Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Kayley!!

Part of me cannot believe that it has been 6 years since Kayley was born.  Her birth is still so vivid in my mind that it feels like it was yesterday.  I remember what I was wearing the day my water broke at work.  I also remember exactly where I was when my water broke - outside my boss' office talking to his secretary (thankfully he wasn't in his office otherwise I would have been in there!).  I remember my friend driving me to the hospital.  I remember the shock and fear I felt when the nurse confirmed that my water had broke and then told me I would be in the hospital until I delivered.  It was May and I wasn't due until September.  I didn't fully understand or appreciate how serious the situation was until that moment.  I remember breaking down in tears when Andy arrived at the hospital and again when I saw my OB for the first time.  I remember more crying when the neonatologist came to my room and explained to Andy and I what our daughter would be facing if she were born that day (25 weeks 4 days gestation).

I remember how awful I felt while I was on magnesium sulfate and how we picked Kayley's name and the spelling while I was completely drugged up on the magnesium sulfate.  (I love the name Kayley, but I am convinced there is no way she would have been named Kayley if we hadn't had to come up with a name so quickly as it wasn't even on either of our lists!)  I remember doing hours of research on my laptop about preemies.  During that research is when I first landed on the March of Dimes website and learned so much about what the March of Dimes does for babies.

I remember Andy, Drew and my Mom leaving my room on June 8th when I was getting ready to eat dinner.  I remember eating my dinner and watching college softball.  I remember the nurse coming in and telling me I was contracting and needed to go down to labor and delivery.  I remember calling Andy and telling him it was time and he needed to come back.  I remember sitting in labor and delivery as my contractions got worse and worse and getting more and more scared.  I remember the overwhelming scene in the operating room with more doctors and nurses than I could count.  I remember that the NICU team introduced themselves to me and told me they would take good care of Kayley.  I remember the moment she was pulled out and how the room was very loud, but very quiet at the same time because there was no crying from my baby.  I remember the anesthesiologist assuring me that she had good coloring.  I remember the doctors and nurses gasping when they saw how much she weighed (3lbs, which is HUGE for a 27 weeker!).  I remember the NICU team leaving with Kayley in the isolette.  I also have very clear memories of Kayley's first weeks in the NICU.  I remember being scared and overwhelmed by the machines in her room and the monitors and IVs she had.  I remember when I finally got to hold her and how it took two nurses to move her because she was intubated.

While all of those things are very clear in my mind, I look at Kayley now and her birth and the NICU seem like a lifetime ago.  She has come so far and you would not know she was born so early if you were to see her today.  She amazes us every day!

At 6 years old, Kayley is sweet yet ornery, caring, stubborn, funny, and smart.  She did very well in Kindergarten and is right on track with other kids her age.  She is learning to read.  She has to work at it and isn't always in the mood to work at it, but she is making steady progress.  She is also very well behaved at school.  They do a color system where green is good behavior, purple is above and beyond good, yellow is a warning and red is bad.  She was on green and purples all year.  To be perfectly honest, it was a little shocking to us that she was so well behaved every day!  But, we are very proud of her!

Kayley takes very good care of her baby brother, Ryan.  She is a little mother to him.  She reads him books, plays with him, feeds him snacks, helps him wash his hands, helps give him a bath, etc.  Ryan is getting more independent and is less appreciative of her help now, which is sometimes hard for her to understand, but overall she does very well with him.

Kayley is VERY stubborn.  I am convinced that is from her dad!  Once her mind is made up, she digs her heels in and there is no convincing her otherwise.

Kayley's favorite things right now are The Sound of Music, Frozen, her American Girl doll, My Little Ponies, all things art, and wearing dresses, rings and necklaces.

We celebrated Kayley's birthday on Saturday.  Before she opened gifts, we went to Drew's game.  It is amazing how much better the kids are this year compared to last year.

Taking a turn at shortstop

First at bat

When we got home, Kayley opened her gifts.







After she opened her gifts, we went to Double A's for dinner.


Kayley wanted to get dressed up for dinner!




When we got home, we sang Kayley Happy Birthday and had more cake a Frozen-themed cake.



Kayley's first tee ball game was yesterday.  She did great!  I was so nervous for her because she sometimes gets a little bored, but she paid attention pretty much the entire time (she may have been adjusting her hat when a ball was hit to her once, but she also stopped two other grounders) and had a lot of fun.

Warming up with Coach Dad

Ready in the outfield

First time up to bat

Playing third base
And here is her final at bat - a "home run"!!

video

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