Wow! Less than a month after Peyton reached the huge milestone of walking, our little miracle child continues to prove just how amazing she is. At 20 months old, Peyton is saying goodbye Nicu!
Ok, you’re probably confused as you read this. No, Peyton has not been in the Nicu. She graduated from her residence back in October 2013. But, Miss P has been visiting the Nicu grad clinic every 1-2 months since she first came home to us. Her Nicu doctors would check on her oxygen, keeping tabs on those weak lungs. They would also work with therapists and a dietician to make sure she was gaining weight, growing and had decent muscle tone. After more than 20 months, they released Peyton because she’s as healthy as can be! Sure she may have lung issues for years to come, but that’s something we’re always prepared for. Thank goodness for the nebulizer! We’ve kept her in hibernation this winter, which has really paid off. She has yet to come down with illness this year (knock on wood) and we’re eager to start taking her for outings soon. (We miss our friends at Charlie Parker’s Diner!!)
As we walked into the hospital last week, I had a feeling that it may be for the last time. I knew that Peyton was getting on track, growing along her own scale. So it didn’t come as a huge surprised when Dr. Darling shrugged and said, “As much as we want to see Peyton, we have no reason to keep her. She’s looking great!” A lump formed in my throat and I had to hold back my tears. It was such an emotional moment hearing those words. On one hand, this was news we’ve waited 20 months to hear. Our 22 weeker wasn’t supposed to survive the first night of her life, yet here she is, looking nothing like a one pound child. Her brother, Parker, would have had life long issues and constant doctor’s appointments. Yet Peyton, for some odd reason, has absolutely nothing wrong with her. I often wonder why she’s so perfect and my thoughts always come back to Parker and Abby. I truly believe that she has the strength of her siblings living within her. She’s got some extra help from up above.
While we couldn’t be more thrilled with Peyton’s health, the tears still run down my cheeks when I think of another “graduation”. For many people, the hospital is a place to avoid. It symbolizes sickness and sadness. But for my family, it’s means comfort. We spent nearly 6 months of our lives at St. John’s Hospital in 2013 and the staff were a huge part of our stay. We created unique bonds and lifelong friendships with so many people, from doctors and nurses, to the medical students and security guards. It will be hard not to make that monthly visit to show off Peyton’s latest achievement, but we’ll be OK. As scary as it may be for me, I know that this milestone is another step to normalcy…something we have never experienced when it comes to raising children. Peyton will still see her specialists this year for her eyes and heart and she has therapy appointments several times a week. But her list of doctors is dwindling, another sign that our miracle child is growing up right before our eyes. That frail little baby is now a toddler, scaling walls and getting into all sorts of mischief…just like a typical child should do.
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