Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Sebastian... 4 years old!!

Wow, I completely cannot believe that you are four years old!! I can't believe, that four years ago, on this day, I was going to an ultrasound with your dad to just double check that everything was okay with you, and that I had a physio appointment booked for after that (I had a broken leg and it wasn't healing well!!). And I remember that ultrasound appointment well, as so many people had to come and look. We knew something was wrong, but nobody would say anything until the next person checked it out, and 3 techs, and two doctors later, someone finally talked. You were sick. You were really really sick. They would have liked to give me some shots to help your lungs along, but there wasn't time for that. You were too sick. If they didn't get you out, you weren't going to make it. You had hydrops and the outcome was unknown, but if you weren't delivered, you wouldn't be with us. That part they knew for sure. What a scary moment. All we wanted for you was to be okay. It's funny though, I somehow knew you were going to be born that day. So when they suggested that, I wasn't shocked, I was just so incredibly afraid for you and whether or not you'd be okay.

And, after you were delivered, I barely got a glimpse of you, before they whisked you away to the NICU to work on you. You were already ventilated and things weren't going well. You began with a very rocky start and hour by hour, you got worse, not better. They brought out more treatment options and different machines to help you along. They had to prioritize the tests they did on you, because you had hardly any blood and they needed to do transfusions. It was very scary. But you were a little fighter. And as the days passed, you gave us some scares, but slowly you got better. It was amazing to watch you meet the different NICU milestones. Peeing, pooping (these were huge!!), getting off different medications, getting off the ventilator, getting off the nitric oxide, weighing in at 1 kilogram (2.2lbs) was a huge one, holding your temperature, tolerating breast milk, passing your hearing screen, moving from the isolette to a cot, getting off oxygen. It was a tough road you took in the beginning, but your resilience and zest for life were apparent early on.

I remember when we finally got to take you home. I was amazed that the hospital actually trusted us to take care of you. I mean, what did we know!! We had never been parents before, yet, here we were, responsible for all your needs. It seemed like such a huge responsibility and then you add in the part where we didn't have any machines at home to monitor you, and it seemed so scary!! But, we figured it out. Of course two weeks after you were discharged you were back in the hospital having eye surgery and a hernia repair surgery!! That was scary. I remember you in your little green scrubs and carrying you down to the surgery ward. And then leaving you with the nurses after talking to both doctors who would be doing the surgeries, back to back. And then waiting to hear how things went, and then watching you back in the ICU again, back on a ventilator, then back on oxygen, hoping and praying you'd come off it (which you did!!).

And then you began to grow and change. It was amazing watching you discover the world around you. We didn't get to do a whole lot of social stuff. RSV season is a very scary time for preemies and we didn't want to expose you to anything, so for the most part, we kept you out of social settings. We still went to the dog park most days. And that was nice.

Then you started to develop. There was rolling over, and tummy time, and sitting and crawling and all that good stuff. Because you were so small when you were born, you didn't have the muscle strength of other babies your age, so some things took a little bit longer to do. That's okay though, because you still did them all. I remember when we signed you up for your first race, we didn't even know if you'd be walking or not!! But you were and you finished it. Talking also took a bit longer, but here you are, turning four years old, and at your assessment last week, had the vocabulary expected of someone 5 years, 8 months old. You totally rocked all your speech and language tests!! You still have some fine motor challenges, but we're working on it. And I have no doubt you'll catch up with that too!!

So Sebastian, who are you right now? You are this amazing little boy. You say the sweetest things and are super affectionate. You love cuddling and you love being with people. You always have a hug for me or dad and you are becoming an incredible big brother to Sullivan. You help him out with things, you give him toys, you share (well, sometimes anyhow), and when you do happen to knock your brother over, you are quick to apologize and give him a hug. You love dinosaurs, and trains. You love your blue blanket and sleep with it most every night. And ever since Sullivan got his Giuseppe bunny, you have been attached to your musical blue puppy. You love anything electronic and love talking on the phone to people now. You love dancing with me and your brother to songs like "I gotta feeling", "just dance" and "paper planes". And you enjoy the They Might Be Giants kids albums, with your favourite songs being "Bloodmobile", "A Shooting Star is Not A Star", and "7". Movies, your favourites are Peter Pan, Shrek, Toy Story 2, Beauty and the Beast, Alladin, Monsters Inc, and Up. And television, you love the Backyardigans (Robot Rampage!!), Super Why, Dinosaur Train, Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Special Agent Oso. And you love books!! You love all kinds of stories, and have pretty much learned all the letters of the alphabet now. You love playing on the computer at

Foods, well, they are challenging. Eating isn't your strongest suit, but you do love your cookies, especially Oreos and Chips Ahoy. You love grapefruit and avocado. And toast, you love toast, with Nutella, raspberry jam, peanut butter, and most recently, honey. And your all time favourite eating out food is McDonalds chicken and fries. You also love the kids hot chocolate from Starbucks, which you drink with a straw. You are becoming quite the little chef and love helping me make puffed wheat squares or cookies or pretty much anything where you get to stir and measure.

You are in preschool and doing quite well with that (well, except for Monday, when you fell at the gym and ended up with a bleeding nose). You enjoy swimming, and finally passed Sea Turtle on the third try (you aren't a big fan of sticking your head in the water!!). You have taken skating lessons, and are still finding your balance on the ice. And you are in sportball, and doing quite well at that. But far and away, your favourite exercise is running. If we strap the garmin watch on your wrist, you would run for hours. You love having little races and told me you want to run a race with me. So I am thinking we might run Mother's Day together this year!!

Sebastian, every day you amaze me with what an incredible little boy you are. You are sweet and kind and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. I am amazed at how far you've come since your beginning when you weighed only 1 pound 13 ounces (830grams). You truly are a miracle, and I am thankful every day to have you in my life. You make me smile and laugh all the time. You are my best little buddy!! Thank you for all that you are, and I look forward to all that you will be. You are amazing and I love you!!