Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our girls. My heroes.

It has now been one full week since our littlest girl came home and I can honestly say I've never been so happy to be so tired.  I am calm, I am happy, I am exhausted, and I feel complete.

Zoey Theodore Theodore, born July 14th, 2014, weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces and 14.5 inches long came home on September 15th, 2014, weighing 4 pounds 14.5 ounces and 16.5 inches long.  And after one full week at home, weighs 5 pounds 9.5 ounces and is loved more than one could possibly imagine by mom, dad, and most definitely by her big sister Tera.

Everything that I hoped would be true about Tera's love for her baby sister, has come true.  She absolutely adores her, showers her with kisses, and is more gentle than she ever has been.  There hasn't been much evidence at all of any jealousy, and while there have definitely been some adjustments for us all, I can honestly say my life finally feels complete.  We have two of the most beautiful girls in the world that have each had to overcome more obstacles than any little person should have to.

Tera was my first hero.  That kid loves like you wouldn't believe.  Her empathy is incredible, Her energy is unbelievable.  Her tenacity is enviable.  She tries hard at everything she does and rarely gets frustrated.  As much as we try to treat her like any other typical kid, we sometimes forget that she isn't typical.  She does have to try harder for a lot of things.  And there are certain behaviors (mostly standing/sitting still, throwing, and even hitting) that while she has some control over, are oftentimes the result of her immaturity and sensory issues.  We still discipline her, we talk about her actions and how they upset us (this is where her empathy is key to getting a desired reaction), and we try to find positive ways to let her work out her inner frustrations.

At age three, she's already had two sets of tubes (among various other procedures) , pneumonia five times. has gone literally months straight being sick, been catheterized at least three times that I can remember, had a swallow study, gets blood drawn every four months, sees five specialists, took a pill every morning for almost two years, wears orthotics, and works so very hard at every word she says.

Zoey is my second hero.  She arrived way to early, through no fault of her own, and has had to fight ever since then.  She already has two scars on her side from the chest tubes they had to insert when her left lung collapsed twice.  She still has to work to drink from a bottle and is sometimes still just too tired.  She is on a diuretic to keep fluid away from her heart until her PDA closes and up until yesterday was also on extra potassium because hers was being depleted by the diuretic.  She's on a pill for her thyroid, and also a multivitamin.  We also still have to fortify her milk with extra calories so she can keep gaining weight, but we suspect that might be contributing to the what seems like an excessive amount of spitting up which wakes her up constantly.  She has to work just to keep herself warm.  We also have to work on physical therapy strategies with her since she still isn't even supposed to have been born yet.  She's a very calm baby, and while she grunts a lot, she rarely cries.

Life is not easy for us; it probably never will be between these two kids, but as I constantly try and remind myself, things could be so much worse.  All things considered, we are lucky.   I know I don't and won't always feel that way, but for now...

Our girls.  My heroes.  

**This took me three days to finish completely and today was a little rougher on the Tera front.  Hoping to have a new post tomorrow on what's going on with my feelings about the DS situation and my sweet girl.  Just a warning so you're not too confused if there's a sudden change in the mood and tone of my posts...

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