Hallelujah! We made it one whole year. I am still married through all of this and my friends and family are still talking to me. I call this success. I also would never of made it through this year without the support of my teacher friends, hometown girls, NICU staff, therapists, my parents and sister, and of course Donnie! I have heard that having a baby is hard but this years experience was extremely hard. I can sit and look back at all of the things I wish I would of done, wish I would of known, or wish I could of changed. But I sit and look at my little miracle in awe and wonder. How did I get so lucky to be this baby’s momma? Why did God choose me? I hope to think it is because he knew that I had the strength and the faith to give her the best life she can have.
Our first couple of months was navigating through with no clue what the future holds. I honestly look back at the first few days of Harlow’s life and wonder how I made it through those days. I still remember like it was yesterday that the doctor coming in with the chaplain to talk about the progress and prognosis of Harlow. You know that it is not good when they are bringing in the Chaplain. I was supposed to be celebrating this life that just came into the world not worrying if my baby was going to die. That is so hard to say. I don’t say it often but there was a time that medical staff thought she could possibly die. My beautiful baby that I carried for 9 months. I remember just breaking down. I didn’t want to look at anyone. I wanted someone to take the physical and emotional pain away. But we made after that little, stubborn Diva decided to finally pee. We spent the next few weeks beginning to heal from all the trauma at birth. Harlow spent 46 days in the NICU. She went home on Jtube.
After being home for a couple of months, Harlow was starting to develop like a typical baby. Yes we were still doing tube feeding 24 hours a day but she was alert and ready to take on the world. This is when the two months of HELL happened. I pushed for her Jtube to be converted into a Gtube so she would not have to be hooked up to a pump all day. This is when the NGtube (nose) was placed. Harlow spit up more than normal, yanked it out several times, and you could not leave her for a second or she would yank it again. IT WAS AWFUL. I honestly don’t know how we survived those days. I would have to swaddle one hand so she didn’t pull the tube. Someone always had to be watching her. Someone had to sit in the back seat with her. So for me to go anywhere, I had to have my dad, mom, or Donnie around to sit in the back seat. But we survived again and her surgery on March 13th was a success.
The spring flew by. Harlow started to make some gains with her eating. She started to teeth. She started to try different foods. Life started to feel normal or typical. She was so happy and easy to please. She enjoyed her first Cardinal’s game, a trip to the zoo, and visits to grammy’s.
This summer Harlow really started to thrive. She is still not a fan of being on her tummy but she scoots on her butt around the house. She has started to pull up on her own. She has her own personality. She likes to do things on her terms and has been like that since day one. This little girl’s stubbornness and will is what pushed her to thrive. She is loving and enjoys everyone’s attention. She loves to read her books and play with all her toys. She starts to dance (bounce) when she hears music. I seriously could not ask for more happy baby. She is the BEST. We are still doing some Gtube feedings until Harlow’s intake of liquids by mouth is more. But she is happy, healthy, and the best thing that ever happened to me! I often look at her and start to cry. How could this thriving baby had been so sick? How could anyone not see that she had the strength and will to survive? What is her future going to hold? This momma is going to toast with hubby for making it one year. It is stressful enough with adding a baby to your life but all of the issues that we have overcome has made this celebration even better. So for Harlow’s birthday (10/2) I want everyone to celebrate life! Celebrate the small things! Celebrate the love you have for your babies! Celebrate that you are surviving parenthood! Celebrate that not everyday is perfect but there is always tomorrow! CELEBRATE!!! CELEBRATE!! CELEBRATE!!