Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pics lately

Josh just did a great update letting you know how the last year has been for us. So perfectly describes this journey we've been on.

But you need pics of Harrison too! Here is an update since we got home in October. Grab a seat and something to drink...this is gonna take awhile :)

The first pic of all 3 of us at home

Harrison's first Halloween

Seeing his beautiful face without the cannula! He got off oxygen in mid November. Right before...

His first Thanksgiving! Hanging out with Gammy.

He took some naps at Nana's house

And snuggled with G-Pa

Spent lots of time in the Baby Bjorn

And took lots of naps in his bouncy chair

He loved his Christmas present from Papa Q and Granny- a swing! (They got to visit before Christmas but I can't find any pics!)

Before we knew it, we were celebrating his first Christmas!

And at the end of the month he turned 5 months.

In January it was time to try rice cereal (not a huge fan)

Cutie in a plaid shirt

Stole many hearts on Valentine's Day

Chilled in the Bumbo while watching Baby Einstein (the part with puppets makes him laugh)

On his 7 month bday at the end of February

He cheered on the Heels during March Madness

And kept being such a smiley guy!

In April he had his first beach trip (and had to get these cool shades for the trip!)

On Easter we got to all go to church together for the first time. Yay for cold season being over!

In May he tried lots of new baby food. And got it all over himself. And us.

With my sweetie on Mother's Day

Took in a baseball game with Nana

And took another trip to the beach. Loved splashing in the water.

Drinking tea with G-Pa at the beach.

And before we knew it, he was 11 months old. Loves playing with Daddy!

He started pulling up on anything he could get his hands on. (I love his expression here. "Oh no, I'm busted!")

In June he was baptized, with Spanky's to celebrate afterwards.

He seemed really sad this month. 

Josh's first Father's Day. Harrison is so lucky to have this guy for a dad!

Big guy in the high chair. Probably got a bath after this. 

In July we went to Kansas to see the fam! He learned to climb steps, clap and wave while we were there!

Harrison's first Fourth 

Everyone got to come to Concordia for a few days and we took family pics!

After we got back from Kansas, Harrison joined a soccer league 

And on July 30th we celebrated Harrison Cole Smith's first birthday (with Brixx of course). So grateful to God for this day!!

Congrats if you made it to the end of this post! Now I'll try not to just post every 5 months! Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for this little boy. We are so thankful!!

1 year later

My heart is still kinda heavy as I reflect back on Harrison's birth a year ago. It is mostly still scary. Everything was fine, Erin gets sick, a few hours later she was on a helicopter, and 10 hours later Harrison was born. Within 48 hours our lives changed.

I remember hearing his heartbeat constantly while we waited for Erin's bp to improve. I remember looking at Erin when they estimated his size at a around a pound. We looked at each other hopelessly. How would he even have a chance?

In the operating room I remember hearing a whimper across the room and tears welling up in my eyes. I was a dad. 13 weeks earlier than I thought I would be, but my son was now a part of my world. As I held Erin's hands, I told her I hear him and she nodded to me through tears and heavy sedation.

And then the hard part began.

I have described it to many that we were dangling helplessly between hope and despair. Years of my life were lost through the constant stress.

We learned quickly that many of our questions were loaded with security. We needed the doctors assurance that they could not give us. They could only give us an assessment on the current reality, refer back to the recent history and give us averages. They were good at reminding us this would be a long journey. They kept so much from us I'm sure that we didn't need to know about.

I walked in and out of that hospital twice a day for 89 days most of them in hand with Erin. Rode the elevator to the 4th floor, asked to be buzzed into the NICU, walked down a long hall way, veered right and walked back to the far right corner toward his isolet. Our hearts so heavy with anticipation and wonder every time.

Brain scans, heart ultrasounds, blood work, eye tests, countless bradys, respiratory assistance the entire time. Would he be okay?

He would. He is. We are all okay. And somehow through the entire thing I have no idea how it all worked out. Or why it all worked out this way.

Some how it all worked out. He is perfectly healthy. He has a clean bill of health, and no foreseen complication in any way from being born early. He is just little. But he is healthy.

Joy and hope are not cheap human emotions. They are attached to things that matter, and those things are subject to God's mercy.

I think the hardest thing I still wrestle with is that it didn't have to turn out this way. God showed a tremendous amount of goodness to us in the darkest hours of our lives. He didn't have to do that.

And then I see the cross in a bit more clarity. He spared my son, but he didn't spare his own. And in order to be merciful to me on a cosmic level it cost him his.

It makes me grateful for the cross. It reminds me I don't have to wonder.

Harrison, I love you buddy. More than you will ever know. I would have traded places with you if it meant I'd a known you'd make it out of there unscathed. But you did it on your own. And I want you to know you didn't do it entirely on your own. Thousands of people prayed for you and helped me and mom get you home. I pray you see how gracious God has been to you. And God willing, I pray the many years we have ahead show you how much he loves you . Me and mom love you so much. We love your smile and laugh. We love how you hate wearing pants. And we love how you won't stay still for a second. You are a precious gift and we pray for you to grow strong and tender in the great love of God. He certainly loves you. I pray we can help you see that. Happy 1st b-day, Budbud.