Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Year Ago

One year ago today--

They tell me you will be blue.
They tell me I cannot hold you.
They tell me to sign here, consent to that, make the right choice.
They tell me tomorrow will be the day—
you are not yet 48 hours old.
They tell me you are strong.
They tell me the procedure was successful.
They tell me you are not yet ready to breathe on your own;
we will try again tomorrow.
They tell me to be patient.
They tell me we could be here two weeks or two months;
it’s up to you.
They tell me it’s not likely you will eat or learn to suck.
They tell me feeding tubes are not so bad.
They tell me you will be small.

But you hear none of it.
On day 6 you breathe on your own.
On day 8 you eat on your first try.
On day 11 we go home.
You grow and grow and grow.
So big and so fast that we are back again for help sooner than we expected.
You tolerate the tiny tubes that hug your cheeks.
I cry because I cannot kiss them.
I cry because they bleed when I change the stickers.
I cry because you're cute anyway.
We go back to the hospital.

It’s harder this time.
You are bigger, stronger, I know you now.
And I am attached. Forever.
I ache. I trust. We walk away.
Every hour an update.
He is on the table. He is on bypass.
They only had to stop his heart for 7 minutes.
All is well.
Next time will be trickier, the surgeon tells us.
But today went well.
You breathe.
You eat.
You heal.
We are home within the week.
No church. No crowds. No parties.
Shots. Lots of shots.
Lots of important, expensive shots.
Synagis. Aspirin. Lasix. Aldactone.
We speak a new language.

You grow.
And grow and grow.
Your doctors laugh at your chubby legs, your dimpled smile.
We are blessed. We are grateful.
They worry you cannot hear.
We get all the tests.
You can hear.
We cheer and cry and ache for families with babies not like you.
It is hard to watch friends mourn.
You push forward.

Experts and friends say it’s time for you to move.
To stretch, to reach, to crawl.
You need help.
Six weeks later you are unstoppable.

Your surgeon, our hero, is mortal.
Other plans must be made.
Still unresolved.
Purple feet return. Purple lips.
An unplanned appointment.
An unexpected procedure.
A few more weeks of oxygen.
Then 80s. 80s. 80s. WOW.

No more tubes. No more sitting.
You move, move, move.
You are into everything.
Stairs. Cupboards. Toys.
You eat everything.
Foccacia. Hummus. Ice Cream.
You LOVE ice cream.

You are full of smiles.
You adore your brothers and they cannot get enough of your laughter.
You are a part of us today, tomorrow.
You do not listen to the odds; you beat them.
You challenge my experience; I grow.
You fill me with a love that overflows and tells me
I have known you for far longer than this one year.

Happy First Birthday Mac-e-Moo. We love you!


Patti said...

TIssue alert! Good thing I have some right next to the computer. Happy Birthday dear McKay! You are dearly loved by all who are lucky enough to know you. (We love your mommy too)

Emily said...

Happy Birthday McKay!!! What an amazing day! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us so that we can learn and grow as well. Happy Day!

Christina Chau said...

Happy Birthday, McKay! You have defied ALL odds and have inspired us all. Here's to MANY more birthdays!!

brees said...

WOW! You never cease to amaze me Mindi. What an awesome tribute to amazing little Mac. I love the pictures also.... speechless, you left me speechless.

Happy Birthday little guy!!!

michele.sobek said...

Well, I need to go in the ladies room and re-apply my make up!!!! What a beautiful note to your son on his 1st birthday!!! Happy Birthday McKay:):)

Emily Hatch said...

I don't know you, but I am touched at your beautiful tribute. I know the heartache of having a child who is not "healthy." I wish you continued strength, and many more happy years with your little one!

yota_96 said...

Mindi - I don't know you but I feel like I do. I have been following little McKay and your family for this full year. I have cried when you cry, rejoiced when you did and even laughed at your amazingly honest admissions. My son was born with TOF in 1999. Today he is a wonderful success story. Every entry you make about McKay's story and experiences although different, take me right back to times with Nick and I feel so much all at once. Thank you for sharing this!

likeschocolate said...

Made me think back to when Roman was born. You expressed it so beautifully. Happy Birthday McKay!

wylie said...

Happy Birthday McKay! You are loved, we love you, we love your smiles, we LOVE your chubby cheeks.

We love you Mindi!

Christina said...

Happy Birthday McKay. What a miracle you are! I hope you have a fun day celebrating and eat lots of ice cream.

Hugs & Prayers,
Jacob's Momma

Katie said...

Happy 1st Birthday McKay!!! You're such a cute little guy. We love your one year pictures!

Wonderful post...loved the way you wrote it and it brought back so many memories from Maddie's birth. You don't realize how much we've gone through until you put it this way!

Thinking of you today as you celebrate your miracle's special birthday!

Katie & Maddie (HRHS)

Marshelle said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to Mr. McKay! HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY to a real trooper who is such an inspiration to everyone's lives he touches. Way to go Cox are the inspiration behind this great little miracle man!

Rhiannon Balfour said...

Have a most deserved and wonderful first birthday Mckay you are a little trooper

Lisanne said...

Oh man, make me cry! You are fabulous and he is darling! Thank you for sharing this year with all of us!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday McKay!!!

Love ya lots,
Auntie Leslie

Rich, Shelly, and London said...

Happy Bday McKay!! He sure has had a busy first year! This is such a special day!! Beautiful little tribute! He's adorable in his pictures!

Kimberly said...

Tears in eyes...
Lump in throat...

The Simmons Family said...

Happy Birthday McKay!! You have had a busy year and look at how you've grown! It's always amazing to look back on the crazy first year and SMILE at all that you've overcome.

You're a rockstar! Have the best birthday ever!

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing your miracle with all of us. Sweet boy, sweet family!

carolyn q said...

What an amazing journey that first year has been. He is very deserving of reaching this first year milestone and what an inspriation he is to so many.
Happy Happy Birthday McKay!


Kyle and Alli said...

I LOVE this! HAPPY DAY MCKAY!!!! He has truly had an amazing journey and what a celebration this is!

Ryan and Hilary said...

Beautiful! I just love you and your wonderful writing gift. Happy Birthday little man!! So many miracles!

Colleen said...

Such a beautiful child! I wish him many more years and much happiness.

Sharron Griffin said...

Hi Mindi,
I am Marshelle Butler's mom...just wanted to wish that darling McKay a happy birthday and many more..
What a year you have had...just wanted you to know I read your blog all the time..You are a wonderful mom and your family just the best...
Oh, by the are a pin cushin...and always will be one...when you boys are grown and have their will have the pleasure of all those fingerprints everywhere again but by the time your my just don't care and you love them, maybe frame them.

Keep up the good work...

Kristi said...

Beautiful Mindi, just beautiful. Can I please see you soon?

♥ Michele ♥ said...

Seriously, you need to write a book! You are very gifted! What a great way to sum up your little Mac's first year. I am glad he is doing so well. He is absolutely adorable. Give him a big squeeze for me!

Becky R. said...

very beautiful! He'll have an amazing story to tell someday. =]

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. What a tough year. He is so darling! It was so great to run into you the other day. Fun to see you blog.