Today is your brother's 1st birthday. His arrival at 9:04 am on January 17, 2012 marked the beginning of a new stage in Momma's grief process - the entrance of daily joy and laughter alongside sorrow. It marked the beginning of Momma's true understanding of hope.
Momma will never forget driving to the hospital in the middle of the night for The Pickle's scheduled induction time of 12:30 am. The weather was freakishly warm for January in St. Louis - close to 80 degrees and humid. A violent, swift moving cold front swept into the area at 3:00 am, bringing with it thunder, lightning, tornado sirens. A perfect end to a year of turbulent grief mirrored by roller-coaster weather. Just as the front passed by the hospital Momma's water broke and, what was supposed to be a full day of labor turned into a fast moving train. After pushing for just over an hour, The Pickle said, "Hello!" with a little cry, a firm grip onto Momma's index finger, and an instant nuzzle and snuggle into Momma's neck...he re-awakend Momma's smile and countless memories of you. My Momma-love exploded.
For most parents the 1st birthday means it's time to breathe a sigh of relief. The risk of SIDS drops significantly, and parents feel they have the green light to freely plan for the future. I know we did with you. We felt the future was limitless, that there were no real danger zones we couldn't protect you from at that point. We hadn't ever heard of SUDC and couldn't imagine what we would face just 4 1/2 months later. This birthday for The Pickle almost signals a more frightening time for Momma. A time when Momma prays each morning he wakes up, and that we aren't struck with tragedy again just as we are seeing our infant transform into a toddler, a little boy. These next few months mark a time when your little brother will surpass you in age, milestones.
Will there ever be a morning that isn't filled with fear? Will there come a time when it feels we have entered a "safe zone"? I don't honestly know. But, I choose to celebrate each day, each moment. This birthday will be full of celebration, laughter, Tigger! And each day beyond this one will be faced with an eye towards a limitless future for The Pickle, balanced by the knowledge that tragedy can strike at any moment.
Peanut, today we celebrate the little brother we gave birth to thanks to your signs and intervention. We celebrate your hand in his life, we remember you and your birthday parties, and we steel ourselves for your Angel Day next week. Sending you thoughts of Elmo cakes, butterfly kisses and Momma love. To the moon - and back!
|Peanut's 1st birthday party.|
|The Pickle's first photo shoot the day after he was born.|