We’re now back in the swing of things both at home and at work. At home we’re back into regular bedtimes, evenings full of preparing snacks, lunches, bottles, and clothes all for the next day. Tom and I are back to our regular diet of healthy eating and figuring out who’s going to the gym which day and who’s picking up the kids or driving to therapy or starting dinner. Basically, our time has become a lot more valuable.
And speaking of time...our baby girl is six months old today. It’s a truly confusing concept to wrap my mind around. Tom would probably tell me I’m being too sentimental, that it’s just a day, and in the grand scheme of her life, it’s not the most important anniversary. But six months ago today, things got a whole lot crazier and we met, albeit through a plastic box, the little girl that would complete our family.
I didn’t particularly expect to have another traumatic birth experience (although Tera’s birth was completely uncomplicated, the hour following her birth was a little rough) and I most certainly didn’t expect to be giving birth at just 28.5 weeks pregnant. I didn’t expect that she would be critically ill in her first week, and I didn’t expect to bring home our baby nine weeks after she was born.
I don’t embrace a lot of sayings, but we’ve come to adopt the motto: expect the unexpected, in the Theodore household. In those early weeks, as we tried to wait patiently for Zoey to grow and learn how to do so many things that other babies are born knowing how to do, like breathe on her own and eat on her own, the idea of her at the six month mark was pretty hard to imagine. And now, at the six month mark, it’s hard to believe all that she’s been through and all that she’s overcome.
|This is the hat Zoey was wearing the first time I held her at nine days old. I almost cried when I found it in one of her drawers because I couldn't believe that it had actually fit her at one point.|
Zoey is a fighter. When she was about two or three days old, the neonatologist on duty came into my hospital room at about 5 am to tell Tom and I that Zoey’s left lung had collapsed for the second time. They had had to reinsert the chest tube (leaving her with a second scar) and were able to reopen the lung. He told us that she was resting comfortably and that our little girl was feisty, which to them was the best thing that a baby could be. It was a word that more than one doctor used to describe her through those nine weeks. At home, we’ve dubbed her “Feisty Pants” (if you’ve seen Frozen, you might recognize this) and it describes her perfectly. While she is an incredibly easy baby, who has been known to sleep 20-22 hours a day (sorry to all you moms who have quite the opposite problem), when she is awake, she’s moving, talking, and kicking her little legs. Her huge, beautiful eyes are often as wide open as they could possibly be taking in everything around her. Her infectious smile, much like her big sister’s, lights up my whole life.
At six months old, Zoey is 11 lbs 9 oz, which means she is almost four and a half times bigger than she was when she was born. She is 24 inches long and it seems as though she may end up taking after her dad in her long, lean frame. She is in mostly three month clothes, but her little legs are too long for three month one piece outfits, so in those she is swimming a little in six month ones.
She is a very happy, smiley, sleepy girl. She’s very vocal, looks like she may be close to rolling over from her back to her tummy, but HATES tummy time! You would think we were actually torturing her. As a result, she makes little to no effort (at least at home, just like Tera, she sometimes likes to show off at daycare) to lift her head while lying on her tummy. It’s as if she’s doing it out of spite to show us how much she truly despises having to be in that position. On the plus side, she has decent neck and trunk control while we’re holding her. Our experience as parents of a child with special needs reminds us that she will get there, but it also reminds us of the activities and interventions we may need to do to help her get there. She’s also batting at toys above her and adores looking at and playing with her hands, which is adorable of course. Do I sound like a proud mom? I hope so because both these girls completely and utterly amaze me with their ability to defy odds and fight for everything they do.
Unfortunately I wish we could say that we were able to celebrate this special day a little more, but Tera decided to spend Zoey’s anniversary getting sick so we’re back on Tera sick watch. And now I need to get some rest since we never know for sure how these nights will go. Happy Half Birthday to my sweet little Feisty Pants!