My Tiny is 18 months old today.
In 18 months she has grown into her own independent, happy go lucky, contemplative, TINY human being.
Although born 10 weeks early at only 1lb 10 oz, she finally made the growth chart last month when she hit 17 lbs.
She IS a miracle. A miracle that the doctors cannot explain. At 20 weeks gestation, I was advised that termination might be the best option for her, because she was so far behind in growth. If her twin was to live, they thought she needed to go. Instead, her twin did all that she could, despite her failing heart and underdeveloped lungs, fluid building up continuously in her body, to do what she needed to do so that Tiny had a chance to survive.
At 26 weeks she pulled a little trick that probably saved her life. When they noticed reverse end diastolic flow (in other words, she was sending fluid in reverse through the umbilical cord) it was determined that we had to be hospitalized. Dr. B thought they would be born soon. Had she been born then, it would have been a quick goodbye. But, it seems that she knew that she needed more fluids, oxygen, and for mommy to be in the hospital bed getting all of that for four more weeks. So that’s what we did.
You decided to fight it. Our surviving twin.
My sweet little preemie. After 12 weeks in the NICU, we finally got to bring you home. And for weeks I could not sleep, so terrified that you would die in your sleep without any machines to let us know that you had stopped breathing.
But you didn’t.
Even though you came home with a G tube “feeding tube” surgically implanted into your abdomen, you were drinking your bottles in no time. You amazed everyone by how quickly you were feeding without needing the tube, and after 3 months, it came out.
Your physical therapist cried tears of pure joy as we watched you crawl the first time. You met incredible milestones, just a little bit behind schedule. But you met them. And we were amazed. The PT said she had never discharged a baby from her care so quickly.
You started walking at 17 months. Not altogether that far off track. But we all laugh because you are still so tiny and you look like a nine month old walking around. I call you my little duckling because you look like a tiny little fuzzy duckling waddling quickly from place to place.
You are so serious! Oh the things you must know! It is apparent that you have a wise soul. You take in all of your surroundings and refuse to give up smiles unless they are truly merited.
You are our special baby. I watch your daddy watch you, and I see in his eyes what I know must also be reflected in mine.
We are lucky and blessed to have you.
Forever only half of a duo, but you fill my heart. You make me smile.
And I thank you for fighting so hard to stay with us.
I love you more than words can ever express.