Today is Sadie's half-birthday. She is officially 2 and a half years old today. So, I wanted to celebrate this day/commemorate this day by documenting all the things she CAN do that we were told she never would when she was born...
When Sadie was born, she didn't do anything. Her eyes were closed, she was kept alive by machines, she had constant seizures that they couldn't control, and there was no gag reflex or swallowing present at all. The only reaction we could get out of her in the NICU was to tickle the bottoms of her feet, and she would twitch, and we'd get so excited about it! Now, she can breathe and swallow and open her eyes. She is awake and alert and even interactive! She smiles and vocalizes her wants and needs (like "get me off my tummy!" or "I'm done sitting on my knees like this!")
Sadie nursed for 14 months before she started aspirating and lost interest. Sure, she has a G-tube, but she can eat pureed food. And lately, we haven't been thickening her food as much and she's doing really well with it! In a couple of weeks we're going to start with small amounts of liquid through the syringe in her mouth...thickened of course! And we're also going to start working on soft pastas and rice to get her to start learning to chew.
Sadie sleeps in a big girl bed all night. If she wakes up, it's because something hurts or she's hungry. She rarely has a bad night anymore and usually sleeps for 10-13 hours! When she was littler, we were up for 2 hours in the middle of the night, almost every night. I watched a lot of movies back then. We had frequent nights where one of us would have to sleep in Sadie's bed with her, or be in her room rocking her until she fell asleep. Those were hard times.
We are currently working on big goals like sitting, which I think she will eventually do. Grabbing toys with her hands and putting things in her mouth is another goal and she's so close to doing this...the hand splints are helping with this a lot. And communicating yes and no so that we can start potty training!
Sadie knows the people who are regularly in her life. Obviously she knows her mom and dad. She will often be distracted when I walk across the room, because she can see me. When Daddy has been gone out of town, she knows when he comes home and gets excited as soon as she can hear his voice, and if he doesn't come say hi to her and give her a kiss like, immediately, she will protest! She knows her therapists that come work with her each week, as well as Chelsea, who does respite care for us. And of course, she knows Grandpa. I think Sadie has a special bond with Grandpa.
Going out with Sadie used to be something we would avoid at all costs if we could. She would scream in the car the entire way, then we'd have a really hard time calming her down when we got there. Sometimes we would bring the bouncy chair to restaurants with us, to weddings with us, to other people's houses definitely. We even resorted to drugs when we had to drive to California...or sometimes just in public places. Now, Sadie enjoys the car and doesn't scream at all. We can take her to restaurants and she can sit and be happy the entire time we're eating. We can take her shopping and not have to worry about meltdowns. And I love that I can take her to other people's houses to visit or play or swim and actually enjoy myself instead of being stressed out the whole time.
Sadie is now 2 and a half years old. Officially. She is a big girl. She is a happy girl. And I'm so glad that she's my girl!