We’re a far cry from the busy, overwhelming days of the NICU, a time when every day was a new adventure and it wasn’t always good news. Today was a lazy Saturday in Vancouver and the only thing on the agenda today was to cancel on a birthday party due to teething pains (sorry, Marty!) and go for a walk in the rain instead. Don and Nyana went out strolling through puddles while I stayed home wrapped up in pyjamas on the couch until three o’clock in the afternoon, just pondering the amazing little life that is Nyana.
- She needs teeth. Just days shy of 10 months actual (and exactly 7 months corrected if you’re reading this on Sunday) and teeth are still refusing to make an appearance. They’re definitely on their way in, though, as evidenced by the daily afternoon meltdowns I’m forced to endure with her. I can see the outline of the two bottom teeth just under the gum line, but as of yet they seem to have no desire to break through. I told Don last weekend that we’d have teeth within a week; I’m starting to second-guess myself. Please, for the love of God, can we have some teeth soon please.
- She’s a fruit-a-holic. Just like her Mum, this girl loves fruit*. She thought that cantaloupe was the bee’s knees, until we gave her a strawberry. She made a right good mess of it and was all smiles all night long. Then we tried blueberries and had the same response, and a banana elicited happy grins as well. Carrots and yams on the other hand resulted in screaming fits in her high chair. We have more success with vegetables in pureed form as opposed to chunks in the mesh feeder, but I think if she had her way she’d fill up on fruit all day, every day.
* Interesting side note: I lived on fruit during my first trimester. Cranberry juice by the pitcher, cans of peaches, smoothies from Jugo Juice, you name it. All that fruit earned me a case of gestational diabetes, which in turn benefited Nyana with a hefty birthweight for her gestation. With all the lung troubles she had, I hate to think how bad it could have been if she was any smaller at birth.
- She understands Saturdays. For five consecutive weeks now, I have had to wake Nyana up on Saturday morning for her meds and puffers and breakfast. Every other day of the week, her chattering to her mobile starts around 7:00 or 7:30 and continues happily until we fetch her at 8:30am. Somehow, though, she understands that Saturdays are for sleeping in. I love standing over her crib, watching her stretch as she wakes, then opens her eyes and gives me the biggest grin as if to say thanks for letting me sleep in too, mum.
- Those big blue eyes. It used to be nurses and doctors and RTs in the NICU who commented every day on her beautiful eyes. Now it’s strangers on the street and cashiers at Safeway. I still don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing how beautiful her eyes are. We’re not fully out of the woods yet and there’s a chance still that they could go green—which would not be a problem for me at all if they did—but I’m certain they won’t go brown now and am confident they’ll stay blue as they are.
- She has a double whorl. You may have noticed in her photos that Nyana’s hair—what there is of it, anyways—seems to grow inward and forward from the back of her head. Most people have one swirl in their scalp attributing to the direction of hair growth; Nyana has two, the left one swirling counter-clockwise and the right one clockwise. The result of the two swirling toward each other is the lovely cowlick atop her head. I’ve heard that a double whorl is an indicator of everything from autism to attention deficit disorder to left-handedness to impossible bangs. While at this point I doubt we have any developmental worries due to her whorls, her hair will definitely be wild if she’s any part her mother’s daughter.
- I’m bad with numbers. We’ve been home nearly three months now and I couldn’t tell you how much Nyana weighs exactly. Compare that to our NICU days where her weight in grams was a discussion point every morning in rounds, and I’m happy with her being “almost sixteen pounds”. I haven’t a clue what her head circumference is or her length in inches or what her weight-to-height ratio equals. I don’t know what percentile she is in, either for her size or for her developmental milestones. I’ve spent almost ten months already obsessed with numbers—weight, sats, blood gasses, feed volumes, medication doses—I figure as long as she’s growing and her medical team isn’t concerned, then I’m not concerned.
When Don and I chose the name Nyana we knew that we were giving her a name that would force her to stand out, and she’d need to develop a personality that suited her strong name. We chose the name early in our relationship and over the years spent many lazy evenings imagining what our daughter Nyana would be like. Knowing her now, seeing her grow into herself, I have no doubt that she is the Nyana of my imagination—she is What We Made, and she’s a whole lot of awesome.
The title of this post is a play on the title of a wonderful book, Life of Pi by Yann Martel. If you haven’t read it I suggest you grab it from the library.