Pic at top is Greyson & Zach, buds! The next pic is a nurse, Jenn, that took care of Zach, then had her little guy, Jameson, a little early and he and Z were neighbors. Calvin helped us out by being awesome that day. We were also thankful that Heidi & Josiah were able to come out and support us!
This was our 2nd year to walk in the March for Babies walk. This is always such a humbling experience for me. I am so happy to participate, don't get me wrong. However, I feel as if I am almost not worthy of being there, not worthy of earning the title of "preemie family". You see, at the walk we talk with hundreds of other families, most who endured far greater sadness, chaos, & in some situations loss, much worse than we lived through. I almost hang my head when I say we "only" spent 43 days in the NICU. We were born "only" 9 weeks early. My baby survived. My baby was a whopping 3 lb 14 oz. You see, in the NICU world, he was HUGE! He didn't have massive issues after birth, no transfusions, no surgeries on his heart, bowels, eyes. He was "only" on the vent for a little less than 72 hours. He came home w/o monitors. I was able to hold him early compared to so many, 36 hours after he was born. There are so, so many others who can't say any of this. There was a team walking that used the term "in memory of" that reminds me just how lucky we are to have our 3 healthy kids walking with us. Other families spoke of waiting for nearly 6 months before they got to bring their little on home. There are kiddos in wheelchairs, where there precious munchkin will never know what it is like to "walk" in the March for Babies, but they are here with us today. There were families who told me of how they watched their little 1 pound miracle micro preemies struggle through so much. The kids their who have endured open heart surgeries when their little bodies aren't even as long as a ruler, don't even weigh 2 pounds. There were children with permanent eye damage due to their prematurity, hearing loss, feeding tubes, CP, life-long medical concerns that they will live with EACH & EVERY DAY for the rest of their lives, all because they came so early.
So, when I spoke to people and told them that Zachary is relatively healthy, it almost felt wrong. But, we did live thru that. It was a hard fought 43 days, and has been a hard fought nearly 17 months with our own struggles. No, they may not have been as serious, but when it happens to you, and your baby, it seems pretty serious.
I love the March for Babies. I forces me to stop, and really take a moment to sing songs of praise at the health of all 3 of my sweet gifts. Everyone there is so positive and never dwells on what they don't have, but they all focus on the positive. I want that for me, and for our family. I want to appreciate all the gifts we have been given--most especially the gifts of Emerald, Calvin, & Zachary!
Mind you, this was April 16th, and I am still behind! Wanted to document Emerald's first sleepover. She stayed at Aubrey's house, who lives doors down from us. Ideal situation, in case she got upset during the night it would be pretty close to us. She had to take Mango, of course, and you should have seen her packing her bag. Forget clothes, toothbrush, etc., silly mommy. "I need my ponies, baby dolls, blankets, doll clothes, princess dress-ups, etc." Her bag was stuffed full of toys--too cute. Sarah & Nick were nice enough to help us out by watching Emers during our garage sale, which was sooooooooooo helpful. Sarah reported that Em was still awake long after Aubrey fell asleep, just reading her books quietly in Aubrey's room. That's my Emers!! She had a great time. She is growing up too fast.
Zachary is 16 months old now and getting so big! Here is one of his favorite things to do, stand at the window and scream at his siblings, the neighbors, whoever will listen. Easter egg pics, sparkles picked out by the princess herself!
Josiah came over to help us paint Easter eggs. Emerald thinks she is "big" because she helps "babysit" the little ones. Zachary was just content hanging out in his stroller watching the activities. He is such an easy baby!
Life is a journey--and what a fun journey we are taking together, enjoying each moment as it comes!! We were married in 1998. After many years of praying for the wonderful sounds of giggles and pitter-patters, God has answered our prayers!! We were blessed with 3 precious munchkins, Emerald, Calvin, and Zachary! We look forward to watching them grow--just not too fast!