Yesterday was kind of crazy so I didn't have a chance to post Tera's 23 month update, so here is my form of it.
For whatever reason, while I watched her play, I was reminded of the day she was born. In our birthing class, the nurse that was teaching it told all of us soon-to-be parents that as much as we would fall in love with our new babies and not want to leave them, we should take advantage of the nursery on that first night and have the nurses take care of the baby while we got what might be some of the last sleep we would have for a while. Tom and I had agreed that would probably be a good idea and after receiving Tera's diagnosis so early in the day and the exhaustion that resulted from little sleep the night before, that whole giving birth thing, actually getting the diagnosis, and then hiding it from all the visitors we had that first day, we really thought it would be a good idea that first night. However, despite our best intentions, rest was not to be. We had some room issues around 10pm (we couldn't get the TV volume to work and then my bed wouldn't adjust) and they decided it was in our best interest to switch to the room next to us. But right before that we had a visit from a doctor from Children's Memorial. He had come to tell us that despite all we had already dealt with that day, Tera had three holes in her heart and that one was fairly large and of some concern. I'm not even sure how I reacted because I literally think I was still numb from everything else and I'm not sure at that point that I fully grasped what that might mean. At that point they decided that instead of her going to the nursery that night, she would be transferred to the NICU, which, unbeknown st to us at the time, was where she would spend the next six days.
I know I'm going a little out of order here, but after all the visitors had left for the day and before all this craziness happened, Tom actually had a chance to take our new baby girl and just walk with her. I remember so vividly watching with such happiness as he held our sweet baby and just paced. Both of us completely unknowing that it would be the last time either of us would hold her for six more days without tubes and wires. I think back on that and it breaks my heart that we lost those six days to so much stress, worry, and fear. I also remember so clearly one week after she was born, the day we had hoped for so many days would finally be the day we could bring her home; I remember as they removed the last tube from her and finally handed her over to Tom and he was once again able to walk freely with her. He actually had to ask the nurse to make sure it was okay to walk around with her because almost all of our time with her up to that point had been limited to the two or three feet from her little incubator.
I have no idea why I thought about all of this this morning, but I did. Almost two years later, Tera has exceeded all my expectations and continues to amaze me on a daily basis. I know that she is delayed in comparison to many typical kids, but she continues to surprise me with how her mind works. I don't know that I can name many new skills this month, but I can tell you that I love this child more than I ever thought possible. She can be the devil incarnate on some days, but she can also overwhelm you with her sweetness and affection. And many times she manages to do both at the same time. Talk about skill...
Unfortunately we are no closer to saying we are in the clear with pneumonia yet and every night for the past week I've gone to bed worrying we're going to be woken by throwing up and an ER visit. Today she fell asleep during two of her four nebulizer treatments and only had a one hour very restless nap. Then this afternoon she seemed to be running a low grade fever. The plan right now is that Tom is taking her in tomorrow afternoon for another checkup. We are also planning to find a pulmonologist (lung doctor) to consult regarding the three (possibly four) cases of pneumonia in the last 12 months.
I'll update in the next day or two.