Wow, apparently my little man is not so little any more. I can't believe you are five years old!! I can't believe it's been five years since that very scary day when we welcomed you into this world twelve weeks before you were ready!! I still remember it like it was yesterday and I will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses that saved your life!! They truly gave us a miracle when they gave us you. I know the beginning was scary, and you probably will never truly understand just how sick you were, but a quick recap for you anyhow...
We went to the ultrasound, and after lengthy secret discussions, they sent us to Foothills, and a few short hours later you were born at 1300hrs weighing just 1pound 13 ounces (830grams). You were intubated almost immediately, due to the fact that you couldn't breath on your own. And, very quickly, all your medications started up. You took meds for blood pressure issues, meds to paralyze you so you wouldn't fight the machines, meds for pain, meds for your heart, a fat drip, an IV, and soon it was blood transfusions. And then the ventilator you were on wasn't good enough so they moved you to the oscillating one. And then they added nitric oxide, and you were maxing out on that. There was nothing else they could do, if you didn't start responding then the course of treatment would change drastically.
Our heads were spinning from all the new things we had to learn. You were our miracle, but you had a long road ahead of you, including a real test at only one week old when you coded. That was scary. Really scary. Once again though, the doctors and nurses were there to help. That was a real turning point for you. I mean, the road was still rough, don't get me wrong, but at least we talked in days and not hours when talking to the doctor.
You've had your challenges. The bowel perforation, the eye surgery, two different hernia surgeries, delays in speech, gross motor, fine motor. But through it all you have been this amazing little guy. Truly, our super trooper.
We look at you today, and seriously, you blow us away with how far you've come. I have no idea how we were chosen to be your parents, but I so grateful to have you for a son. God truly gave us a gift when He gave you to us. I will spend the rest of my life being the best parent I can to you (and your brother), because truly, I am the lucky one!!
So, you started out as this tiny little 28 week baby, and now you are five. You have rock star glasses (with transition lenses), that are new from January, and you look very stylish in those. You have an incredible smile. You give the best hugs. You say the sweetest things.
You started gymnastics this year, and today is your last day of this session. You have learned so much in gymnastics!! You can do a somersault, log roll, stork stand, walk across the balance beam, koala hang on the bars, and you especially love the foam pits!! You took skating lessons again this year, for the first time, without a parent!! You are now in Sunfish for swimming lessons, and you have done great with Sportball.
You completed your second block of preschool treatment and although you are still very delayed with fine motor skills, we have been working very hard to get you excited about fine motor stuff, and eating better. You've done another feeding assessment (with yet another one to happen in April). Although, truly, in the last three months, your eating (specifically using cutlery), has come a long way. And soon, you will be going back to perinatal for your final assessments. We are both excited and nervous for that visit (another long morning at the hospital with test after test after test). You also started rock climbing and I take you every week or two and my goodness, one of these days, you are going to get to the easy button!!
You love reading stories. Favourites lately include "Believe In KatieLynn" (about a preemie baby, that makes mom cry almost when she reads it to you), any book about the body, and any book about pirates. You love playing playmobil and setting up scenarios for emergency responders (usually traffic accidents or fires, enabling all three emergency services to come out, including STARS!!).
You are becoming an amazing big brother. You will help Sully set up track for the trains, and often play trains with him, or playmobil, or you try and convince him to play upstairs with you, where you usually hijack your dad's phone and play "Bad" by Michael Jackson, while dancing. You also love listening and dancing to Kate Perry, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Coldplay and They Might Be Giants. If you are going through the ipod on dad's phone, you will search until you find Fix You by Coldplay and come play it for me (because it was one of the songs from the torch relay).
You are also starting to help around the house. You are excellent at letting Cronos in and out. You help with the cooking sometimes, and especially like helping out with puffed wheat squares!! You are hanging up your own jacket and making efforts to keep your toys neater. I appreciate your efforts at all this!!
You are in your second year of preschool and doing really well, bringing home all kinds of arts and crafts, swimming, trips to the library, climbing, and I'm sure more to come!! And wow, next year you will be in kindergarten. We did a lot of research and toured a few schools and talked with speech pathology at perinatal, the nurse at perinatal and other parents and finally settled on putting you in french immersion. I'm excited for you to learn another language and looking forward to helping you with it.
You have been such an amazing part of our lives little man, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for your smiles. Thanks for your willingness to try new things. Thanks for being such a good brother to Sullivan. Thanks for being such an incredible son. We are so grateful to have you in our lives!!
Love, Mom, Dad, Sullivan and Cronos the Super Dog
"we have to clean this world, it's the only one we've got"
"mom, I don't want cookies, I want a healthy snack"
"can I have your phone" (seriously, we hear this probably 50 times a day!!)
"mom, can you pretend I'm a little baby in the hospital and you are coming to visit me? Don't forget to wash your hands"
"I have a great idea..."
"Extra kiss and hug!!"