Well I could break it down by the 12 months, the number of days, the date, the money spent and the money made. But there are many things of greater worth to be told, ESPECIALLY within our little family.
This year was like a complete 180 from last year. Where we found out we were being blessed with another baby, I lost my job due to severe hyperemesis (bad morning sickness, to the point of losing weight in my 2nd trimester). On the day we found out about the sex of our unborn baby, we found out something was wrong with him. And the a snowball of effects that lasted the rest of the year and into this one.
But THIS year our baby boy survived another open heart surgery, where he was extubated by the second day. Our baby was finally brought home after living the first 5 months of his life in a hospital, and he met his family!
This year we made more memories than any pay check is worth (and most of them were FREE). Our whole family cuddled on our big bed so many times I have lost count. I have traced my babies scarred chest even more than that. We hiked up a mountain to look over the Kentucky river, ALL of us, with baby strapped to my chest through 4+ miles of hills, trees, rocks, bushes and some mud. All while our baby was outside of 4 walls with beeping machines that were hooked to him, he was seeing nature!
This year we did a 3 mile walk for CHD awareness and to raise money for an organization that helped us out the year before by getting gas cards for us, meal tickets in the hospital, helping to rent a car so we could bring our bundle home for the first time from out of state and offered emotional support.
We joined other organizations with the same cause in mind and have grown to love them just as much and mommy now sits at a table with other board members striving to help CHD families.
This year we have all began and ended our days the exact same, with all of us under one roof, in our own beds. We are so BLESSED.
This year we were on CNN to bring awareness of just how important TRANSPARENCY in a hospital is, and which hospitals aren't focusing on it. We lost some friends because of standing up for what we believe, but we helped MANY more! And because of moms hard work she was asked to come to a big meeting out of state that combines multiple hospitals that do the same surgeries and care all over that Waylon now receives from Michigan, all in an effort to provide the best care for the patients and continue to grow.
This year we took simple trips to the park and watched our kids run free and smile, instead of cry because our family was split apart in different states.
We celebrated birthdays TOGETHER, one inparticular that we were unsure we would get to have. Our baby boys!
Our once 100% tube fed boy now eats from a bottle and snacks on small banana puffs and other things. NO more placing a tube that was pulled out or ready to be changed because a month is up. Tightly swaddling a moving/growing baby and shoving a tube down his nose, and the back of his throat then taping it down on eczema covered cheeks.
We were finally cleared to stop lovenox injections because his blood clot in a major artery had FINALLY disappeared. No more jabbing him in knotted bruised legs with another needle 2x a day.
This year we LIVED!! We had hope for a better future for our CHD baby, for our family, for our selves. We found strength we didnt know we had, and found things we are good at.
We have helped other families and been helped by others. We have watched our kids grow, not only in pounds, but intellectually and as people.
We have also lost. We have mourned for our friends who lost their babies. We have offered comfort and love to them. And we will NEVER forget their sweet babies, and vow to fight for them and their parents so peace will be found. So these parents will know their baby was loved.
As I sit with my beautiful family this evening, even with the next year of procedures, events and another open heart surgery looming over our heads, I will smile and even shed a tear. Because THIS year, we SURVIVED!!