Today was so much fun. Millie and I met up with Ian and Erica, and our friend Angela and her three kids at Stepping Stones Children's Museum in CT. Here are the baby ladies admiring Ian's legs:
They had an area just for toddlers, and Miss Bea went nuts for it! As soon as we entered Tot Land, she found a friendly pig to accompany her on all her adventures. We were there for 3 hours, and she walked around by herself the whole time! She is feeling very powerful in this new stage and it is such a joy to watch her go about her important business.
What a busy week! MB had her first visit to the dentist, did some gardening, made solstice sun bread, visited with baby Ana in Brooklyn, and went strawberry & cherry picking! I'm tired just thinking about all that! Or maybe I'm tired because it's past midnight... Either way, enjoy these photos of the little queen :)
We finally had our post-op MRI two days ago at NYU. Millie was (sadly) under full anesthesia in order to get a special motion-imaging scan done that will show us if her spinal cord is freely moving about now (which it is supposed to be doing). Those results are still being processed, but luckily we were able to meet with her Neuro-surgeon in his office right after the MRI and see the still pictures. He says her scar is healing beautifully, and the scar tissue in the scan looks great. He even pointed out the part in her back where he "opened the bone like a book" to get to the spinal cord. Unreal.
So, the motion-imaging will either give us good results or be inconclusive. The fluid at the base of her spine is still there (bad news), but that will be monitored with yearly MRIs from here-on-out. We have more specialists to meet with in the mean time, but luckily we can do that here in northern Westchester with referrals from her pediatrician. Even though Millie has started walking, the nurse was quick to remind us that the outward signs of mobility don't necessarily mean that no nerve damage has been done.
We are just trying to take this all as it comes and remain realistic and open-minded, but in our hearts Brady and I feel like the worst is over and our sweet lamb will be ok. From the very beginning we just *knew* that we were heading for surgery and even though it was hard to believe, we made peace with it. Certainly there are many more people with worse situations, which we are reminded of at these appointments when we see children with stitches in their skulls being brought about in wheelchairs by their parents. We are lucky that Millie has no neurological damage, we are lucky that our pediatrician caught this early, we are lucky to have access to major city doctors at the top of their fields. Not a day has gone by since our sweet baby was born that we don't tell each other how lucky we are to have such a wonderful girl. We say all the time that in our wildest dreams we couldn't have imagined a more perfect, beautiful, loving girl. We tell her all the time that if we could pick from all the babies in the whole world, we would pick her a million times over.
This is starting to get mushy, so how about some pictures? Brady and I do like to take photos during her recovery (just to remember the moment), but I decided not to post them because they're a bit grim and it seems like a little violation of her privacy. Anyways, here are some happy ones :)
Daddy and Millie playing with the swivel chair while waiting for her MRI, silly wallpaper in Dr. Wisoff's exam room, and the Miracle Man himself!!!
A portrait of Millie, once a week, every week, as a one year old.
My little Queen Bea had a monumental week as far as developmental milestones go. On Thursday she took her first steps. While playing in her bedroom after tubs she stood up from her armchair and just started walking. Of course, being the cautious and ever-aware baby that she is, as soon as we pointed it out and got excited she became shy about it. When we begged her to do it again she would look down, do a double point at the ground, and start mumbling/reasoning with us "Yeah.. oh yeah? Yeah...". She took a few steps about 5 times that night, and a couple of nights since. Very exciting.
She is also working on teeth numbers 9 and 10... bottom molars!!! Can you believe that? They are BIG. For a couple of days I've been able to feel the top points, then today was a breakthrough (pun intended) day. This afternoon I finally saw them: 3 points on each side and sore-looking pink gums all around them. After her nap she just wanted to be held, so we made banana walnut bread together to have for breakfast this week. By the time I needed to start dinner she was having a really hard time with the teeth and didn't want to be put down, so we ended up having warm banana bread and fruit salad for dinner! Wild times in Peekskill...
Daddy was working hard outside ripping down our old fence, so we visited with him a while and then went upstairs for tubs. By that time she was really upset (because of the tooth pain), and was having a string of fits. I must say though, she is getting very creative with them. She did everything she could think of to avoid and/or protest my request that she sit on her pot for a pee before tubs. First she grabbed her changing pad and leaned it against the cabinet (like a ramp) and tried to crawl up it. I was getting frustrated and kept putting it back down, but she did it again and again while I was running the bath water and getting her toothbrush ready. Finally I put my foot on it and told her again it was time to try the pot. So this time she took out the bin that holds her cloth wipes, grabbed them all up in a big armful, and stuffed them into the bowl of her pot! I could't make this stuff up if I tried...
Anyways, I tried to wash her hair quickly because she was so upset, and while she was crying I saw that her molars were almost all the way through. Poor little thing. I felt bad for getting frustrated with her, but it was nothing that a little game of "put the bath toy on my head and pretend I can't find it" couldn't fix. We had a good laugh, some naked pigs, and then a dose of tasty medicine. Now I just hope she gets a good sleep.
* standing and lifting up objects (toys, laundry basket, etc)
* giving the sweetest, snuggliest, cuddle-hugs you can imagine, to Mama, Dada, and all her stuffed animals.
* filling her walker-wagon with anything she passes by... currently in the wagon she has 5 board books, a sand shovel, a piece of wooden fruit, and the third season DVDs of Arrested Development. The girl knows how to shop.
* wiping the table after she eats, putting her toys away, and cleaning up her play dough when she's done
* finally started signing for "potty" (but still giggles about it!!)