July 6, 2016

Dash is one!

My baby is one! What a year. He's currently sleeping in my arms giggling. Such a heart melter. I've been trying to find the words to express what this first year of life with him has meant to me. This post has been on my mind for quite a while and I'm still not entirely sure how to say what I feel. Here goes! (Plus some favorite photos from the year) 
Before Dash was born, when I was about 7 months pregnant, I requested another ultrasound. I just wasn't feeling it since we had found out at 18 weeks, and I felt that seeing him again and knowing without a doubt that he was indeed a boy would help me have a better connection with him and help me prepare better for another natural birth. (You can read his birth story here). Having the ultrasound definitely helped get my mind in the right place and to prepare as best I could for my baby boy. To be brutally honest, I was way nervous to have a boy. Most of my friends had boys first and not one of them talked about them being easy. All I ever heard was how hard, busy, crazy, and exhausting they were. But everyone single friend also mentioned how loving and sweet they are, and what a special connection you as their mother have with them. That alleviated some of my stress, but not completely. If any of you know my husband then you know that if our son was to be anything like him, even the littlest amount, my hands would forever be full of never ending excitement, surprises, and anxiety. 
My due date was July 3rd and Dash decided to arrive on July 1st. Very, very quickly, might I add. We joked that he came "in a dash" and that his name fit him well. So, the first moments with this boy were already a bit of a shock and left our heads spinning a bit. Then, on July 3rd, our heads began to spin even faster and on July 4th pure terror and shock set in at an all time high, mixed with confusion and the great unknown. On the morning of July 5th we experienced what I can only describe as pure agony, despair, and misery followed immediately by bliss, euphoria, and the greatest joy. (You can read more about his miracle story here: part 1, part 2, part 3
The first 5 days of life with our baby Dash were completely insane. A heart breaking tragedy occurred followed quickly by a miracle straight from the heavens. Now Dash is one, and while the deep penetrating feelings we felt those first 5 days of life have somewhat faded, not a day goes by that I don't still feel them to some extent. I remember it all so clearly. Mainly because it was so intense and truly life-changing, but also because it happened all over again (to a slightly lesser degree) when he 2 months old, and then again when he was almost 8 months old. We haven't exactly been able to move on and forget. But, I don't want to. That's a major reason for the posts on this blog. I never want to forget.

