The End Of An Era

Nyana told me that she promised you guys some more posts. That she logged in here the other night and was dismayed to see that her journal—the place we keep her stories to look back on and enjoy one day—has been sitting here stagnant for the better part of two months while we all went about our mundane activities, keeping ourselves busy with boring stuff like moving and growing a new baby and learning how to breathe. Sure, it’s been busy, but that’s no excuse.

2ND Annual NICU

From left to right: Ella, Sam, Oliver, Ben, Nyana, Trajan. All of them missed the 3rd trimester and all were about two pounds at birth.

Don and Nyana and I made our way out of the ‘burbs and down to Granville Island a few weekends ago—a trek that used to be a quick 15 minute walk and now took us the better part of an hour—and we enjoyed a potluck picnic in the sun with Nyana’s old beep buddies. It was arguably one of the hottest days of the year and the kids reconnected over the playground while us parents reminisced over potato salad. As we attempted to arrange all six kids for a portrait, I remembered back to this time last year, to how the very same picnic a year ago found me weeping in my wine at the end of the night, frustrated that Nyana was different than normal babies.

What a difference a year can make. A year ago, we’d had Nyana home for three months. She was hanging out with Mr BiPAP 21 hours a day. Our beautiful babygirl had a hose for a nose and required two litres of additional oxygen per minute to breathe, and everywhere we went, with her stroller laden with pumps and machines and batteries, people stopped and stared—and not in a my, what a gorgeous little girl! kind of way. Yet through it all we were still putting on our best faces and going about wishing it didn’t bother us so. I have to be honest: it wasn’t easy. It certainly wasn’t easy, a year ago, to spend the afternoon with families who could have drawn our card, and not feel pangs of jealousy and frustration that we drew that card instead. But looking at where we are today, how I wish that back then someone could have made me believe that sometime in the very near future, all of it would feel like the very distant past.

At our last visit with Dr Dee, a little over a month ago, Nyana was officially discharged from the Home Trach & Vent clinic. She’ll still be followed by the less intensive Respirology clinic, and followed by a doctor who has been involved in her care since her NICU days, but she’s officially no longer Dr Dee’s patient. It’s a bittersweet moment for us, same as it was when leaving the NICU—of course we want to be discharged because it means she’s getting better, but discharge also means saying goodbye to people who have been an integral part of our family from the very beginning. But Dr Dee reminded us that she’d much rather see us as visitors and not as patients. Bittersweet for her too, I’m sure.

At her next visit back to the hospital, to see just the respirology team and not the Trach & Vent Clinic, we were given orders to D/C the two diuretics she’s been on since we brought her home, as well as the anti-reflux med she’s been on since we traded in Mr G-tube for a J-tube. Last week the people from the oxygen supply company stopped by to officially take Mr Compressor (AKA Darth Oxygen) off our hands. And just a few days ago, at a nutrition services appointment, a plan was put in motion to begin the wean from a J-tube to a G-tube to oral feeds. If all goes well—and of course, that’s a big if—we could see Nyana taking upwards of 75% of her daily calories orally by Christmas, needing Mr Foodpump only to top up her daily intake while she sleeps. This whole “I was a preemie” phase really is almost over.

And it’s fitting that it’s all coming to an end now, as a new chapter in our lives is beginning. Nyana will be a big sister in less than four months. We’ve been in our apartment in the ‘burbs for almost two months now, leaving our overcrowded downtown apartment long behind us. We’re getting excited at the idea of a proper Christmas at home for once—this time with a newborn—and we’re looking forward to becoming a fambly of four. I took a week vacation earlier this month and the three of us spent nine days doing normal family things, things that this time last year I found myself resentful that we were unable to do. A year ago, things like Nyana splashing in the lake or petting a cow at the PNE seemed like things we could never do. But less than a year later, here we are.

And here I am and here’s 2.0. 25 weeks and counting. No sign of slowing down.

25 weeks pregnant

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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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8 Responses to The End Of An Era

  1. Juju says:

    Thanks for the update. Lalalalalala, life goes on. Glad to see Nyana progressing by leaps and bounds.

  2. Jackie (jmm) says:

    Thank you for the wonderful update. I’m so happy that things are going so well for you all and know that I keep you all in my prayers. I’m really looking forward to hearing all about the next phase of your family life. Hugs to you all.

  3. Linda says:

    Life has a way of throwing us curve-balls when we least expect them and sometimes Life throws us roses as well. The curve balls can have a lasting impact on those it was delivered to but if you catch it and throw it back with a strong arm it won’t hurt you, rather it will only make you stronger. Just like the three of you. You were also thrown a beautiful rose and I am sure that you’ll agree that Nyana Rose was worth every one of those curve balls.

  4. What a great update! You look just gorgeous and glowy, Karen, and Nyana, whose spirit and beauty showed right around and through the hose and all the gear.. well she looks unfettered and so cute with her little contemporaies.

    Cannot wait so see who shows up to make her a big sister; she can show them the new place, the cats and how to rule the roost with mom and dad 🙂

  5. Sue Curtice says:

    What a wonderful update! You look great, Karen! So happy Ny is getting to just hang out with her pals and not having to haul so much gear with her. What a relief and joyful time for mum and dad!! This will be one super special Christmas for sure!!!

  6. Anne Brackett says:

    Life has many ups and downs and you may wonder why things happen the way they do but you become a stronger person and can handle anything. Nyana has proved she can over come all obstacles. Christmas will be very special this year for all. Love to all

  7. Duncan & Dorothy Gillies says:

    Hi Nyana, Don & Karen – so good to hear from you and to know all is going well. Good to know your new home is great. We look forward to coming to visit – maybe next year. Dorothy has a sister in Delta, so we could visit everyone at the same time.
    Bye for now. Love Duncan & Dorothy

  8. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful picture Karen!

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