Christmastimes 2012

Nyana was supposed to be a Christmas baby. Her original due date was December 17th, and from the moment we found out we were pregnant, Don and I looked forward to the holiday—our first Christmas as a family after spending almost a decade’s worth of Christmases as a twosome. And then before we knew it, I was locked up on bed rest and then it was September and her two-pound arrival dashed all hopes of a happy family Christmas at home with a newborn. For a few optimistic weeks shortly after her birth we still hoped that she’d just ride out her third trimester on the outside and still come home just before Christmas, as planned. But of course, “as planned” never happened. And so we spent the whole of the following year healing and growing and regenerating lung tissue, and when December 1st arrived, Don and I started to get excited about her first real Christmas, finally, 15 months after she was born.

Then two weeks before Christmas, she got sick.

I’d gone to the public library one afternoon and I signed out some board books for Nyana to enjoy. I brought them home and rubbed them all down with alcohol, but I must have missed one. That’s how easy it was to land her in hospital for two weeks. Her respirology team is amazing and they were able to spring her on Christmas Eve, but by that time it was too late. We’d missed our window of opportunity. There was no Christmas tree, no baking, no presents wrapped and waiting. We just hadn’t had the time, or quite honestly, the motivation.

And so, for the second year in a row, it seemed Nyana’s crappy lungs had stolen Christmas from her.

But, no. Nyana’s lungs had tried to steal Christmas from her. We weren’t going to let it. Instead, we decided to postpone Christmas until we were ready. We chose a date in the future that gave us time to prepare, and we declared Saturday, February 11, 2012, Christmastimes Day.

We did it all. We put up the tree and hung strings of lights in our apartment, and put giant silver bells on the front door of our suite. In the weeks leading up to Christmastimes we played Christmas carols and Don baked batch after batch of cookies—and decorated and delivered them to friends in packages tied with ribbon and candy canes. We had mimosas on Christmastimes morning and turkey for Christmastimes dinner, and we proved that as long as you believe it’s Christmas, you can make it feel like Christmas. It was, hands down, the best Christmas ever. I do say Nyana would agree.

She went straight for the biggest one.

We put her down in the living room and she immediately beelined for the biggest gift. Yes, it was for her.

I smell a dance party!

"Santa" thought Nyana needed some Justin Timberlake in her life. Best part: in the week since Christmastimes, Nyana has figured out how to turn the stereo on so that she can dance to JT. No joke. Video to follow, I promise.

Excited and unsure why.

We've already opened stockings (which in our house are tons of tiny gift-wrapped things) so at this point she's very excited about the big gift wrapped things.

Family PJ portrait

Sporting our Christmas Eve pyjamas on Christmastimes morning.

And then we began to open.

The first of many, many toys Nyana received for Christmastimes.

Grandma sent a stained-glass bluebird.

As you may recall, the Bluebird was the symbol of freedom in the NICU. We longed for our bluebird for a long time. Grandma sent out this beautiful stained-glass piece.

Ripping them open

The boots she's wearing were the first gift of the morning... while we were getting coffees and/or mimosas ready, she just approached the pile of presents, found one she could pick up, and ripped it open. She wore them half the morning overtop her sleeper until I noticed she was starting to sweat.

It takes a lot of energy to open that many presents.

It must be exhausting to open that many toys and shiny things when you're of Nyana's age. At about the halfway mark, we started to lose her.

My new meat slicer.

This has nothing to do with Nyana but it's worth sharing Don's concern for my safety as he buys me a countertop meat slicer.

Ooh something pretty.

And by the last gift of the morning, an awesome ride-on scooter for her, she was completely disinterested in wrapped boxes.

The aftermath.

The aftermath of what I can only call the best -- and hopefully only -- Christmastimes ever.

Right? Best Christmastimes ever!

But wait there’s more!

