Zach was a great baby. Yes starting to breastfeed was quite difficult and he liked to take 45 minutes for each feeding but he was predictable and would actually sleep. Great for a first baby.
In the beginning I had dreams about being the only woman in a village that could breastfeed and I would just finish breastfeeding all the other babies in the village and then Zach would wake up for a feeding. I was pretty exhausted but I still think that time was easier than working twelve hour night shifts.
We really didn't notice anything early on that Zach was any different. He was a terribly cute baby and pretty easy. Although we really didn't have anyone to compare him to with him being our first. It wasn't until we started to introduce solids that Dave and I started to wonder if he was just the neatest kid ever.
Zach certainly wasn't into finger foods at all. Anything gooey certainly not. He would eat so many carrots his nose actually started to turn orange. One day after he turned one, he decided he wanted to eat what we were eating. Panic stricken, I had to figure out what was soft enough for him to chew and swallow. Porridge was an absolute for him but on a daily basis we would have to sit Zach on our laps and convince him that yes this was the same food he had eaten the day before. We practically had to fight him to get the first spoonful into him and then after that he would willingly open his mouth for the porridge.
Speech was also a concern. Zach's only word was mama and when we started to question things David (my husband) started to think mama wasn't even for me. It was for his milk bottle.
It was after Zach turned 18 months that my in-laws saw a documentary on autism. They were concerned about Zach's lack of eye contact and some other things. I started the initial stages of grieving. I was angry! The timing is never great to hear that your child may have autism but that same day my dad had just been admitted to the ICU with triple vessel disease and requiring open heart surgery as soon as possible.
I was a wreck! I went to work and made an excuse that I was worried about my dad but I just couldn't get Zach out of my mind. My perfect little sweet little boy. How could anything be wrong with him?