Happy Homecoming Baby!

It’s been a year.

A very long year. A very long year that went by quicker than I could ever imagine.

Last year at this very moment, we were settling into a room that we had walked past for 116 days, never knowing if we would ever see the inside of that room for ourselves. Sometimes the door was cracked open and I could see inside, but I was always afraid to look for long, as if I hadn’t quite earned the right to see what was inside. And if I stared and tried to steal the secret, we might never get to see the inside of the room. And then our day came. The night we roomed in with our son and for the first time in his life, became his watchful caregivers without the hovering of nurses, beeping of monitors or other equipment to tell us of every rhythm of his inner workings. For such a momentous day, it was not a fancy room. Actually the word “dinky” comes to mind. But after it all, it was the first place we were really allowed to be parents.

The next morning, then turned into afternoon, we waited and signed paperwork, and then almost like buying a car, he was ours. Ours to walk down the hall, and go through those mysterious double doors that had the foreboding presence of the NICU. Those doors that intimidated outsiders from entering, but held our children securely from the germs of the outside world while they grew into little people from the small alien like creatures that entered the world and began the literal fight for their lives.

Our lives, hectic before, really started that day. The first day we placed him in the car next to his sister. The first day we left that hospital hoping never to return. The first day we were ..HOME. As a complete family. No more fractured time spent away from one child or another. No more worry or fear that our children would be forever separated from one another. HOME.

I carried a baby out of that hospital. A moment that had been 117 days in the making. The moment I wished for the first time I left the hospital. I did not have balloons, or the new mother glow. It was apparent to all of those who passed that this 8 pound baby was not a new baby. We would get a few glances, but no one saw the miracle that was unfolding before their eyes. The 8 pound baby that was born 1/8th of that size, who wasn’t supposed to live a week. Who had fought for 4 months relentlessly to reach the moment he could be reunited with the sister he would cuddle with in utero.

We placed him in the car, on the side of a busy parking garage, again not the most elegant event but starting your life in a hospital never is. Diva looked at me and asked if we really got to take him home. And when I told her yes, she told me that he was the best baby brother ever. And he was HER baby. And as a mother, I look at the two of them together, and strangely – I don’t think she is wrong.

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The last year has brought joy, tears, tough decisions but mostly love. We fight hard, we cry hard, but we love hard, too. Each day presents with new challenges, and some days we even manage to make an ‘inchstone’ too. But he still fights with the same determination he had to get out of that NICU, only now he has the strength of his sister with him.

He always sleeps better when he sleeps in her bed. His temperature regulates, he doesn’t have seizures, and he smiles.

He dreams.

March for Babies 2013 – Second Annual March of Dimes Walk

This year was the first year we struck out and made our own team – it was eye-opening and somewhat difficult to say the least! I have come to the conclusion that I had no idea what I was getting myself into but it was a great walk and that’s all that matters! While we came nowhere near the goals I set both personally and for the team, we raised money to help save some babies and that’s what matters!

Personal goal: $1000 – Raised: $365 

Team goal: $5000 – Raised: $690

Team Super_Man was sponsored this year by:

Kinderdance of Alamo City and Life Point Church San Antonio, TX

All in all it was still a success! Our team had a great turn out – we ended up splitting up but we came back together in the end and had a snack back in the parking lot! And I forgot my camera – so all pictures are from my cellphone – which not the best quality.

We had 5 kiddos, three of them preemies all from the same hospital and one sibling (Diva) and one friend. And many, many grownups!

Superman woke up for the National Anthem – that’s my boy!

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We were joined by old friends – we had another “old” friend there but somehow I failed miserably to get a picture of her!

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And new friends

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It was a beautiful morning to walk for babies!

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We ended up finding our sign along Mission Mile and stopped to take some pictures.

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After 2 miles of walking, a lot of falls, bumps and scrapes and lots of band-aids (note to anyone that takes children – TAKE BAND-AIDS), we found the dolphins in the backstage area playing so we stopped with the kiddos and let them watch.

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And tired, hungry and feeling accomplished we headed back to the finish line for snacks. I don’t think a muffin has ever tasted so good! Plus Superman needed his breakfast and his meds so he was quite happy about that too!

Superman was awake for most of the walk, and he woke up willingly this morning which is a feat in itself – so he must have known that today was his day.

We walk for babies. We walk for research. We walk for Moms. We walk because we have sat in that NICU and watched the lifesaving research funded by March of Dimes turn into real things that saved our son’s life.

You can always find our March for Babies profile here. And if you are looking for ways to volunteer, find information or resources you can always find a local chapter for your March of Dimes and call them.

Now, to go soak my feet! Ouch!

 

Flashback: First Annual March for Babies

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Diva – her brother’s biggest cheerleader – she was so excited about her shirt that she helped “draw” on Cafepress.

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Family picture for our first March for Babies. Superman was still in NICU. This walk actually took place in April so he was only 2 months old actual – or not yet supposed to be born yet!

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This is our friend that Dad worked with overseas in the Navy – we were actually introduced to March of Dimes by her when she lost her daughter, and Diva and Dad were going to walk with her – I couldn’t because of my very difficult pregnancy – but instead we ended up being able to walk for her daughter AND our son. You can read about it here.

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Diva – she is going to be Superman’s ambassador one day – like her Mom, she has zero shame about walking up to someone and telling them about her brother – and how awesome he is! Little does she know I am about to put her to work on some fundraising!

 

Anyway I hope you enjoyed our look back at last year and stay tuned for our post later this weekend about our second annual March for Babies – Superman’s Debut! (as long as the rain holds out!)

Goin’ to the Rodeo

Today was pretty awesome. We were invited to our first special needs event (other than the daily event that is our life). The Rodeo! Diva got a chance to miss school, even though she really wanted to go to school and be picked up when it was time to go to the rodeo, however, Mom wanted to sleep in. So did Dad.

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Diva’s first time on a horse – you wouldn’t be able to tell though – she’s already practicing her wave for the Grand Entry.

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Superman didn’t get to ride the horse because he isn’t sitting yet, but he did find him a cowgirl to fall in love with him. Can’t beat that!

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Diva got to hang with the mascots from the local high school – I can’t wait to show her these pictures when she goes to school there herself!

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Superman didn’t get to do much since it was 50 degrees out, but he did enjoy soaking up some sun – so much so that Dad couldn’t get him to eat his breakfast! Isn’t that the life.

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The kids all got in a circle and did the hokey pokey – Diva got a chance to show off her sass, and man does she have alot of it!

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At the end of the day, everyone had a great time supporting our special needs community with some great organizations – and at 50 degrees bringing some hot chocolate and coffee didn’t hurt either!