The experiences with Dash this past year have changed me. I thought I knew myself. Being married 8+ years, already being a mom to one, experiencing plenty of heart ache and joy already during other life events. But Dash has made me realize just how much my heart can truly take and still continue to beat. I never knew I could feel so helpless, terrified, lost, and frustrated. I never knew my heart could physically hurt like it did. I never knew I could cry so many tears. I never knew what it felt like to barely be able to breath, and having to make your self. I never knew I could pray like I do now. Like I did when I longingly plead with God over and over to let me keep Dash on this Earth for little while longer. I never knew how strong my faith was and how it could be tested in such a difficult, daunting way.  I just never knew, or even thought, that we would be tested in such a way. 
There is something that has been on my mind lately, a sort of realization. Something that I have hesitated to share, worried that it could be taken the wrong way. But it's something I have realized that has helped me work out some of the lasting feelings I am having. I cannot say that I know what it is like to lose a child. I know people who have lost their babies and I am not about to say that I know what that's like.  We came very, very close to the edge, tipping even, but didn't quite make it off all the way. However, in a way, as crazy as it may sound, I feel like I went there. I my heart and in my mind, I went there. I was there. In a way I feel like Dash did die, and came back to life. Now, this did not happen. He never died. But on the morning of July 5th I kissed his sweet cheeks and whispered in his ear to ask Heavenly Father to let him stay, and they wheeled him into the OR. I had done everything I could to have faith, but while waiting in that waiting room I prepared myself for the words they were going to tell me after surgery. I was prepared to go back up the elevator to a quiet labor and delivery room with Bodie and hold my baby for as long as I wanted, until he took his last breath, probably a few hours, they said. I was prepared for this. To mentally note every single feature of his, to tell him everything I could think of. I was prepared to bury my baby. And it hurt. Oh, how it hurt. I haven't forgotten what that felt like and while I don't care to dwell on it and I have to be careful, some days the memory and feeling of it still takes my breath away. It still can bring my to my knees with tears streaming down my cheeks. 
But we did get a miracle. A truly unbelievable miracle. And those feelings...those feelings I will gladly hang on to and dwell on every day for the rest of my life. Words cannot describe the feeling of losing your baby that was just perfectly content inside of your belly and then mere minutes later hearing that he is going to be okay. That he is going to survive and stay with us; that he isn't going anywhere. I still to this day find it mind boggling that a heart can keep beating after all that. Our hearts went through the ringer and yet they kept beating. 
This past year with Dash has been hard, busy, crazy, and exhausting. But it has also been a year of love, learning, patience, happiness, and faith. This past year has been the toughest of my life, and I am thankful to have had my husband and my daughter by my side, along with my dear family and friends. Bodie and I were just talking about how this year has flown by in that it doesn't seem possible for Dash to be one, yet it has seemed like incredibly long, taxing year because of everything else. We are happy the year is over. But this post isn't about me, or us. This post is to celebrate the first birthday of our sweet, strong boy. 
Dash is so darn fun. He is just the sweetest, most curious little thing. He is into everything! Just the other day, in a matter of seconds, he had a handful of peas along with a few cracked eggs piled on the floor. He is crazy in restaurants! Grabbing everything in site in mere seconds. He has this high pitch screech that he uses constantly. He is learning sigh language well and knows milk, more, thank you, and all done. He loves food! He doesn't turn away anything we offer him. He crawls super fast. He has 3 crawls, the army- his personal favorite, the one he is fastest at, he has the regular knee crawl- the one he uses the least, and he has the bear crawl- using only hands and feet mainly on unfamiliar surfaces, also pretty quick and extra cute. Dash loves to put things into containers and take them out over and over. He loves to crawl away fast when you "get him" and play on the bed when we try to get him dressed. He also loves to dive off the couches unexpectedly and thinks it's funny. He loves the trampoline, he has been found splashing in the toilet a few times, and he really loves to pull sisters hair. He keeps us on our toes WAY more than Dollie ever did at his age. He is pretty much done nursing. I worried that weaning would be hard but it's been pretty effortless and casual. We are still working with him daily on having bowel movements, his scars are healing nicely, and he seems to have no issues withhis intestines at this current moment. We've learned that things happen quickly with him and that he doesn't present the way he should so we are always paying close attention, but also trying to live and not worry all the time. He loves his binky and loves sleeping by me. He is constantly touching my skin, making sure I am there. He wears size 9mo. He has 2 teeth on bottom, soon to be 4, and 4 teeth on top. Teething has been pretty smooth with him also. His current favorite foods are oatmeal, bread, broccoli, grapes, and all the snacks Dollie shares with him. He loves sucking through straws and out of sippy cups. He seems to have some nice skin that's pretty tan-unlike Dollie's fairest skin. He has the exact same color of hair as hers- strawberry blonde. Not sure if he'll have curls yet or not. He doesn't love the beach, mainly the water, he enjoys baths until it's time to get washed, he gets rocked to sleep for naps and bedtimes and he doesn't love his car seat. He is noticeably upset when Dollie isn't home and happily follows her from room to room when she is. He enjoys attacking each of us by planting raspberry kisses on our cheeks, legs, arms...basically anywhere he can latch on to. He loves to bonk heads together. We don't have stairs inside, just the ones outside our front door, and he is a master at them. He is starting to walk around assisted with toys or laundry baskets and holds his own. I'm sure he'll be walking in no time but I am certainly in no rush. He giggles all the time. His grin is addicting. He doesn't sleep through the night and I am working up the courage to sleep train him. After 365 days of not one single full nights sleep for either of us, I think we're both ready. Dash says mama, dada, and uh-oh mostly. He loves to talk into Dollie's play microphone, throw blocks, and get into anything that Dollie is playing with and focused on. When Bodie calls he gets super excited and screeches at me until I hand him the phone. When I leave, he is not happy one bit. But he bounces back pretty quickly. He seems to do well meeting new people and loves to clap and wave. We get told 95% of the time how much he looks like his Daddy. I dig it. 
Basically, he is all boy, and extra lovable/sweet- just like they said. Having a boy is way, way fun and I am learning to relax a little more and not worry so much about the dirt, rocks, and messes. His laugh is contagious and his heart is big. You can see so much love through his big brown eyes. Sometimes he can really push my buttons and make it impossible for me get anything done, but most days I just gobble him up and kiss him 1,000,000 times. I am so excited to see what's in store for our sweet miracle baby. We are so thankful for him and the joy and sweet spirit he brings into our home daily. He is such a special blessing in our lives. So incredibly happy to celebrate his first birthday. Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy! We love every little bit of you! 

No comments:

Post a Comment