One year ago today our Son came home from the hospital. It is a day I’ll remember forever. Our son was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Essentially he had a hole in his diaphragm and his stomach was up in his chest cavity compressing his heart and his lungs. We found out he had the condition at the usual 20 week ultrasound and the rest of our pregnancy was spent in fear. They told us there was a chance he wouldn’t make it. That he might have other complications. As a result we didn’t do the usual ‘baby’ things. We didn’t have a baby shower. We didn’t buy a lot of baby things. We didn’t go to prenatal classes. We hid. We were scared. We were unsure.
I remember on the day he was born being given an amazing strength. I still cried and was scared but I loved him and I knew I had to have faith. Two days after he was born he had surgery. The surgeon was young and incredibly skilled. We found out later he’d only been on the job for 16 days. He was able to do things that others wouldn’t think of. Between the surgeon, the Neonatologists and the Nurses at the NICU we were able to fight to get our son home. They worked with us. They encouraged us during the bad days. They helped us to fight for him when he couldn’t fight for himself. They let us move in when we needed to be there 24/7 to help him eat. They were fantastic.
Today we celebrate how far we’ve come as a family. Throughout the past year we’ve all been through some major ups and downs. We were isolated in the beginning because of the H1N1 epidemic. We were unsure of his growth. We were constantly being seen by doctors to check on his progress and we’ve come out the other side stronger for it. Today our son has beat the odds. He’s bigger than he’s supposed to be. He’s healthier than he’s supposed to be. He’s everything they said he wouldn’t be when we met with them at 20 weeks. Now we celebrate the little things. We celebrate the moments we’ve had.
Thanks to the great start he had at the beginning with all of the support and healing from the NICU team we are able to enjoy every day. We love his laughter. We laugh at how he spreads his toys all over the floor. We chuckle at how he ‘swims’ on the floor because it’s easier than crawling and how he cruises around the house and gets some steps in when he’s not thinking about it.
Today we will honor our son and give a donation to our NICU. It’s a small way we can give thanks for a team that continues to do their very best to help get families home.