Thursday, June 10, 2010
WHAT A YEAR!!!
One year ago today (well, June 10th. I started writing this on her birthday), at 1:32am, Calleigh Catherine arrived just over a month early. She weighed in at 6 pounds even and was 18.5 inches long. It was a surprise for her to arrive so early but an even bigger surprise when she was sent off to the NICU. We knew she had the cleft lip and whole in her heart but we were in no way prepared for a 31 day stay in the NICU.
I was shocked and saddened when I wasnn't allowed to hold or touch her for almost a week. This is the first time I got to hold her.
We had no idea she would need major surgery at just nine days old and wind up with a colostomy bag for almost 7 months. We had NEVER heard of Hirshprungs Disease. Now, we are experts on the disease. Three major surgeries later and a few scary trips to the ER along the way (remember when I had to do CPR on her at 8 weeks. Well, I certainly do and have yet to get those 10 years it took off my life back) BUT we made it!
Through it all, Calleigh has been nothing but a joy. A ray of sunshine in our lives. How she has smiled and laughed has amazed and inspired me. I mean, how can I complain about anything when this child who has been in lots of pain has not shed tears? She is a trooper. She is a fighter. She is living up to the "fiesty red head" stereo type. She has managed to wrap one man and three mini men around her finger in a very short period of time. Frank and the boys are useless when she smiles at them. They all just turn to mush. Ciaran has found his purpose in life, and I am not kidding. His love for Calleigh and his need to constantly be near her is at some times overwhelming. I have given up asking him to leave her alone. The look on her face is pure love and adoration. Who am I to take that away from her? SHe searches for him if you say his name. I have a feeling many a boy will have to endure the wrath of Ciaran when they try to go near his sister. And trust me, Ciaran is no joke. He may be "long and lean" (as we like to call him and he hates it) but he is scapper and can hold his own. He would never pick a fight. Never hit someone other than his brothers (LOL) but I would hate to be on the other end if you did somthing to one of his siblings let alone Calleigh first.
Calleigh continues to gain strength and reach new milestones. It's like her brain wants to do everything but her body just isn't quite ready. She really wasn't allowed to do much while she had the colostomy so now given the opportunites she is flourishing. She can sit all by herself, roll around, she can show you one finger to say she's one years old. She isn't crawling or walking yet but she will get there. The once NON EATING child has turned into an eating machine. If she sees the food and then you don't give it to her immediately you will HEAR about it. She loves her solid foods. We go for her one year visit tomorrow and will have stats on her weight and height but I think she might actually, have broken the 17 pound mark for her birthday!
We followed up with the plastic surgeon yesterday and all is going well. Her scar right now is at it's worst and I was a little concerned but the surgeon said it SHOULD look it's worst 8-12 weeks post surgery. So we are on target. She will be seeing another doctor to put a small stent in her nose to keep her nostril open so it stays equal to the other. Her kidney reflux has pretty much resolved itself and we were pretty sure it was going to need surgery (thank god). Her acid reflux is gone and she is no longer medicated. Her hiney is fully functioning so the colostomy reversal was a success. Her MRI of her brain was totally normal. SHe had two holes in her heart. One has closed itself (VSD) and the other (ASD) is still open but showing signs of closing. The only thing we can't do anything about is the Duane Syndrome in her eye. It bothers me it can't be fixed but we are lucky because her eye is fully functioning. It just won't move to the right (just her right eye). Maybe in the future we will be able to correct it.
Calleigh's pediatrician, who I love to death, told me when she was about six months old "by the time this baby is a year she will be just your typical one year old". At the time, I honestly didn't believe him. If I am really being honest I spent most of this first year of her life praying she would survive it. I know it sounds morbid but I have feared every day she just woulnd't make it. I have not slept much this year. Calleigh has slept through the night since 4 months but I was scared every night. I constantly thougth if I didn't check her something would happen. It just all seemed like so much so such a little baby. I am so happy my Doctor was right. Today, she is just a perfect little princess well on her way.