I’m Thankful for Georgia
English is not my first language, prepare to dance through a few mispronunciations and misspellings.
There are so many things that I am thankful for, as a matter of fact, I could put together a list that would look very similar to a checklist, (but I find that boring).
I much rather share one of my life experiences, that made me appreciate life on a different level, something that has put things in perspective for me.
As individuals most of us have something or someone, in our life that reminds us of what’s important when we get to busy to stop, think, listen or when we don’t appreciate what we were given.
My daughter Georgia has been that person for me. She was born second in the pecking order out of my four children. Georgia threw me for a loop, from the day she was born; she quickly showed me that she had her own agenda brewing! I thought I had it all figured out with my first born, and I often caught myself saying
“If Georgia was born first, there would be no more babies!”
The schedule was completely different from her sisters, a simple thing as when it came to her sleeping patterns, she demanded long naps.
I even ran out of breast milk within her first two months of living, this child was hungry and my supply wasn’t going to cut it for her! Already so picky! She needed to eat a lot! And gained five pounds within her first month!
And as she got started with her crawling, I realized the house needed safety proofing, she was getting into everything! I could not safety proof my house enough with this baby!
She figured things out so fast, and taught her older sister how to plug and unplug the electronics.
Georgia was the complete opposite to her older sister, she was much wilder and tried to keep up with everything her sister already knew, she had me sweating from the start.
Try taking her on an airplane! She would not sit still for a minute, it was a complete nightmare, we would be the family, the passengers would give dirty looks to in midflight.
She started to walk at 10 months old, and potty trained herself at 12 months (the bathroom was a mess) but she mastered it by herself, as a matter of fact Georgia always mastered everything on her own.
She didn’t want people to direct or help her, and if there was something she didn’t like she would throw a tantrum, she would bend herself backwards like a bow, and do a backflip and fall hard. She often hit her head on something hard and it didn’t seem to bother her.
I realized early on, that she was acting differently from her older sister, who was a little more communicative with her words and seemed calmer.
“How could they be so different?”
Georgia would make the pediatrician and nurses nervous, especially If she thought they were giving her a shot, her angry eyes would pierce through them, and she would not let them touch her without putting up a fight. I would often have to hold her down screaming, it was horrible! A parent’s nightmare.
My Georgia was a gorgeous baby, she looked picture perfect on the outside. People would often stop me and give compliments on my beautiful baby. Her behavior spoke of something else, I was starting to get nervous and afraid, why was she so angry and irritable? Why couldn’t this baby be happy?
She always clung on to me.
I remember one particular Friday night, I was in the bathroom getting ready, to go out to dinner with her dad, and she grabbed on to my leg, she wouldn’t let go off my leg and proceeded to bite me, (I was wearing white pants and I could see the blood through the fabric)
Had I given birth to a vampire?
She used to run after her big sister with her mouth wide open, and bite her in the back! At the time I wasn’t aware that my oldest was teasing her, and it aggravated Georgia. Her way of communicating was to bite instead of using her words.
Georgia started to have chronic ear infections, when she was only a few months old, one after the other, I felt I had her in the Doctors office constantly, she easily had ten ear infections by the time she was 20 months old, if not more, I lost count with time.
Then came the day, when I sat in the doctors office yet with another earinfection. The Pediatrician was doing her usual ear check, when she looked at me and said: I’m seeing this white gloomy thing in her ear, I don’t think there is anything to worry about, but just to make sure everything is ok I’m sending you to an ear specialist..
“Those are usually the famous last words before the real truth stares you in the face”…
We were in the specialist office the next day. He sat us down after he had looked at the MRI image, and explained to us in a calm, almost nonchalant way, that our daughter had a cyst inside of her middle ear drum, that was called cholesteotoma. It’s usually common in older people, but at her age group she was the 2% in the world to have it. And in this case it was congenital meaning she was born with it, and it needed to be removed..
I finally got the picture, to why my daughter had been having all those angry fits, the poor child could not hear us, and the pressure was making her dizzy. Poor little baby… it all made sense now.
We were told she needed to have surgery right away, these cysts grew very intensely, and would spread fast, and if it traveled up to her brain, the damage would be horrible.
After sitting there listening to the specialist, I had a hard time remembering what he had actually said, all I could think off was “my baby is sick!” We drove home in shock, “what do we do now?” “I was scared!” There had been so much information, and all I could do was cry. We called my sister in law, who was currently doing her internship, at one off the local Hospitals to become a doctor.
We wanted to hear, what she had to say. “She had a lot to say!” She is a type A personality. (I’m greatful for her help)
She dug into all the facts, called one off the top surgeons in Portland, and had us referred to him, we were in his office that same week.
This was not a quick surgery in an office, like the other doctor had said.
The one thing I learned from this experience was, “always get a second opinion!”
If we had not taken the advice, and had stayed with the first Doctor, our daughter would not be alive today.
It requires a team that specializes in pediatric care. The surgery was to be performed at the children’s Hospital.
To do surgery on a baby that small requires a completely different procedure, they had to cut her ear off and remove it to do the surgery, and then attach it back again when finished.
When we kissed our 22 month old daughter goodbye before her surgery, we were not sure, we would see her alive again.
The Doctor had explained to us, about what the risk was with that kind of surgery.
It didn’t help, that we had been up at the hospital, for pre-op a couple days before with our daughter, and while they were prepping her, we sat in the waiting room and watched some of the other parents, fall apart when the doctor came out and delivered them bad news.
I was so scared, what If that would be me?
We left the building while she was in surgery. We were too afraid to stay, and we didn’t have the heart to sit there and watch the other parents.
The surgeon spent three hours working on our daughter, what seemed to be a cyst was much worse then what the image had shown, when they opened the ear up and saw that the cyst, it had formed roots that had traveled downwards instead of up, and was attached to her major artery.
Basically what was explained to us afterwards, was that our daughter had been a time bomb, and could have died in any given time, had we waited and not scheduled her for the surgery.
The roots would have cut into her artery, and cut off her lifeline between her heart and brain!
I was crying hysterically after hearing the good news. ( with My sister in Law)
My little girl was alive, and I have never seen a happier baby, then the child I saw when I went into see her after surgery in the recovery room.
She was propped up with a big bandage over her one ear, eating popsicles and smiling for the first time in a long time.
My little Georgia was born again, and this time with a smile!
She could hear us and was intrigued by the sound off our voices.
The biggest challenge I had post surgery, was to keep the wild toddler still, she had so much energy and catching up to do, and wanted to jump around with her big sister, that all off a sudden had a voice she could hear!
The biting stopped after her ear was fixed, and she started to talk instantly.
After a major surgery, you have to go back seven months later, and do another small incision, to make sure no cells were left behind, we had success nothing was left behind.
We spent the next seven years, checking her ear annually and having hearing tests.
She has since then been free from any issues with her ear.
Georgia blossomed into a young beautiful teenager and has kept her stubborn and independent spirit, she is still very competetive and a straight A student, a junior in high school, a normal teenager that speaks her mind, has an attitude, slams her door, locks herself in her room when she wants to be left alone, fights with her siblings when she thinks, they annoy her! and does absolutely not under any circumstances, want my help with any school work! she volunteers at an Animal shelter on her weekends.
All in all she has been a very easy child to rise. (with a few sassy comments)
I am so thankful to have this beautiful spirit in my life and look forward in seeing what she will accomplish as she grows into womanhood.