Monday, January 23, 2012

Mikaela - 1 year

Mikaela is one. Looking back on the year, it’s been quite a ride. From the beginning, Mikaela has wanted to do things her own way. She’s little, but she’s strong and knows what she wants. Even at this young age, I can see her determination. But yes, it’s been quite a year. With Mikaela, I was on bedrest for 3 weeks and was eventually scheduled for an inducement because she wasn’t growing enough. On the day we were scheduled to check into the hospital, there weren’t enough beds when we called in at our scheduled 5am time. It wasn’t until later the evening of the 13th that we finally got checked into the hospital. After one failed epidural, an episode of rapidly dropping blood pressure, near fainting and then finally vomiting from the low blood pressure shock, a second epidural, bleeding at the site of the anesthia needle, which lead to the epidural being removed, Mikaela refused to budge. Only after the epidural had had enough time to wear off, and once midnight had passed, ensuring that she wouldn’t spend her first birthday on Friday the 13th, did Mikaela suddenly decide it was time to make her grand entrance. At 1:23am, she greeted the world in a hurry.
From day 1, Mikaela had a tougher introduction to the outside world. She immediately had to have her kidneys checked and had to be seen by a cardiologist due to issues discovered while I was pregnant. Thankfully everything checked out fine. However, despite my round the clock nursing, she still wasn’t gaining enough weight, and she was getting jaundice, so we started supplementing with formula. She continued to lose weight and turned even more yellow as her bilirubin levels increased. On the day we were supposed to check out of the hospital, her jaundice had not improved and we had to stay for extra testing. Thankfully we were allowed to go home later that day, but had to bring Mikaela back to the labs for bloodwork several more times. The jaundice eventually went away, but Mikaela didn’t get any easier to care for. She wanted to be held all the time, only sleeping when she was in my arms, tucked tightly against my body. And she suffered from bad gas which kept her, and me, completely miserable as she cried and cried at night. And her peak periods of wakefulness were always between 2-4am. Thankfully, Austin took those hours to give me a chance to get some sleep. But that too passed, and now, she’s the easiest baby ever when it comes to sleeping. For nap times, I can leave her in crib wide awake, she’ll roll onto her belly, stick her butt straight up in the air, grab her bunny and then look at me as if to say, ok you can leave, I’m ready to sleep. And so I leave, while she’s wide awake, and she doesn’t even cry. She just puts her self to sleep. Amazing really. Night time is the same thing. I try to rock her and sing her a lullabye as part of her night time ritual. But on some nights, when she sees her crib, she strains to get into it not wanting to be rocked anymore.
Mikaela’s health “non” issues didn’t cease with jaundice. By 6 months, her pediatrician detected a murmur, so we had to see a cardiologist yet again, thankfully it was nothing serious, and she should grow out of it. By 9 months, she was diagnosed as being anemic and had to be given iron supplements. At 12 months, despite the iron supplements, her red blood cell count has decreased, so we need to take her for more blood work to determine if she a genetic disorder called Thalassemia, nothing serious, but still just one more thing to have to check.
Between the two girls, if our pediatrician had a points system, we would be diamond members. In December, in a span of 14 days, we went to the pediatricians office 5 times. But all in all, these are really “non” issues. Non issues because if anything, we’re just dealing with minor annoyances. Overall, MIkaela, (both my girls really) are completely healthy. It really is miraculous to think about how much has to go right in order for a person to be completely healthy.
Health issues aside. Mikaela has become our easy child. When she’s upset, she’s easily pacified, just pick her up, or give her food. Either option is sure to calm her down.
She loves to eat, everything except baby food that is. She is done with baby food. She wants what we’re eating, and if you don’t give it to her, she starts screaming at you. She knows how to sign for more, and all done, but she’s found that screaming is much more effective. She points at food that she wants, and then opens her mouth wide and says, “AHH”. She’ll give you one or two tries to get the food to her before she starts shrieking at you. She loves sweets, chocolate, ice cream, cake, you name it. She practically jumped out of her highchair in excitement when she saw me eating a cupcake the other day. Her favorite toy to play with right now is a wooden spoon and a toy pot, which she likes to stir, and then feed you with. She’ll hold out the spoon to you and say, “ahh” Then when you take a pretend bite, she cracks up laughing. I’ve decided she’s either going to become a chef, or just obese.
She still loves to snuggle and cuddle. Even if she’s content, playing on the floor, if you come by and pick her up, she’ll tuck her head right under your chin and snuggle up. This is why she doesn’t have any desire to walk though. She is literally always being carried, because everyone loves cuddling with her.
She loves music, she’ll sing and dance with you at the first signs of a beat.
She’ll imitate people around her, she’ll stick her tongue out at you if you ask her to, she’ll cough if she hears someone cough.
She loves Naomi and is starting to want to play with her, and play with whatever toys Naomi is playing with. We’re starting to get into some minor fights over toys..Mikaela usually ends up the victor. She has an iron grip, and Naomi lives in fear of being punished if she hurts the baby. Which by the way, she calls Mikaela “Sweetheart” and can’t talk to her in a normal voice, when she talks to Mikaeala, her voice goes up squeaky high as she says, “sweet heart….” Mikaela is mischevious though. Naomi is pretty good about sharing her toys with Mikaela, but the one thing she generally wont share is her “mimi” her lambie, security toy. (describing mimi in this post doesn’t do mimi justice, one of these days she’ll have her own post. That’s how important she is). But Naomi is always putting Mimi down, leaving her on the floor, the table, the shelf etc. And Mikaela is obsessed with Mimi. As soon as she sees that Naomi has put Mimi down, Mikaela will giggle, smile, cackle whatever you want to call it, and crawl like lightning mcqueen, and grab Mimi. She doesn’t just pick Mimi up though. She’ll grab Mimi by the head, clutch it to her body and squeal with delight. Which then of course causes Naomi to look up, realize what has happened, and snatch Mimi back.
As much as she loves Naomi though, Mikaela’s new favorite is Daddy. She’s a daddy’s girl through and through. Don’t try to take her away from Daddy or she’ll scream at you.
Mikaela is so incredibly little, still fitting 3 month clothes despite her 1yr of age. Everyone looks at her and can’t believe she’s already 1. But don’t let her tininess fool you. I expect big things from Mikaela. She’s already proven to us how much she can overcome, and how big of a personality she has. Happy Birthday Mikaela, thank you for making our family complete.

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"Birthday girl"


Janet said...

happy birthday again mikaela!
my mom and i both have thalassemia. yeah, nothing major but apparently it's not that uncommon among asian females.

beawei said...

Happy Birthday Little buddy. Hope to see you soon and play chef with you and your sister,perhaps Mimi too!

Anonymous said...

I can read this again and again.I miss mikaela a lot and wish her a happy birthday. i think grandpa does think of her a lot too. both girls are priceless jewels and they are so fortunate to have each other.
take care and hoping to hold them both soon.

haewon said...

What a sweet post. I didn't know you had such a difficult delivery... You're an amazing mom! I love your girls. :)