Zachary is One!

It's hard to believe that 12 months ago Zachary and I were strangers. I didn't know what he looked like, what he smelt like, what he sounded like, or a single thing about his personality. Today, Zachary is my best friend. We have a more intimate bond than I ever imagined. Today I know everything about Zachary. I wonder how I ever lived without him.

According to an Article I read on "Motherhood", in the last year I have "Changed at least 3000 diapers and lost about 350 hours of sleep" (in our case I might safely double that sleep number).

As a sleep deprived parent it's easy to look at all the work that's gone into this last year. I can find thousands of complaints regarding lack of sleep, being peed on, pooped on, vomited on, the hours spent worrying about him, praying for him, researching his symptoms, tripping over toys, stains on clothes (his and mine), and probably a hundred more things. But to be honest, none of that matters.

When I look back at this first year, I'm not thinking about changing diapers (although we do have some funny memories made at the changing table), I'm not thinking about puke in my hair or the amount of hours spent on Google. I'm thinking about his milestones: giggling, rolling over, sitting on his own, crawling, taking steps, and now walking. I'm thinking about fun memories: The Oregon Coast when he was a month old, Port Townsend at two months old, his first Packer's season, all of his first holidays, and spending countless days at the park. I'm thinking about all the time I had at home with him: our Monday Adventures, being the first to see him crawl, roll over, walk, stand, and say "Momma" and "Dadda", teaching him new games and new songs, reading to him every night before bed and singing to him every morning when he woke up, getting pears approved, and then carrots and chicken and peas and rice, capturing every memory on film and feeling like I was his whole world.

To those of you who are new parents: You will not remember most of what happens during the first three months of your child's life. It becomes a thick fog of sleeping and feeding and not much in between. I encourage you to make memories with your children. Create opportunities to never forget. You will be thankful.

To those of you who have kids that are grown: Thank you for advising me to savor it all - we are doing just that. Although time does seem to go by fast, there are some aspects that have made this last year the longest year of my life. I knew that Zachary's first birthday would be a tough day for me because he can't dive head first into a cake like just about every other baby does on their first birthday. But celebrating Zachary's birthday is so much more than cake and frosting to us.

I have said this to very few people as these thoughts are some of my darkest, but there were times, before Zachary's diagnosis with MPI, that we thought he might not make it. He would scream for such long periods of time and no one could figure out why. He had bloody diapers and threw up if we even tried to feed him. We began to think the worst and began to wonder if he would ever make it out okay. The thing about this disease is that until we spoke to a Specialist, we couldn't find any information that was leading us in the right direction. The more we researched, the more questions we had. We would think it was one thing, and a different symptom would pop up that left us disappointed and confused. If you google "really fussy baby" I guarantee you that it won't lead you to MPI. Add "bloody stool" to that search bar and you still won't get anywhere close to MPI. Because we couldn't get answers, we were terrified. So celebrating Zachary's first Birthday is more than cake, it's celebrating his Life. It's something we wondered if we'd ever even get to do. We praise God every day for getting us to this point in our journey. We might have a ways to go still, but the way we look at it, we have already come so far. His birthday is a day of joyful reflection for us. Not disappointment, exhaustion or frustration.

So - to celebrate his first year and everything we've survived, I made a special movie. We are making a time capsule for Zachary to open on his 18th birthday, this movie will be in it, along with many other special items that we can't wait to share with him, including the password to an e-mail address we created before he was even born. We've been sending e-mails to him for over a year now. We know that he has a full life ahead of him, we can plan for his future and this first birthday is one milestone on that journey.

Happy First Birthday to our little Bubba.

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Comments

  1. This had me so emotional. It's amazing how fast time goes with these little guys. Happy 1st Birthday to Zachary and congrats to you and your husband on "surviving" the first year. You did great, Mama!

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