Now it is time to tell you about Ms. Haley.
Since she was born I have always called her "mama". Not because she is beyond her years. But it was something special about this little girl. When I was carrying her I worried that my current situation would affect her when she was born. But she was a happy, healthy little baby and I could not be happier.
Ms. Haley is now 7 years old. She is a free spirit and is happy at least 90% of the time. She has a smile out of this world and she is curious about EVERYTHING. Her personality is completely opposite of her brother Nate, yet the two of them are best friends.
Nate often tells Haley he doesn't want to be bothered, I would ask her why she continues to bother her brother. Her answer is always, "I love my brother...I love being around him....He makes me happy." Hearing her tell her brother this makes my heart melt. They have a bond that cannot be explained. Yet, I am very thankful for that.
Looking at Haley one would not know she has something going on inside her body. Around the age of 4 (going on 5) she was diagnosed as having Central Precocious Puberty (CPP). According to the Mayo Clinic, Precocious Puberty is when a child's body begins changing into that of an adult (puberty) too soon. Puberty that begins before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys is considered precocious puberty.
Puberty includes rapid growth of bones and muscles, changes in body shape and size, and development of the body's ability to reproduce. (This described Haley).
The cause of precocious puberty often can't be found. Rarely, certain conditions, such as infections, hormone disorders, tumors, brain abnormalities or injuries, may cause precocious puberty. Treatment for precocious puberty typically includes medication to delay further development.
(Mayo Clinic, 2014)
In Haley’s case, the treatment her doctor recommended was a yearly implant called Supprelin.
(Supprelin LA, n.d.) SUPPRELIN ® LA is the first and only 12-month implant for the treatment of children with central precocious puberty (CPP).
We will travel back to when she was two years old….
Around the time Haley was 2 years old her doctor would question me about her breast. I didn't think anything was wrong as most babies have those when they are healthy, right? Haley wasn't a "healthy" little girl. She was very thin and long therefore, it started to alarm the doctor. As Haley was about to turn 4 years old, he suggested I take her to a pediatric endocrinologist. I now realized I needed to be alarmed.
When she was four, she and Nate were attending this really good private school. I was excited they were advancing quickly. This school taught at an accelerated pace. The students would be at least one year ahead academically. (For instance, she was in the 4 year old class, however, they were already doing kindergarten and 1st grade work). The teacher would call almost every day telling me Haley will not stop crying or throwing a temper tantrum. I did not know what to do. As a parent already dealing with a child having meltdowns, I ran out of ideas. I did not know what to do. Each day, I grew more and more nervous to leave her with the school.
One day, the principal contacted me and told me if Haley did not calm down, they were going to have to let her go. In other words, “Kick her out of school!” I was hurt, disappointed and felt like a horrible mom. During this time we took her to the doctor many times, trying to find out what was wrong with her. No one knew anything...In hind sight, her doctor knew something wasn't right.
I told the principal that I understood her frustration and I tried to reassure her I was not sitting on my hands doing nothing. I was being proactive trying to figure out what the issue could be. In addition, Haley was one of the few 4 year old students who could read at that time. Surely, they would not want to kick her out under the circumstances…She was thriving!
Two days later I received the dreaded call from the school telling me to come pick Haley up because she was no longer welcome at school. They were un-enrolling my baby girl. I had to leave work to pick her up. As I am driving, I am thinking, “Where will she go?” “What if the next school won’t deal with her?” No parent wants to feel their children’s teachers do not like them or want them around.
I felt like the lonely kid trying to fit in and no one wanted to play with me. It was a lonely feeling. I didn't know a lot of people who were going through this issue with their children and when I did share her issues, I did not think they could relate. I could be wrong but it is how I felt at the time.
Haley ended up in a day care down the street from where I lived. I did not like the place at all, but it was temporary solution until I could find something more permanent. A week later, I entered the school where I would soon be enrolling Haley and her brother. This is the same school who teachers helped me realize Nate needed assistance. I guess it is safe to say, this school was a God-Send.
I remember walking into the principal’s office, in tears and stressed beyond communication. I told the principal what was going on with Haley and I did not know how to help her. She was very patient and prayed with me. I felt I made the right choice for both my kids.
The road to Haley’s diagnosis…
After attending the school for a while, we finally visited the doctor and he stated that she was too young for breast, in addition she was growing really fast.
He referred us to the Pediatric Endocrinologist.
She examined Haley and wanted to monitor her for the next couple of months. At this time she did not say what she thought the problem may be. A month later she measured Haley and noticed she was quickly growing, in addition, her breast were continuing to grow. She wanted to wait another couple of months to see if there was cause for alarm. Once again, Haley grew taller again along with her breast becoming more noticeable. It was time to do something. The doctor ordered a series of tests. The tests were very difficult for Haley but needed to be done. We received the diagnosis. We were told Haley has Central Precocious Puberty (CPP).
Again, here I am with a child not knowing what I did wrong…Why does my daughter have this? All I knew was something needed to be done and I was not ready for my daughter to have a period or grow breasts at the age of 4/5.
A few months later, Haley’s behavior leveled out and things started to get better. Of course we still had some tantrums, but for the most part, she was not having as many outbursts. I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that some CPP children tend to be ADHD. She was also diagnosed with ADHD. I plan to continue her CPP treatment for at least the next 3 years and then allow her body to do what is needed.
Fast forward to today….
Haley is still a bit active and at times can reach to a level 10! But all-in-all, the implant seems to be working fine. She no longer has breasts, and though she is still growing taller she is thinning out a lot! She is has the longest arms and legs I have ever seen on a 7 year old. She is growing into a beautiful girl. Throughout this process, she never allowed her experiences to get her down. She is still as active as ever. The difference is she is more mature, calmer (at times) and she is able to listen in class.
I always believe if she is keeping up too much noise and being disruptive, she is not learning. That is the most important piece to this puzzle. She is very smart, and I could not be prouder of her each day. I sometimes just watch her as she does things around the house. She is always excited about everything, she constantly want to hug you no matter the time of day. She loves to dress up in her tutus and walk around the house. She said it makes her beautiful. I love that about her!
I know this is who she is and I have embraced her personality and love her for who she is. I would never ask her to change her personality, as it would not be her.
She always changes what she wants to be when she grows up. She would ask me, “Mommy would it be OK if I were to grow up and become a dancer, or a baker?”
My answer? You can be whatever you want as long as you are healthy, happy and can pay your own bills; I will support you! Mommy loves you!
Her challenges do not define her! It is her character! #successistheonlyoption
Mayo Clinic. (2014, January 2). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/precocious-puberty/basics/definition/con-20029745
Supprelin LA. (n.d.). Retrieved from Supprelin LA: http://www.supprelinla.com/