Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My little miracle turns 18 on Saturday!

I can't believe it's been 18 years since I went into premature labor at just 24 weeks gestation and raced to the hospital. It seems like just yesterday that our lives changed in a day...and I learned all the things about prematurity I wish I never had to learn.

We are so lucky. Chris was an incredible fighter (read his birth story here), we prayed hard for his survival, and he had the best care. But much of his survival came down to pure, blind luck.

Although I would never wish the NICU experience on my worst enemy, I am grateful for the blessings it brought:
  • A greater awareness of the fragility of life
  • Wonderful support from family, friends, and faith community, and learning who could be with us in the hard times
  • Reminder not to take anything for granted
  • Opportunity to develop close friendships with other NICU parents
  • Knowledge that it doesn't matter at what age your child talks, walks, reads, etc.--each of those milestones is a gift
Now Chris is on the verge of becoming an adult. We are so proud of you, Chris!! You are my hero. From the first moments of your life when you clung to survival against all odds, to the accomplishments you've made throughout your life...appearing on stage, speaking on behalf of the hospital and NICU (e.g., the Red Wagon video for Emanuel), becoming an accomplished drummer, receiving an Algebra 2 achievement award after all those years of struggling in math, and most important, becoming a kind, compassionate, funny, and opinionated young man. Your love for music began in the NICU when you heard us sing every day, and grew as a toddler when you were obsessed with CDs. Now you are a walking, talking musical dictionary!

We love you so much and cannot begin to express our gratitude that you survived your birth and have grown up to become a wonderful young man! I made this little video to honor your first 18 years. We sang the first three songs, among others, to you in the NICU. Here's to you, kid!

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