Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Today was all about Samuel.  Really.  We did whatever he wanted to do, for as long as he wanted to do it.  We read a LOT of books, we played with his toy cars and tractors, we watched far too much Yo Gabba Gabba, and he spent very little time in his highchair (except for the 50+ times he blew out his candle - so fun!)

His party won't be until this weekend, but we decided to open a few gifts tonight.  Among other things, he received a toy tractor from his speech therapist (love her!), some really great books from his Nana and Gramps, and an outdoor dump truck from a former coworker of mine (thanks Lisa!)

I suppose it's inevitable that we would be thinking about what this time was like for us two years ago.  Over the last few days, Michael and I have had many reflective moments:  "Two years ago we were rushing to the hospital"..."Two years ago we were watching each contraction with dread"..."Two years ago we were told the terrible statistics"..."Two years ago we watched as they whisked away a silent baby with a head full of hair."

Birthdays are notorious dates for parents of micro preemies.

His first birthday was a tough one for me.  I may have relived every moment of his four month NICU stay.  I couldn't shake that knot in my chest and the lump in my throat.  We were wrapping up the toughest  year of our lives, and all I could think was, "We survived!  We made it!  Thank you God!"  If I could pick a theme for that year, 'survival' would be it.

Although we did spend a lot of time discussing Samuel's tumultuous beginnings these last few days, this birthday was much different.  It was a year of milestones...a year when we really saw all of the prayers come to fruition.  This was the year that he came off the oxygen, he crawled, he walked, he talked.  Our fears of cerebral palsy and autism were laid to rest.

I would say that the theme for his second year is 'normal.'  He is just a normal, average two year old ( 'normal' and 'average' as a miracle can be.)  Stick him in a crowd of kids and no one would be the wiser.  And that's exactly what we prayed from the beginning of the pregnancy, "A healthy, normal, beautiful baby."

It was also a more normal year for me too...I will forever be amazed at how God has healed my heart.

I love days like today because they give us an opportunity to cherish the things that we would have otherwise taken for granted.  It's so easy to become frustrated when the day doesn't go quite right - when Samuel's throwing far too many temper tantrums, when he slings food across the room, when he spills a drink over my furniture, when he breaks my favorite coffee mug.

Not only is that kid's-play in the realm of bad days (a bad day is when a doctor tells you that your child is dying)...but they are the precious kind of days that we prayed SO hard for when he was born.  Typical toddler days.

There's just not enough to say.  We are so blessed.  Happy birthday Samuel!

On the day he was born, his first birthday, and now on his second!
"Look to the Lord and His strength.  Remember the wonders He has done and His miracles."
Psalm 105:4-5


  1. God is sooo very good and He has blessed us all with this wonderful little boy and his wonderful parents. Love you all so much...can't wait to see you!!! <3 <3

  2. The story of Samuel is one I tell many people.. The story of your blind faith is also one I tell people, but it needs to be told to the masses. The strength and commitment you have shown these last two years is something you should be so proud of sweetie.. I am honored to know you. Congratulations to all of you for this precious 2nd birthday.... I cannot wait for the many more to come to fruition.

  3. What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday, Samuel! And I agree with Sheryl, congratulations to all of you!

  4. Love this post! Happy Birthday to Samuel! I so agree with the theme of "survival" for the first year. In the second year, I have constantly been grateful for our increasingly normal lives. That picture of Samuel with that great big smile is precious!

  5. Thanks for updating Sarah! You have a great story and I am so happy to be a small part of your life as you share the amazing power of God!

  6. Thanks for updating Sarah! You have a great story and I am so happy to be a small part of your life as you share the amazing power of God!

  7. Happy birthday, Samuel! i've been following your story for the past year or so, and this post is just beautiful! i am so happy for all of you!