Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Looking Back on Ten Years

When did that happen? Is seems like just a short while ago we were bringing my daughter home from the hospital and now she's 10...

Her birth was a fairly typical one, sure it was a c-section, but it was scheduled and not at all a surprise (her older brother had been breach.) I'll never forget how happy her Grandma was to finally, after having four wonderful grandsons, finally buy something pink! I, too, was happy to be bringing home a little girl; with two little ones - one boy and one girl - my family was now complete.

But we didn't stay happy for long...

K had colic. If she wasn't eating or sleeping, she was screaming. It was such a stressful time. We tried everything. In probably my least-proud-mama-moment I actually laid her down in her crib and went outside for a few minutes. I. Just. Needed. Quiet. I needed quiet or I was going to snap. We were all on edge,sleep deprived and grouchy. 

(That was her happy face.)

We tried everything. Could she be allergic to something? Should I cut X, Y or Z out of my diet? Could she be lactose intolerant? Try soy formula. (I was nursing.) After two months of screaming, we finally realized that when she ate from a bottle she screamed a little bit less. Our lactation consultant suggested that could indicate she might have reflux. The next day we visited the pediatrician and left with a prescription for an acid-suppressing drug.  I'll tell you, after two solid months of pretty much constant screaming I was willing to try anything!

"Either it will work or it won't," the pediatrician said. "Since it won't stay in her body there's no danger in giving it a try."  About 15 minutes after that first dose, she was a different child. We actually saw smiles; she was happy because she didn't have stomach acid eating away at her esophagus any more. It was miraculous.

After that she was fairly typical baby until she hit nine months; that's when she got her first urinary tract infection (although we didn't know that's what it was at the time.) She just got sick: lethargic, feverish and unhappy, but there were no other symptoms - no ear redness, no runny nose, no diarrhea. Finally, after nine days, the wonderful Island nurse said, " I wonder if she could have a UTI?" 

How he managed to get a catheter into a squirming nine month-old I don't know, but sure enough she had a serious infection. It was so bad that they sent us to the hospital in Petoskey. We stayed for three days so she could get IV antibiotics.

We've been dealing with recurrent UTIs ever since, but she's a trooper. I'm always proud of her diligence in following "doctor's orders."

Then, when she was three, she was hospitalized again - that time for a serious eye infection.

And of course, when she was four, it was confirmed that she had nerve deafness in her right ear. And while each of these incidents seemed huge at the time when I reflect upon them today, they don't seem like such a big deal. Compared to the trials and tribulations of several of my friends, my experiences with K were nothing more than little bumps in the road.

Watching her grow and change has been a wonderful journey; watching her change, while at her core she is still herself. The hardest part is knowing there are fewer years of having her home ahead than there are behind.

She is still desperate to legally drive a snowmobile (and to have to body mass to make sharp corners.)

She has always been an excellent student, although her current teacher (a.k.a Mom) regularly comments on both her atrocious handwriting and the fact that there is no first place trophy for completing assignments first.   

And now she's ten: she loves to read, is fiercely independent, stubborn, a talented artist and a wonderful thinker. I'm often impressed by the questions she asks. Sure she is working on being kinder to her brother, keeping her room clean and picking up after herself - but that's what ten is all about.

Happy birthday K.
I love you.


IndyGram said...

Sweet commentary on her journey. She has a very sweet side, telling me she just likes to make people happy, walking with her Gramp at a slower pace and chatting non-stop with him. Just thinking about her with a tummy ache and UTI as an infant makes me sad. No wonder she cried! Love you Ms. K.

KCina said...

My daughter turned 10 yesterday too!! BLINK, how did THAT happen!! Happy birthday to your Miss K!! :)

kate said...

Aw, happy birthday to K, and happy birth day to Mom. And those glasses in the last picture are the bomb!!