Ten years ago we "patiently" awaited your birth. We went in on the 12th and I labored for 27 plus hours. I felt so torn, I wanted you to come quickly but at the same time I wanted you to stay put in the comfort of my belly. I knew you were safe there. There were too many unknowns once you were born.
October 13th at 2pm, you came out, all ten fingers, all ten toes, beautiful, thick black hair, the cutest little nose. Once I heard your sweet little voice, tears swelled up in my eyes. For a moment I felt like I could breathe. There were so many doctors and nurses in that room. I've never felt more scared and at peace at the same time. I barely got a glimpse of you before they whisked you away. They placed you in an incubator, already hooked up to machines, on top was a crash cart. I remember seeing that and thinking, they put that there, he may not make it to the NICU. This could be the last time I would see you alive. A multitude of nurses and medical staff rushed you down the hall, but stopped long enough for your HUGE fan club to get a glimpse of you through the clear glass of the incubator. Your daddy came out and gave your fan club an update. The doctor that delivered you was standing there sharing an update too. There were lots of hugs, tears and sweet embraces in that moment. You were and are one loved little boy.
The cardiologist met with the family to let them know the status of your condition. At this point you were on a CPAP machine. You were starting to struggle to breathe, which the doctors had prepared us. By that night you were on a ventilator, your sick body needed the rest. The first good look I got of you brought me to tears. You were hooked up to so many machines. Your tiny hands and feet were already bruising from the pokes and prods and IV's. Every time I heard a beep I would freeze and look at the monitors, trying to figure out what it was... Making sure your vitals were still stable. Your daddy and I loved to be a part of every step. We wanted to take your temperature every 4 hours, change every diaper, comb your hair, give you a sponge bath, we wanted to feel a part of the process. I mean we were your parents after all. I think that was the hardest part, seeing the nurses do most of the care taking. I kept thinking they're bonding with him, I hope he feels a bond with me. But you know what those women & men were a part of saving your life. Some of them are like family and I love the bond you have with them today.
We thank God everyday for them!
The next 5 days were excruciating. We met with the medical staff and surgeon. There were no guarantees. You had a very small chance at surviving. But God had bigger and better plans for you. He gave you the spirit to fight. He gave you strength, He gave you perseverance. You used all of those gifts and fought each and every battle thrown your way for the next ten years. You haven't had an easy childhood, and I can't promise you ever will. But I can promise you, you have God on your side, you have me, daddy, Brody and the biggest fan club cheering you on. We will always be here for you, every step of the way.
Now here we are ten years later and you've beaten the odds, not just once, but multiple times. When we found out about your heart condition, we weren't given much hope. We were told you wouldn't see your first birthday, and if you did, you would have so much stacked against you. Son, you proved them wrong. You've met so many milestones along the way. You've crawled, you've laughed, you've walked, you've cried, you became a big brother, you went off to school, you have made many friends, you have played baseball and helped coach an undefeated football team. You have used your condition to help others, you're an advocate for others like you. You make us proud, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Your little body has endured so much. Your precious heart may be sick and may cause you many problems, but from the outside we all see a heart of gold. A heart that loves to no end, a heart that encourages, a heart that cares. A heart that loves Jesus.
You are brave, you are bold, you are strong, you are empathetic, you are joyful, but most of all you are forever my little baby with the ten little fingers, ten little toes, thick black hair and the cutest little nose.