All morning long I've been surprised at how emotional I am about the events from a year ago, surprised at how I'll remember certain things when I look at what time it is and remember what was happening last year at this time and surprised at how much can change in such a short space in a life.
There were moments, a year ago, when I didn't know how/if I could love Asher like a mom should love her child. There were a lot of dark thoughts in my head and a pretty heavy weight on my heart. I felt so horrible that I had somehow done something to our family that would negatively effect my other children because my body had put together a baby that was going to need more than other babies.
A year ago, I didn't know what Asher was going to be like, what personality traits he'd have, how social or aware he would be. He slept for the first two weeks of his life almost nonstop. He barely seemed human to me. I had no eye contact with him, no acknowledgement of connection or life. He was this tiny, slumbering statue.
A year ago, I sat by myself in a hospital room and cried while my husband followed an ambulance to a children's hospital 30 minutes away and my other two children were cared for by almost complete strangers.
A year ago, I hooked myself up to a machine to try to start getting milk flowing so that whenever my baby woke up there would be food waiting for him. Little did I imagine I would be doing that for a complete year. 8 times a day, for an entire year.
A year ago, it was the most amazing, beautiful, incredible, terrifying, exhausting, dark day.
I gave birth to my baby in my home surrounded by my family and some amazing women. Then the bottom dropped out and I went for a freefall.
I'm grateful to be able to acknowledge these emotions and be able to just say it so that I can enjoy today.
Today, my baby turns a year old.
Through the last year all my fears, all my concerns, all my doubts have been completely blown away by the breath of grace and love.
Today, Asher laughs, he yells, he sings, he crawls, he smiles all the time, he eats . . . a lot, he plays, he loves, oh how he loves!
And oh how his brothers love him. I have seen them grow in astounding ways, become more compassionate, more empathetic, more aware. And oh how his mommy and daddy love him. This once sleeping babe has awoken so much light in our home, not just opening our hearts to him but to the whole family and to every person we meet. It is an amazing gift!
Happy birthday, my darling wonderful son. Every year I will celebrate the gift I got on your birthday, YOU.