Milestones… we all wait and wait for them to come and we celebrate the tiniest development or achievement as if it’s the biggest thing in the world. Over the years we haven’t had many huge milestones to celebrate with William, but the little ones have been incredible and well worth celebrating.
The day he left hospital…
First smiles, first teeth, first holiday…
The time he used the potty for the first time, even though he only managed to sit for 3 seconds or so before he fell off (yes, I was that mum who took a photo of the first poo on the potty but don’t worry I won’t share it here!)…
The first time he slept through the night… that one was a LONG time coming!
The first time he ate a whole meal without throwing up…
His first day at school and first day on the school bus…
Climbing trees, riding a bike and going horse-riding at his amazing school
First pint.. joke! Just checking if you’re still reading!!
There have been too many to remember and every single one has been amazing. But now we’ve reached one I don’t want to celebrate. One which has made me the most depressed I’ve felt in years and one that’s been playing on my mind for ages as I knew it was coming but was hoping we weren’t there quite yet.
The milestone I’m talking about is the one where he is getting too big. Too heavy and difficult for me to lift.
William is now 8, he weighs about 22kg (3 1/2 stone approx) and while his weight is still managable, he is tall and difficult to lift. He doesn’t hold his own weight, support himself or hold on. His limbs are long and awkward to manage, his head control is poor and his body lacks any supportive tone when you lift him.
I can lift him, I am strong enough, but every muscle in my body is working overtime when I do.
And I’ve injured myself. Badly. I knew this day would come but honestly, I thought it would be my back. The fact it’s actually my elbow has come as a massive surprise!
I’ve got tennis elbow from lifting my own child! Which might not sound that bad but I can’t tell you how much it hurts… constantly!
So now I have to face the harsh reality that I can’t go on like this anymore.
I mustn’t carry my baby around the house anymore.
I mustn’t keep lifting him from the floor onto the sofa every day.
And it’s making me sad. Sad at those cuddles I’m going to miss out on.. because lifting and carrying him really is just another way to get a sneaky hug!
I’m sad that my boy might wonder why I’ve stopped. Will he think I don’t love him as much anymore? He is used to being hoisted at school and when he is at respite but, at home we tend to only hoist him into the bath or the hot tub.
And let’s be honest, it’s a faff. It’s time consuming, its difficult and the endless straps aren’t exactly simple to use… sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to lift him, regardless of the risks to my health.
It’s making me sad that my beautiful house that we’ve worked so hard on is now going to be ruined with ugly ceiling track hoists, just so that I don’t hurt myself. I know, it’s ridiculous to be sad about that but I am! Imagine how annoyed you were when your children were little and they drew on the walls or spilt paint on your new carpet, how upset and stressed that made you… but that could be cleaned up, painted over. Imagine if it was a permanent feature of your house, that ugly paint spill always there on the carpet…
That’s how I feel about the hoist… but it’s permanent.. and we can’t hide it.
We’ve tried the mobile hoist option but it’s not working for us. We can’t hoist onto the sofa with it and Williams movements mean it doesn’t feel safe to use unless there are two of us using it – which means I can’t use it unless my husband is home.
I know I need to bite the bullet and call the OT and ask her nicely if she can put an ugly H track hoist in our lovely lounge so that William can continue his stretching programmes on the floor and can sit with us on the sofa as he has done every evening since he was born.
I really don’t want to… but the time has come when I have no option. I have to have this ugly contraption in my house and I have to face the fact that the time has come where my baby is no longer little, he’s getting big… too big.
And the worst part of this is that even though I don’t actually really want this contraption.. I will no doubt have to fight and argue to get it!
Can someone do me a favour and just stop time for a little while? Please?
(and while you’re at it, can you ask the hoist companies to make a non-ugly, preferably invisible option for lifting?)
Please do leave me a comment below… even if you just want to tell me to get a grip, I’d love to hear from you!