Another weekend has come and gone, but this weekend was a little different! We abandoned the laundry and most of the housework and celebrated Tori’s third birthday.
I cannot believe that we have a three year old. She is growing up so fast, and it all really does go by too quickly. Tori is such a smart kid and comes up with things all the time that make us smile and laugh. We were at the store the other day and she told me she was “frightened”. She loves to play with Charli and make her giggle and the two of them are buddies.
The majority of this post is for my own record keeping- if this bores you, or you don’t want to know some of the details… skip this post altogether (except for maybe the pictures at the end).
I remember when we first found out we were pregnant with Tori. We were both so excited! There was a lot of stress and for a while it was an extremely difficult situation with Dave’s family and mine at times, but Dave and I stuck with each other and did what was best for us and our Tori. When I was about 12 weeks pregnant, I had a dream. While I don’t remember the details, my cousin Alyssa came and told me it was a girl. I woke up in the middle of the night, woke Dave up, informed him we were having a girl and went back to bed.
My pregnancy with Tori was relatively easy, though I threw up tons. About 3 weeks before my due date I got really sick, and finally quit the job I was working. About a week later, Dave was getting ready for work, and I had just finished eating breakfast around 11:30am, when I stood up, and my water broke everywhere! We went to the hospital soon after that. On the way to the hospital I called my family and no one answered! I finally texted my little sister and she was the first to know that I was in labor! Everyone else was busy. My Dad called my hospital room at about 5 pm and told me he was flying in. The hours drug on and finally my OB came in and checked me. After 12 hours, no progress at all. I was so frustrated, and tired! I’d gone about 6 hours with no pain relief and the synthetic induction hormone. Now, with the epidural, I’d felt defeated already and finally agreed to a c-section. It felt like forever for them to cut her out of me, but finally I heard a loud, strong cry. Dave left my side to go over nad be with her and as soon as he started talking to her, she stopped crying. My whole pregnancy, he’d talked to Tori, and I knew that she recognized him amongst all the chaos. As they were putting me back together, I heard a nurse yell, “She’s 8 pounds 2 ounces and looks GREAT!” I started bawling. Dave brought her over and I cried harder. My little girl was finally here. We stayed in the hospital for 5 days. Those days were quite the whirlwind filled with an obnoxious boob nurse, some obnoxious comments from a few people, lots of unannounced visitors(like the time Dave’s grandparents got to see my upper half because they’d come unannounced and I didn’t have the reflexes to cover up fast enough). My dad left Thursday morning, and saw my mom briefly in the airport as she arrived. Five days later, I was DYING to leave that wretched room and get home, away from ever prying eyes, every-2-hour wake up calls from nurses and all things hospital. I got in the car, only to realize how much pain I was in! Every bump in the road felt like a living hell! We we maybe a mile away from the hospital when some idiot pulled right out in front of us on our green light, causing Dave to slam on the breaks and nearly rear end the guy. I started sobbing. It hurt like crazy and I was so mad that this guy about killed me and my little family! When we finally got back to our apartment, it took me five minutes to get out of the car, and surprisingly, less than that to climb the three flights of stairs to our apartment. My mom let Dave and I take a nap, while she watched Tori. Some nap that was. I remember finally getting comfortable and my mom coming in and saying Tori was hungry! HUNGRY? What did this kid think I was!? A milk machine? I needed SLEEP! Welcome motherhood, goodbye selfishness… I got up to feed her and who knows how much later, I wake up to my mom standing over me with her hand on my boob!!! “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” I asked her. “Sarah, you fell asleep nursing and she couldn’t breathe!” Great, thats just great. First day home and I’m already about to kill my baby! This will forever be to my mother, the moment she “saved” my daughter. Really, I’d like to believe I would have woken up if she was really suffocating. My mom stayed for about 10 days and held Tori about every waking moment that she(Tori, not my mom) wasn’t eating or getting her diaper changed. She changed a lot of diapers and I don’t think I’ve heard “She’s such a doll!” more in my life. Yep, she was, and most the time, still is. Nana left teary eyed as we did not know the next time she’d see her. The trip was well documented with tons of pictures in about every outfit that Tori had.
The next few months seemed like an eternity as we waited for Tori to mellow down. We’re still waiting. She was a very colicky baby and one time, I called Dave at work and asked him whether he wanted a dead baby, or a dead wife, when he got home. He got the message and came right home. God was a smart man when he put our apartment right across the street from Dave’s work at the time.
