One year ago today, you entered this world after only 26 weeks of gestation. You weighed a mere one pound and eleven ounces. You look tiny and helpless in the pictures, but I knew you were feisty. You showed this by repeatedly kicking back during ultrasounds. Dad said you proved your might by screaming all the way to the NICU. The doctors predicted that you would not be able to cry.
From the very first day that I was able to, I sat by your side. I watched you fight and I cheered you on. On your difficult days, I prayed and begged. It seemed like it was back and forth for a while in the beginning.
Each day, I would scrub down and sit with you. I read you stories and sung lullabies to you. Sometimes you would forget to breathe. I gently nudged you as a reminder. I held you like a kangaroo whenever I was allowed. I did not ever want you to be alone.
All the nurses loved you and took good care of you as if you were their own.
Your daddy visited every day after work. You first opened your eyes for him. I guess you knew that you were a daddy’s girl from the beginning.
Slowly, you became stronger and you grew…
After a little more than two months, you were well enough to be called a “feeder grower”. You were transferred to a NICU closer to our home with your own room. There, you grew even more.
When you could breathe on your own, maintain your body temperature, and eat… you got to come home!!!! You barely weighed over five pounds.
At home, you met Kaia and Maile. We picked apples, went hiking, and played in parks.
You needed a little help with learning to move and being able to eat so you were enrolled in Early Intervention. From there, you took off!
I knew that having a baby would change everything. I did not know that I would be inspired to be better, braver, and stronger than I ever thought I could be. Your first year is not at all what I expected or prepared for. But it was so much better than I had hoped for or even imagined it could be. Thank you for fighting so hard and being so strong. I am so proud of you.
You will always be my Charlie Bear.
Happy First Birthday!