Tuesday, June 8

And the Hits Just Keep Coming

Bryce was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy this morning.

We always knew he was at an extraordinarily high risk for CP because of his brain bleeds, extreme prematurity and exposure to steroids in the NICU. Doesn't make it any easier though.

This morning was Bryce's one year well visit with the pediatrician. I had prepared myself for the shots, for not being on the growth chart for his age, for not meeting any of the usual milestones. I was not prepared for a CP diagnosis and neurology referral.

It seems so silly and I'm ashamed but it took all the strength I could muster not to break down in tears in that tiny little room. Why? Because every parent wants the best and the most for their children. We are no exception.

Despite the signs and symptoms we've been cautiously watching for months, we were both optimistic that not having been diagnosed yet meant that maybe he'd escape this one.

If I had a penny for every time I've thought, "Really, this too? Hasn't he been through enough already, dammit!?" Well I'd be able to pay for the best doctors in the world.

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Monday, June 7

Happy Birthday, Bryce

I can't believe it's been a year.

A year since Bryce's startling entrance into our world. A year since we first stepped foot into the NICU at Dell, a hospital I didn't even know how to get to before that day.

It's emotionally overwhelming to think of how we felt that day.

It's a bittersweet birthday.

We are thrilled beyond words to be able to celebrate Bryce's miraculous life today.

But the day of his birth was the hardest day of my life. I remember so vividly the feeling that Bryce would not, could not make it. That here was my first born child in my hands, so tiny and fragile and fighting for his life. That seconds early he had been safely inside my belly and now he was in our hands. The shock and trauma of a thing like that doesn't just go disappear. Not overnight and not even over a year.

Holding his body in my hands felt literally like holding my heart in my hands. I felt him move and fight for breath, I saw him with my own eyes but it was so impossible. Someone had inexplicably reached within my body, ripped out my heart and here I was holding it in my hands. I felt like I would die if he did. I still do.

Caleb and I drove silently from the hospital here to Dell where Bryce was that next morning. Too scared to speak, too afraid it would all crash down on us if we spoke aloud the fears that were circling around in our heads.

Never in a million years did we imagine we'd be here, a year later, happy and mostly healthy and holding our precious boy whenever we want to.

And we've managed to normalize pretty well. We might check on him an inordinate number of times throughout the night. We might be overly anal about cleaning and sterilizing everything he comes into contact with. We might still spend most of our days with therapists, doctors or nurses.

But we have our baby - he's alive, he's joyful and silly, he's sweet and adorable, he's ours and he's here.

And despite all the trials, all the nights spent crying myself to sleep worried sick over his every breath, all the tough decisions and unknown futures, I wouldn't trade it and I wouldn't change it.

It's Bryce's story, it's our story - it's the story that gave us this miracle.

Here's a recap of Bryce's last year in pictures:














Sunday, June 6

Happy Almost Birthday, Bryce

Abuelita took Bryce shopping for his birthday a little early. Here he is, giving kisses, in his new walker!

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