Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dare I say we're on our way? (long and possible TMI)

Our sweet boy Jake is different - it's hard for me to describe to anyone and only my husband truly knows what I'm talking about when I say that.

He has done EVERYTHING later than his older brother - didn't walk until he was 1 1/2, didn't speak a word until he was 2 and at 4 1/2, he's still not potty trained.

The whole potty training thing has been a long and difficult journey. Our oldest son potty trained himself in 3 short days - woke up one morning and said, "Mommy, I don't want to wear diapers anymore!" and he didn't. It took 1 full day of reminding him to go on the potty and after that, he was good to go. He wore diapers at night for 6 more months and then did that on his own, too - took 1 night. In the 2+ years he's been potty trained, he's had ONE accident. Stupid me thought Jake would be a piece of cake to potty train - he'd want to be just like his brother....

OHHH no, it just doesn't work that way.

He had surgery in 2005 for what the doctors called "Anal Sphincter Dysplasia". He was born with his sphincter muscle detached. He had an awful time going to the bathroom after he started eating solids as a baby and it just went downhill from there. We had to give the poor baby 3 enemas a day for months before the surgery, to get his body ready. Once he had the surgery, he did VERY well. Going to the bathroom was easy for him - he seemed MUCH happier.

We moved back to the U.S. (we lived in Switzerland from 2004-2006) and he was good for about 6 months. Then, the problems started all over again. Fast forward a year and a half and we're still stuck. Part of me thinks he's just lazy and another part of me thinks there might be more medical issues. I just know, and call me selfish if you must, that I'm TIRED of changing 10+ yucky diapers a day on a 4 1/2 year old child. He's stuck in a 3 year old preschool class because he's not potty trained - all of his friends have moved up to the next class and I know he's going to be VERY sad to go back next month and be with kids he doesn't know. He can't go to the next Sunday school class because he's not potty trained, he can't go to our church's VBS Sports Camp because he's not potty get the picture.

He always runs and hides when he has to go - I know what he's doing based on that AND the look on his face. I forced him on the toilet this morning and he went 2 times! I danced a jig in the bathroom and our boy got a bag of M & M's as a treat! I knew there was more that needed to come out, so I had to resort to the one thing I DIDN'T want to do, but knew would work like a charm - the dreaded enema.

He agreed, I did and he screamed :( The stomach cramps were awful for him and the tears were awful for me. He hugged me and sobbed and I felt like I had failed him - failed to protect him from pain, but I was just trying to help him. After 20 minutes or so of bad stomach cramps, it finally happened. He went....and went A LOT. I'm not sure I've ever been more proud of him OR happier for him. The look on his face was pure joy - He was empty and felt so much better. I'm hoping (and praying, too) that this will be the beginning of GOOD things for our boy - he's got a clean slate and knows what he needs to do to go on the potty all the time now.

He's been clean all afternoon - wearing the same CLEAN diaper all afternoon. He's so happy - he feels so much better AND since he's been clean all afternoon, we're heading to Chuck E. Cheese in a bit. He's giddy. I'm giddy for him.