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wife. mom. adjunct professor. we homeschool. i'm a little bit OCD. i love math. bright colors and geometric designs make me drool. we live with a medical rarity, and Jesus saved his life. through that, Jesus is changing us. The american dream and status quo is overrated...and sometimes just plain wrong. our lives, our family, our careers, our faith are all now filtered through a new lens-- thank you Jesus. welcome to our crazy. feel free to take some of it with you, we have plenty to go around.
It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it.
-- Lena Horne

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.-- Jesus Christ

Saturday, April 23, 2011

two entire years

It's kind of impossible for me to fathom that two years ago, I tucked my at-that-time only child into bed for the last night he could be called an only child.  I guess he never really was an only child, we always knew we'd have I suppose it was the last night I tucked my firstborn into bed as my only son.  Because two years ago, about 6 hours from this moment, BDawg and I trucked it to the hospital, where Ridge was born approximately 6 hours later.  So about 12 hours from now, two years ago, I became a momma for the second time.  To this beautiful creature (photos here courtesy of my talented friend, KZ):

We had no idea what this tiny thing (okay, not so tiny- almost 9 lbs) had in store for us.  Soon we went from all that baby bliss you see above to a whole new ballgame of hospitals, transfusions, unknowns, incredibly uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, disgusting showers, learning a new language, one income, lots of tears, lots more prayers than tears, fear, faith, anger, gratitude, education, advocation (that isn't a word i don't think...).  The "baby" times were sort of stolen away from us.  Oh don't get me wrong, I'm soaking them up now, little boy, even if you are two years old.  You still get to sleep in bed with me, and sometimes I hold you through your entire nap just so I can smell your hair. I know.  Because you scared us there for a while, baby boy.  We didn't know if we'd see you turn 6 months old...but you did.

And after that, you still had some scary days.  And we still lived in the hospital.  You got to come home for your first Christmas, if only for a couple days before having to head back to the hospital for awhile.

You were still on a lot of meds then.  A lot.  Continuous IV infusion of Octreotide, oral steroids, oral carafate, oral prevacid, oral liquid vitamins, oral liquid vit D, oral amicar.  A lot.
Time drew closer to your first birthday, which you spent in the hospital.
You didn't care. You didn't really know your house as "home" yet anyway.  So you were plenty happy there.  And sick as a dog.  I never want to go back to those days-- I appreciate them for what they were, and for the lessons God has taught me, but I don't want to ever have to go through them again.  That is a place that I will walk through again only if I must...and only by the grace of God.  After you turned one, just as we were told by the doctors you would, you did start to get some better.  By the time you were 18 mos old, we were starting to be home quite a bit more. You did spend Halloween in the hospital, but only for a few days before and a little of the day of. We got to be home to Trick or Treat.

You got to learn to brush your own teeth, at got to spend your second Christmas, the entire Christmas break!, at home...

And even though you look ridiculous in that picture with the tree- you were so full of joy and delight, and while we missed some of the baby baby things with you, we cherish all the other moments so much more-  when you finally started crawling and had to pull that stupid flipping dumb pump around behind are so strong.  When you started walking, which is something I was afraid you'd never do....When you learned to talk...a little...even now, when you learn a new word...every single word is precious to our ears and we smile and laugh every time you say a new word.  Right now, the night before you turn 2 years can say, "mama, nana, ssss (yes), mo (more), doctor (not this clearly...but the way you say it does not translate appropriately into the written language), elmo" and you can sign "please, thank you, more, no, eat, drink"...we think you have uttered "daddy" and "thank you" but not repeatedly.  you shake your head a lot for "no" dance like a crazy person. you love to laugh and squeal.  you are mean.  you hit a lot because you can't fully communicate yet.  you get sent to time out and you cry and cry.  you have pretty much all of your teeth.  this past week was a great big week for you.

you looked like this five days ago:
Today, you look like this:
Splashing in the tub, pool, sprinkler with your brother is just around the corner.  That stupid line is out, and while it will kill me inside to hold you down if you need an IV for blood, I have a feeling your blood transfusions in the future are not many. I am not God, and I do not know all things, so if a huge bleed befalls us in the future, we will do what we need to do to save your life.  But for now, you are doing excellently.  You are the bravest soul I know.  You are full of life, life we didn't know if we'd get to see.  Life we will forever be grateful for.  You are a living, breathing example of the grace of God...the hand of God in our lives.  You are a reminder that He watches over us,  protects us, and gives us miracles, even today.  Yes, medicine (of which you are on very little now) has helped to save your life.  Blood transfusion after blood transfusion has, too.  But even with all of that going in your body, there were times we didn't know what to do.  I have seen you, literally, at the door of death more than once- and once is one more time than any parent should live through.  But today, you are here.  You are happy. You are growing. You are full of joy. 

 You are our Ridge.  And tomorrow, you turn two.  An Elmo cake is waiting for you, big boy, and so are a stack of presents.  Happy birthday, to my little chubby miracle.  There are no right words for the love I have for you.


Courtney and Stephen Osborne said...

Wow, that makes me cry. It is so good to see his happy face. You guys have surely persevered and I pray lots of blessings for your family!

RainOnMe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Orrs- Jason, Corie, Ethan, and Justyn said...

This made me cry too- in happiness for all that God has given you in this special child. He has a story that no one else has and has survived something that very few have. God must have wonderful plans for Ridge. And now, enjoy this day, this year, and the rest of his long life to come! We celebrate with you and your family. Happy Birthday, Ridge!

Amy W said...

Best blog post EVER!

Alethea said...

Happy Birthday, Ridge! Of all the gifts Ridge will get for his birthday, this blog that you wrote in summary of his first two years will be one of the most precious. Those of us who read the blog realize that God has his hand not only on Ridge's life, but on yours. We love you.

Blayne Royse said...

Wow, excellent post. I thought I needed Kleenex, but maybe I'll just grab a towel!