There have been many heartbreaking moments in your first year, sweetie.  And I know I write mostly about those moments here, and that is because I use this space to process those thoughts and emotions.

But, I also want to document your incredible progress.  You learn new things so fast and so early for your age.

A month ago, you started waving and giving “high fives”.  Now, at age eleven months, you are signing two word sentences.  Earlier this week at dinner, with you in your highchair, me stealing bites of my own food in between offering spoonfuls of puree to you and cutting up your brother’s food, your Dad and I both saw you make the signs for “more” and then “food“.  We looked at each other with our mouths wide open.  We couldn’t believe it.  No.  Really?  Did Miss M really just sign “more food”?  Dad said, no…I think that was a hand clap and then a finger in her mouth…  So then I looked at you, and asked, “Miss M, did you want more food”?  And you did it three more times and then ate an entire jar of peaches and mango.  Alright, then!  Communication has begun!

I suspect walking is going to be just as fast of a transition.  A month ago you had just started scooting around on your butt.  Now, you are pulling up on anything that is under shoulder height and want to constantly be standing.  We walk you around, holding your hands, and every week you require less and less support.  At this rate, I really think you could be walking by 1 year old.  The doctors and physical therapists will be astonished.  It’s hard to describe what an amazing accomplishment this is.  Your cervical vertebrae are fused in multiple locations, you have a slight Sprengel’s deformity on your right side, and both of these things combined cause you to have a significant imbalance in your shoulders and hips, and a visible sideways curvature in your spine which may or may not improve as you get older.  Oh, and you had a tethered cord release in January.  Really.  Walking by age 1?  That would be incredible.

You are an extremely determined little girl, everyone around you has seen that in you from the very beginning.  After all, you performed your first medical procedure when you were about two weeks old.  You’d been on a feeding tube while they tested and monitored to ensure aspiration had not caused your pneumonia, and we had started feeding you with a bottle again and were debating when to remove your feeding tube.  By morning, you’d managed to get that tape off your nose and pulled all 12 inches of tubing out, from your nose to your stomach.  At two weeks old.  Crazy baby.  But we absolutely adore your determination and your strength, sweet girl.


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