A cancer diagnosis and surgery in my late 20's left Dan and I with the news that the possibility for us to have children naturally, would be difficult. Lucky for us, when it was time for children, we got pregnant straight away. We even called to tell our parents and recorded their reactions because we knew this would be a very special and exciting time. (Their reaction here) Be sure to grab a tissue!
Piper was small the entire gestation and decided to come early at around 34 weeks weighing a whopping 3lbs 11oz. She had a very rough delivery and due to a doctors misjudgment (which we won't go in to) by the time Piper came in to the world she was battered and bruised. The blood vessels in both her eyes were busted and her face was black and blue. My husband and I always wondered if she would develop normally.
Piper was an incredibly easy baby, when she went to her own room at 6 months old it seemed that she loved her independence and alone time. I remember my husband and I laughing in the living room because we'd put her in bed and she would never cry, we thought how easy is this? Friends would come over for dinner and be amazed that we could just put her in bed and that was it. Not only did she not cry when we put her in her crib, she didn't cry in the mornings when she woke up. It seemed she slept straight through the night as soon as we moved her in to her own room. In fact, the only time she really cried was when she was sick or hungry. In the mornings we'd watch on our ip camera we had in her room as she quietly played and studied her surroundings, we would brag about how smart our little miracle baby was. So intense about everything surrounding her. I remember when I placed a night light in her room only to find she had covered her head with the blanket when I went to check on her. I got so nervous she would suffocate herself and couldn't figure out why she was always sleeping with a blanket wrapped around her head. (In NZ there is no central heat so blankets were placed in her crib in winter to keep her warm along with a small heater) As a trial, I removed the nightlight and sure enough - she stopped. Weird I thought... Normally children hate the dark. Not our little girl - she wanted it pitch black!
In lieu of toys, Piper never cared for special blankets, stuffed animals, dolls, or anything remotely girly. She preferred items she could hold her in hand like spoons, sticks, and her favorite for the longest time was a fake green bean from a pretend vegetable & fruit kit. Lucky for us, it never had to be the same item just something oblong that would fit nicely in her little hands. We knew the moment we found out we were pregnant our little girl wouldn't be like other children. She was a blessing and a special child that had been given to us as the greatest gift in the world. Her quirky nature and love for objects just made her even more unique and intriguing. Below is Piper's first week here - all 3lbs 11oz of her!
Erika & Dan Harvey
A blog about our journey through the spectrum with our daughter Piper. Enjoy and feel free to share with others.