Yesterday was a serene day for me. I had a lot of calmness, quietness, and thoughtfulness flood my senses as I thought about what has transpired from that emotional day, two years ago, when I first received the news during my followup ultrasound: "Your baby has some very serious heart defects and won't survive after birth without immediate intervention."
I thought about what a wreck I was as I drove to my friend's house to pick up my other four kids, and how I tried so hard to mask my emotions, but failed miserably, as my friend who was equally pregnant, comforted me without knowing what was wrong until I could manage to talk.
I thought about that following weekend, as I tried to relax my mind enough to sleep so that I could escape the consuming worry and dread for a few moments.
I thought about all the times concerned people called to comfort me, and to get more information on our baby's diagnosis, and how it just didn't seem like this should be my reality now.
I thought about all the followup ultrasounds I had for the next three months, each time receiving more of the puzzle pieces to this new world that we were now a part of, and how with each appointment, ultrasound, NICU tour, or consult we had, the news just kept going from bad to worse.
I thought about the day they told me he had a cleft lip as well, and how I suddenly understood the phrase "it was the straw that broke the camel's back".
I thought about the day he was born. Holding my sweet baby for two minutes before he was taken to the ICU. I remembered falling asleep across his NICU bed, with our hands touching, my arms aching to hold him.
I remember getting moved to The Children's Hospital, and the feeling I got when I heard the words "Of course you can hold him!"
I remember the anxiousness of waiting for surgeries to be completed. Of seeing my baby's tiny chest go from perfection, to scarred.
I remember that one terrible night post-surgery, and how I stood with my husband's arms around me as we watched our little baby go between life and death as his whole team of doctors and nurses swarmed around him all night and worked as though their hands were guided by our Father in Heaven.
I remember the relief I felt when after five weeks of hospital life, they said "You and your baby get to go home today!"
I thought about those months at home before his next surgeries, and how I treasured every moment I had with my baby Kimble; relishing the fact that I could hold him without the hindrance of cords and monitors.
I thought about that morning before his third surgery, when he was 7 months old, and how I truly believed that would be the last time I would get to hold my sleeping baby against me, and feel his slow and steady breathing and have his heart beating against my chest.
I thought about how relieved I was, when he recovered so fast from that surgery, and I was able to take my sweet baby home again with me.
I thought about when he turned one. A moment I didn't dare hope for when I first heard his diagnosis.
I thought about when my baby took his first steps at 17 months old, and then nothing could stop him from moving and exploring the world. He was no longer a weak and frail cardiac baby. He was strong!
I thought about all of this yesterday, as I watched my Mr. Kimble play "vroom" with his toy cars, and "raaahhrr" with his dinosaurs; how he stood by the door waiting for someone to make the mistake of not closing it all the way so that he could escape outside; how he curled up with his blanket and held onto his binkie when I put him down for his nap; how I came home from the farmer's market to find Kimble sitting on a kitchen chair, sharing some dinner with his daddy; and finally, how he curled up next to me in my bed, as we watched Master Chef, listening to his giggles and rubbing his back as he gave me loves.
Two years has brought some significant changes to our little household. Kimble is now 21 months old, 25 pounds, and growing out of his size 4 shoes. He likes to use a fork at dinner, has been weaned from his bottle, and is starting to like "swimming" in the bathtub. He repeatedly climbs atop our dining room table, steals knives out of the dishwasher, and goes for the bathroom any time someone neglects to close the door. It is a struggle to keep him happy during the first hour of church meetings, he loves fruit, and still takes two medications every day.
We love you so much, little Kimble. Every moment, every struggle, every hardship...it was all worth it.