Kaia is three!
I get all nostalgic at this time of the year, remembering Kaia's birth and the days surrounding it. Yesterday I was talking with Brian doing the 'remember what we were doing three years ago'...
We were told around 6pm on the night of the 8th that 'Acorn' wasn't moving around as much on the ultrasound scan I'd had earlier that day, and that my score was only a 4/8 on the Biophysical profile, which made my doctor decide that I'd be having an urgent C-section within the next 24 hours. Funny how that was the ultrasound I had to push for. I remember them telling me that morning that pPROM moms usually only had weekly ultrasounds, not twice weekly, but I insisted, not because I thought anything (more than usual) was wrong, but because I just wanted the piece of mind going into the weekend. At the time, I wondered if they were jumping the gun with the C-section, worried about having a 32 week preemie, but I was also relieved to get things moving, fearing every day that something worse was going to happen (bleeding! cord prolapse! infection! Oh my!) I don't know if anything bad would have happened if we'd left it to the next week, but in hindsight, I'm glad it happened the way it did.
It's a little sad remembering the actual day of Kaia's birthday. Although she had a rocky start, Kaia did well quite quickly (thank all the stars in the sky!!!), but I was taken up to the cardiac critical care unit and didn't see her beyond the 2 seconds that they showed her to me over the drape and the photos Brian took on his phone. At the time I didn't care (much) that I didn't get to see her, because I knew she was in the NICU and that's where she needed to be (and hey, my kid was ALIVE, so that was a giant step up from the last time I gave birth...), but it makes me a bit sad now to think "God, I didn't spend any time with my daughter on her actual birthday'. No snuggles. No hugs. No kisses. Just love and positive thoughts from 5 floors up.
We made up for it today on birthday #3. I basically let Kaia dictate the day and we spent all of it together. We had a picnic in the park. We watched her favourite cartoon (currently: Bubble Guppies). We read lots of books. We took her out for her favourite dinner (chicken and rice). We went to not one, not two, but three different playgrounds. It was the type of day a three year old likes. Minimal demands and lots of attention.
Just in case you are wondering, and because I need a place to jot them down to remember, here are some Kaia facts at age three:
-Food: peppers, raisins, rice, bread and peanut butter, cheese and most fruits and plain Timbits. Also, still loves her milk. Both white milk and now chocolate when she can get it.
-Toys: puzzles, drawing stuff (markers, chalk), her stuffed monkey Molly, and recently her doll Carley who she now likes to rock in the rocking chair (super cute!). Loves water play and will gladly stand at the bathroom sink or in the bathtub and play for thirty minutes or more at a time. It's a bit odd, but Kaia also loves to separate EVERYTHING into colours. She's taken just about anything that is 'hers' including hair ties, hats, stuffed animals, Lego, markers, the spongey floor tiles we had set up in the living room for her to play on, toy buckets, shirts, alphabet fridge magnets (ETC!!) and separated them into colour coordinated piles. It's amazing to watch. For some reason she always groups the things that are yellow and orange together, and the blacks and whites together, but then has separate piles for the blues, greens, reds and purples. Pink gets lumped in with red. Her favourite colours right now are pink and purple, so she tends to prize anything that has those colours on it.
-TV: Bubble Guppies. This is actually quite a cute show, and somewhat educational with lots of singing. Over the spring she was watching My Little Pony, but got kind of sick of it, which is probably a good thing since she's a bit young for it anyway.
-Music: My mom bought her a CD of Sharon, Lois and Bram which she loves. Favourites are Chicken in the Straw and 5 Little Monkeys. You should see her boogie when those ones come on.
-Books: Glad to say she likes just about everything and we have moved way beyond 'baby' books and into longer stories. Kaia always gets at least 2-3 (or more) books at bedtime, so I've tried to be more proactive in getting us to the library to look for new books as often as possible. I get bored reading the same ones over and over.
Other stuff: Kaia was daytime potty trained around the beginning of April, and now occasionally has dry diapers in the morning, so I'm wondering how soon to start night time potty training (any ideas?) She gets a big thrill out of using the potty and toilet at home, and at first was fine with using the toilet when we were out, but then after an couple of unfortunate incidents with self flushing toilets (HATE THOSE DAMN THINGS), she refuses to use the toilet when out. I get that she's afraid (of the noise? of being sucked down the drain?), but it's very inconvenient so I hope this doesn't last too long.
We switched her out of a crib at the end of March, and that was a breeze. I was worried she'd get up and wander around in the middle of the night so we have one of those child proof door knob covers on the inside of her door, but she never even gets out of bed alone. I still hear her over the baby monitor in the morning when she wakes up and I go in and she's always laying in bed. We've had a couple of 'falling out of bed' incidents but she always goes back to sleep quickly and they don't seem to bother her that much. She has given up her daytime nap over the winter, but sometimes I can still get her to go 'rest' in the afternoon in her bed for over an hour. She will talk to herself and look at books and drink her milk. It's a good break for the both of us.
Personality: Kaia remains a very affectionate kid. She loves giving hugs and kisses spontaneously with both Brian and I. She's still a cuddler. She smiles easily and often. She's caring, and if she hears another child crying in the vicinity, she will turn to us and say "Baby crying!!!" I hope to nurture that type of behaviour. Kaia is strong willed when it comes to things she does/doesn't want to do and generally still has at least one crying meltdown per day over something. These are frustrating, and I admit sometimes I handle them better than others. She gets excited about and interested in things easily, and is starting to want to 'help' more and more. Her babysitter says Kaia regularly goes to get the younger baby's diapers and wipes when it's time to change him, which makes me both proud and sad that she doesn't have a younger sibling to help. She is shy initially in groups, even around family members and tends to go mute at these times, reverting back to her baby grunts, whines and pointing...I swear some people probably think she can't talk yet, but as soon as she's comfortable LOOK OUT because she won't shut up! She likes to be the center of attention once she's warmed up.
Overall, parenting has been more rewarding, more engaging, more demanding and sometimes more frustrating than I imagined. I don't worry that I'm doing it wrong...but sometimes I wonder if I could be doing it more 'right'. Regardless, I still am thankful every day for my little miracle baby. The one I got to keep.
Happy Birthday Baby Girl.