The Tuesday following Christmastimes, Don and Nyana had a visit with Dr Dee up at the hospital. This was Ny’s second visit back to respirology since her flu bug in December, and at the rate we’ve been going and with the precautions we’ve been taking, I was expecting nothing more than a reminder to keep her healthy and an appointment card for the spring. Don texted me from the Skytrain when he and Nurse Julie were on their way back from the appointment, said they’d meet me at the coffee shop outside my office as they passed by. Big changes in store, the text said.

Big changes indeed. We’ve spent the past week increasing the duration of her maskless trials from two hours to three. This means she’s allowed a total of nine hours a day free from Mr BiPAP. Considering she sleeps 11-12 hours through the night and naps two hours in the daytime, that leaves a maximum of two hours in the day that she’s awake and tethered to that blasted machine. After three weeks of the three-hour breaks, we’re allowed to drop those last two hours of bipap time, and let her spend the whole day with just her oxygen prongs. She still needs to hang out with Mr BiPAP when she sleeps—and that won’t change for a long while still—but being this close to saying goodbye to daytime bipap is huge. In six weeks from now we see Dr Dee again and if Ny is still keeping up, we’ll lose the daytime O2 as well.

It took a couple of hours—a couple of days, even—for the news to all sink in when Don told me the plan. Naps and night time. We’ve talked about getting her to needing bipap for naps and nigthtime only since before leaving the NICU. It’s always been the end goal, way way down the road, always out of reach with a million mini-milestones to tackle first. Now here we are, standing at the end of the road at the verge of a very steep cliff, a wean that is coming quickly and if all goes as planned, will happen quickly. Fingers crossed that this time “as planned” pans out.

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About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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13 Responses to Christmastimes 2012

  1. Heather says:

    Looks like a fantastic Christmas morning. I cannot get over how tall Nyana is! Great news from the doctor, too. Go! Nyana, Go!

  2. twiggy says:

    Oh how adorable she is with those presents. You all just continue to amaze me. Merry happy Christmastimes!!

  3. Duncan & Dorothy Gillies says:

    Hello Nyana , Don & Karen – sure looks like it was a fun time at Christmastimes day at your house. I had heard from Granda Anne about the big boxes of presents, and she did not exagerate. Glad to hear your good news about getting more freedom from those machines.
    By the way Don, we did not see cookies at our door!!
    Glad to know all is going well. Keep smiling.
    Duncan & Dorothy

  4. Cynny says:

    Don, Karen and the lovely Nyana, reading your post was how I started my morning, and I am so glad I did. I will carry this big, huge smile with me all day long. Your happiness is contagious.

  5. Mary Ward says:

    What a wonderful day for your family, capped off with such wonderful news now. I too dance whenever I listen to my JT. I will think of Nyana every time I listen to him now.

  6. Linda says:

    As happy as I was to hear about your exciting Christmastimes and the happiness you all experienced on this most joyful day, my happiness increased ten-fold when I heard the glorious news of saying “good-bye” to Mr. BiPap during the day time hours. It has taken a lot of work on all of you, more so for Nyana, and nothing could make me happier than this news. Nyana is getting stronger and her lungs are growing healthier and though it has not happened as quickly as you had hoped, it is happening, on “Nyana time”!!
    Beautiful blog.

  7. Sue Curtice says:

    That looks and sounds lIke the best Christmastimes ever ! So happy to hear how well Nyana is doing!

  8. Tasha2 says:

    Awesome news guys, an extra Christmas times present that absolutely rocks! So glad you had a good holiday & here’s looking forward to a great year ahead 🙂

  9. Stacey Feehan says:

    This whole post makes me so happy! Christmas (or Christmastimes) is so different when you see it through the eyes of a child. Planning Christmastimes was brilliant on your part and it just goes to prove that Christmas is about love and memories, to celebrate year-round, not only on Dec 25. The health prognosis is certainly the icing on the cake of this yummy post!

  10. Juju says:

    What great news. Keep Christmas in your hearts always.

  11. Tasha says:

    This post left me teary eyed. Lots of love to you guys.

  12. Pingback: And Then There Were Four | The Karen & Donners Show

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