Happy first birthday, Warren! I am so blessed to have you in my life, to watch you grow and develop over this first year. One year ago today, you were kicking me (hard), frantically trying to get out into the world. It was a rough time for me, stressful and challenging, but every kick, every time I got to hear your heart beat, I knew it was worth every sacrifice. You were our firstborn son, the older brother by exactly 1 minute. I imagine you will be rubbing that in for the rest of your life... When we learned you were going to be born that night, we were terrified. You were too small! But you proved us all wrong, came out screaming with one arm raised overhead, shouting in triumph "I DID IT!!" And, you were exactly 1 gram bigger. Proved those doctors wrong one more time.
You caused us lots of anxiety in those first weeks as we watched you struggle to learn to breath, fought off panic when your monitors beeped at us, watched your weight plummet down below 2 pounds as you refused to digest anything. You endured blood transfusion, late night x-rays, needle pricks and blood draws daily, and a constant adjusting of your oxygen settings just to keep you going. And yet, God carried you through. Daddy and I were able to spend a little extra time with you, got to watch you fight and accomplish more in those first weeks than most experience in a lifetime. And you were a fighter! We learned early that Warren doesn't do things unless Warren is ready. You study, contemplate, and then...done! No trial and error, just going for it. I love that about you. Our NICU time was a great place to focus on just our children, to hold you, read to you, love on you without the other daily tasks weighing down on us. So many fond memories.
We brought you home 86 days later, so excited to have both of you home and together at last. So many sleepless nights were spent holding you, bouncing you, walking with you, swaying with you, rocking you, trying to do anything to calm the screaming and colic pain you were experiencing. But then, you would look up at me, and smile. That adorable Warren grin with your dimpled cheek. And my heart would melt. And you continued to grow and surpass all expectations, proving that God is bigger than any doctor, diagnosis, or statistic.
I love so many things about you, sweet boy. I love how you stop crying the second I pick you up, lay your head on my shoulder, sigh, and just relax again. I love how your face lights up each morning when I walk in to get you, crawl over to the edge, pull up, and reach your arms up to say "pick me up, mom." I love that you are just a little hesitant...you take an extra second just to make sure it is safe before continuing your cruising, changing directions, or pulling up. I love that you share your paci with me during story time, truly a sacrifice for you! I love how you laugh when I tickle you. I love how your face lights up when Daddy comes home, when he throws you high in the air. I love how you splish splash in the bathtub, kicking so hard. And most of all, I love that God has allowed me to be your mommy.
I love you so much, Warren! Happy first birthday!!