Considering the fact that it seemed Spring would never come, I’m not really sure how it is suddenly April 21st – but here it is…Owen’s Birthday!
The truth is, it’s been so busy that I’ve not even had time to ponder what this birthday means to me. It’s the first birthday for Owen that is about Owen…not about how his birthday makes me feel. And what a year to celebrate…what a THREE years to celebrate.
April 21, 2011: Born at 5:18 AM at 800 grams. He made a small cry and had APGARS of 6, 7 & 8. We were told that white males born at his gestation and weight had less than 50% chance of survival and if he survived, he had an 80% chance of a long-term impairment.
April 21, 2012: In the PICU, on Bi-Pap with a rate. Owen’s 224th day in the hospital that year. He had no voice – not even when he cried, could barely support his own head and was just starting to willingly put weight on his arms and legs. Breathing was the constant worry, but there weren’t many patients who could better flirt with the nurses.
April 21, 2013: Finally a party! If the first year was about surviving, the second year was about therapy. 3-5 therapy sessions per week and things were starting to click, he was walking behind carts, started using a handful of words and had started weaning off his oxygen.
April 21, 2014: A full head of hair, a full mouth of (yellow) teeth, a vocabulary fit for a 2.5 year old, been walking for 6 months and haven’t had a whiff of oxygen in 10 months…oh, and NO hospital overnights.
Do I wish that Owen had a July or August birthday? Well, I imagine it would have been an easier last three years if he did, but this year, I can’t really feel the need to acknowledge the bitter part of April 21st. Starting this year, it’s just a really sweet day that was the beginning of life with a rascal.
Happy Birthday, Owen! You are amazing. You are an inspiration. You are THREE!