As I sit here typing, I can not believe that you are one today. In some ways, it seems like you have been a part of our lives for such a very long time, and in other ways, I truly can not believe that a year has passed since the day you were born. What a year it has been. I can not believe what a strong little boy you are. Then, again....I think you came into this world strong and ready to show everyone what you were made of.
You have endured more in your first year of life than many have endured in a lifetime. I think back to the taping, the NAM device, the weekly appointments to Cleveland in snow, rain, ice and the usual winter crud that Ohio can bring, the crying during taping, the rolling you up like a burrito in a beach towel just to get you to lie still for a few moments while taping you and cleaning your nose and lip, the surgeries, the waiting, the new face that we saw through our tear-filled eyes, the countless nurses, doctors, aides, and receptionists that have touched our lives because you have touched theirs, the horrible nasal stents that you dealt with for a whopping 90 days, the feedings with syringes, finally changing to a Haberman bottle, the solid foods experience, shooting cheerios out of your nose when you would laugh, needing a Hazmat suit during feedings when you weren't so great at figuring out how to get food down your throat not out your nose, the countless people that we have befriended who have also been blessed by a cleft affected child in their lives, the many medications we have tried with you in order to get the horrible reflux issue under control, the tears that we have cried watching you cry, and the endless smiles you have provided to us through your ever-changing one.
I am amazed at your spirit and your overwhelming happiness that you bring to a room instantly. I love to listen to you breathe as you sleep on my shoulder during the depths of the night, and I love watching you grow. It won't be long until you are walking instead of crawling, talking instead of jabbering. It was an honor to hear your mutter your first word, "MaMa" not so long ago. Those words were music to my ears, and I am grateful that it continues to pour out your mouth all day long. You amaze me and make me wonder why God allowed me to be your mom. It is a true honor to be able to call you my son. Reid, I love you more than you can ever imagine. I will look back at your first baby pictures with gladness and joy in my heart that I was able to fall in love with your face two times. Not all moms get that opportunity. I will forever love that wide smile that you smiled to me for almost 7 months, and I am thrilled with the beauty of your new smile that melts my heart whenever I see it.
I thank God each day for your life and for allowing me to share this journey with you. There have definitely been many bumps in our road. Some days I really didn't know if I had the stamina to keep going. Then, I would feel so badly to think that I couldn't keep going????? What about YOU? You were the one who had to keep going and fighting day after day. And I am so proud of how strongly you have made it through. You truly are my hero, and I am so honored and blessed to be known as your mom. I love you through and through, Reid. Happy 1st birthday, big boy!
My first good look at you....I was instantly in love with you.
Some of the taping and NAM wearing you went through.
Your beautiful new look. What an amazing boy you are.
Love that smile.
You are my hero, little man. I love you.