Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Owen's First Birthday

I sit here before my laptop trying to think of what to write.  The past few days I have done a lot of reflecting on the past year, okay, the past year and 9 months.  Kevin and I became pregnant right out of the gate of marriage (I guess that's the best way to refer to it).  We weren't really trying, but not preventing and we surely didn't expect to become pregnant right away.  All of that aside, we were excited for the chance to bring a sweet little baby into this world and to nurture and raise our child to the best of our abilities.

I think about the people we were before Owen was born and realize we have grown so much in a short period of time.  We went from being newlyweds that a lot of people wondered "How did they come together" to a complete unit.  A friend of mine said it perfectly today.  Kevin and I have grown into a unit, we move together and are synchronized beyond belief.  With a child like Owen, that is a requirement.

It really is a case of make it or break it when you have a child with a congenital heart defect(or any other serious health issues).  There are many parents that end up splitting up because of the added stress of having a special needs child, but I can honestly say it has brought Kevin and I together.  I feel like this journey we have been on with our sweet and sassy Owen has strengthened our marriage and we are prepared to take anything thrown our way.

Being able to reach the milestone of Owen's very first birthday has really shown us how blessed we are.  Before Owen was even born, we were told by doctors "If you make it through the first year, it is smooth sailing."  This past year has been the most difficult year of our lives.  Facing two open heart surgeries, three hospitalizations, numerous visits/drives down to Children's hospital for treatments, multiple echos, hundreds of thousands, if not a million dollars worth of medical treatment/care, hundreds of baby aspirin tablets, constant recording of daily intakes and weight recordings, Owen refusing to drink bottles while awake, Owen flat out refusing to take bottles, trying to find creative ways to get Owen to drink bottles to maintain proper fluids, and everything in between.  We have been trained in CPR and how to spot heart failure without machines, as well as how to draw up medications and make higher calorie formula concoctions. We are super parents for sure.

Owen has come so far in the past year, you wouldn't even notice he has only half a heart!  He is the most amazing child I have ever encountered, and yes, that could be a bias statement, if you didn't think it also!  Our sweet little man is finally 1, the age I have been counting down to in my head for months.  On difficult days I would think and repeat to myself "only___ months until he is 1".  It feels like we have been running a year long marathon and have finally reached the finish line.  We are loving this less stressful finish line. I just can't believe it. Owen is 1.  Finally.  I can't believe the amazing little boy our baby is turning out to be.

Watch out world, because Owen is going to grab you by the horns.

It's hard to believe that our little smurfy looking guy was once so tiny!

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