This past week marked the fourth anniversary since Caleigh underwent the STEP procedure. I generally let all of the other dates, medical or otherwise, fade to the background. For some reason this surgery stands out among the eight others. The bowel lengthening procedure set Caleigh on a path of healing, but not before showing us that she was quite frankly on the brink of Heaven.
Those first few weeks after the surgery I can recall as if they were yesterday. There are many things that my mind chooses not to remember concerning Caleigh's first few years of life. Trauma often does this, and most of the time it is a self protective strategy within the mind. It's taken me a long time to figure this out, but for some reason with this event I remember.
Blessed. Caleigh is Blessed and we, her family, are Blessed. With the memories of her last surgery on the tip of my mind, I have been experiencing these fleeting moments where I take it in, and feel truly blessed. The day to day rush stands still and I just began to think. I try to take in the last 5 years. It's overwhelming to me, the people that love Caleigh and our family.
I often times feel like I should be pushing out thank you notes on a weekly basis. It's amazing. The love and support got us through those early days and it continues to carry us forward today.
Four years later Caleigh's formula intake is the highest it has ever been; 95ml an hour dished out over 11 hours a day. Her short bowel syndrome is now stable. We have learned so much about her unique intestines since then. Time and experience allows us to learn, as well as heal.