, reaching for toys, or using his hands much for a long time either. Seeing all the other babies around the same age doing all of their typical age-appropriate behaviors was making me feel like not only a bad parent, but extremely worried for the future of our baby. What if he is handicapped? What if we have a child who will not have a normal life? What if he will require assistance beyond what I ever imagined? And I went further and further down that spiral.
Once I broke free of those groups, and realized I needed to quit comparing Felix to the rest of the world, I started to accept our reality rather quickly. I started to gain some clarity, and ease back from the severe and dark anxiety cloud that was looming over my head. And I started to come to terms with the fact that Felix is not every other baby. He is his own very unique person. And that’s NOT a bad, scary thing.
Once I got that clarity, I started doing things to help him out. I downloaded BabySparks (app), and have been working with Felix every day that he feels up to it. I found more ways to entertain and soothe him, and haven’t always been distracted by my phone. I have accepted him for who he is instead of trying to gain control over something that is not controllable. And after all of that, I know now he’s not as delayed as I thought he was. Now that he’s feeling better and is over most of the tummy issues, he is catching up. He’s making more eye contact. He’s smiling and giggling more. He’s babbling, playing, and interacting much more.
We do still have appointments with developmental specialists just in case there is more we need to do. But after breaking free of social media for a while, and connecting with Felix on a deeper level, one-on-one, without comparisons to other babies, I believe we are in a much better place. *I* am in a much better place, with less anxiety and more happiness and joy for my baby, which makes him a happier boy too.
Felix will have his 6-month checkup on Friday the 9th, and I will post an update on his measurements and all that he can do after that appointment. He has grown and changed so much in the last month. And Jarrod and I are so proud of him.