Early on I realized Tori had problems with her eyes. She would look at thing sideways and not be able to really focus. Her pediatrician kept telling me it would straighten out. It never did and at about 4 months I finally told her doctor that there was something wrong and asked where I needed to take her. She went to two different opthalmologists over the span of 8 weeks, the latter one at Primary Childrens Medical Center. That appointment was terrible. It was 6 hours and a LOT of waiting. When we left, we learned that Victoria has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, or ONH. This is a condition where the optic nerve does not develop properly at about 6-8 weeks gestation. The cause is unknown, but sometimes it can be seen in mothers who use alcohol and/or marijuana. It is also seen in mothers with a gestational age of 20 or below. Though I’ve never used marijuana, and did not drink while I was pregnant with Tori, I got pregnant at 19. We will probably never know the cause of this, however, Tori was considered early on a “threatened miscarriage” due to abnornal bleeding. The end result of this under-development is a nerve that is permanently small. This causes a myriad of problems, that are different in each case. In Victoria’s, she has a problem with some depth perception, peripheral vision, and seeing things at all with her right eye. Her doctor has explained to us that its not the vision thats a problem, but the relaying of information. Her TV screen has no problem, but the cable connecting the information to the picture is the problem. He explains what she is able to see, with the metaphor of a high definition TV. The condition is worse in her right eye and so its like she’s seeing out of a high definition TV in her left eye, and a grainy old black and white in her right eye. Obviously, the choice is a no brainer. Part of this condition is that sometimes parts of the brain are also underdeveloped. At 6 months, Victoria had an MRI of her tiny brain done. Thankfully, her brain and glands appeared to be all there, and the right size! Hormonal deficiencies can be evident later in adolescence, due to problems with the thyriod or pituitary glands. Its been a very frustrating thing for everyone, but she has learned to adapt and does very well. As of today, she functions like a normal kid and we often forget that she has this condition, because she does so well. There is no cure for ONH, but a cosmetic corrective surgery can be done to straighten her eyes. So far, we’ve seen a tremendous improvement with no intervention. She has glasses, but they are strictly for safety. Her opthalmologist says he see cases all the time where a child with no peripheral vision lose sight in their good eye because of an accident, like airborn toys, sticks, or other objects. We are very fortunate that thus far, Tori has had no limitations and has done so well. I am grateful everyday.
Tori is a very happy, spunky girl, and much like me when I was a little kid. She loves to read, loves all things girl, loves to play outside and is very stubborn, opinionated, and outspoken when she thinks she needs to be heard. she has blessed our lives in so many ways. Every day I am amazed at the capabilities she has, and how quickly she rebounds from challenges. She is very attuned to her surroundings and can notice small details that people often overlook. She is very aware of people’s feelings as well. Often times she will run up and give me a hug or kiss when I need it most.
Victoria was named after quite a few people. My middle name is Victoria, and its always been what I wanted to name my first daughter. I was named after my mom’s mom, my Granny Hollingshead. So, Victoria is name after her mommy and her mommy’s favorite grandma. Her middle name is Lynne. My mom’s (Tori’s Nana) middle name is Lynne. I also have a very dear friend, Stacey, whose middle name is Lynne as well. Before Dave and I met, I had picked out this name; thankfully he liked it as well!
The past three years have been filled with so much fun and excitement. We’ve done lots of fun things as a family and have so amny amazing memories. One of these days I’ll put all our pictures up. Tori is the greatest big sister, and a very sweet daughter. She loves to help mommy cook, and daddy vacuum. She loves being mommy to her ChouChou dolly and playing pretend.
I love being Tori’s mommy. Its the best job in the world. Here are our adventures from Tori’s birthday this year.
We went to Madagascar 2!
Came home for a few minutes and took the 3 year old picture!
Went to “the BIRD RESTAURANT!” with Cari and Dan(tori’s favorite friends)
Where Tori got the royal treatment:
At home again, she opened her new shopping cart!
Sunday, mommy made her cake, with a little bit of help from Tori. Pablo and Uniqua are in the pool/pond/beach per Tori’s request.
She got a little shy from all the attention…
But finally blew out the candle and enjoyed the licking the successfully extinguished “3”!
She finished with more presents…(notice the others on the fireplace still waiting to be opened)
Rounding out the night she watched “Curios George” the movie, that Charli gave to her. She got a laptop, Chevron Firetruck, a Dora shopping cart from our annual ToysRus birthday trip, all from Mom and Dad. Easel accessories from Grandma and Grandpa, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod book from Grandma(their special night time poem together), Spongebob and Dora balls, and a Little Einsteins bathttub game, from Nana and Papa and a new CareBear from Cari and Dan! She told me today, she wants to be two again, not three. Probably cause of all the SWEET stuff she got! She’s even learned the art of credit card swiping. Her shopping cart came with a wallet that has a few paper credit cards in it. We were watching her play pretend with it all when she walked up to the fireplace and said, “I gotta pay for this stuff!” Whipped out her credit card and “swiped” it in the fireplace door! HILARIOUS! She is so smart! Thanks to everyone that wished her a Happy Birthday!
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