She did it! We did it! Today marked a full year since Nikolina was born. She has survived! Step by step, it happened: first, she survived her first day, then her first week, then her first month, and now her first year.
It has certainly been a challenging year, especially for Shane and Lemony. First, a baby born disassembled. Then, Shane's peritonitis from a burst appendix that had us worried for a few days about his survival. Finally, as the year approached an end, Shane's unexpected job loss and six weeks of unemployment, worried about how to handle health care costs.
Then April came. On April 1, Shane began a new old job (was reinstated to a job he had held for 12 years at California Highway Patrol but had left for a higher salary), and then today, Nikolina marked an important achievement. A full year of life when only one doctor, her attending physician, saw any hope of that. She is a highlight of his career. He even set up a website about her to help other doctors around the world save OEIS Complex babies.
Nikolina still has many challenges ahead, including some more surgeries, but one would never know it. She is a very happy little girl, smiling and laughing most of the time. Here are some pictures from today's birthday party. (They were taken by Doah. Unfortunately, I could not go. I brought a foreign germ home from a recent business trip, and we still have to protect Nikolina from exposure to germs. It's a small sacrifice to make to keep her alive!) In order: Nikolina, Brother Nathaniel, Dad Shane and Grandpa Donnie, Grandpa Joaquin, and Momma Lemony.