People say all the time how much time flies when you have little ones. When we had Elliott, time seemed to go too slowly, but then all of a sudden here we are, and it feels like just yesterday we were living at the hospital. Two years ago I was rushed into the hospital and gave birth to our son at only 27 weeks pregnant. Elliott was born weighing only 2 pounds 6 ounces. He could not eat or breathe on his own, had underdeveloped eyes, was unable to make his own red blood cells, had three broken bones, and was bruised from head to toe. We were terrified by the thought of the road ahead for our son. We were unable to touch our tiny little human for days because his delivery resulted in a broken femur, clavicle, and humerus. We were told we would likely be living in the hospital for three months.
Elliott had many highs and lows over the next two months. We often thought we were making huge progress, and then we would end up taking two steps back. Throughout everything we learned so much. We learned that we were stronger than we ever knew. We learned medical terms, and became apart of his morning rotation discussion instead of bystanders. We learned that there is a community of nurses and preemie parents who love and support one another. We grew as people and as parents through this terrible circumstance.
At two months a miracle happened. Elliott hit five pounds and was able to survive completely on his own, free of machines, tubes, or transfusions. We were discharged and sent home with a daily visiting nurse. Six days later, we found ourselves back in the hospital for a week, but then we were able to make our final transition home. We still had a long road ahead of us, and still do for that matter, but we were able to take our precious boy home three weeks early.
Fast forward to now…our miracle is running, talking, and eating everything he can get his hands on. Our closest family and friends came to our home to celebrate Elliott turning two! Over the past few months Elliott has fallen in love with Elmo and Cookie Monster. With that, we surprised him with a spiffy new Sesame Street polo and a few Etsy decorations. Etsy is my favorite place to go for personalized and adorable gifts and decor. We had the sweetest sign made for Elliott’s cookie platter. (No, we didn’t have a cake…this kid doesn’t love cake!) From another page we ordered a banner and candle.
The number two piñata was stuffed with Elliott’s favorite things, albeit unusual. I picked up Annie’s crackers, reusable straws, and bubbles. Although we didn’t end up having Elliott’s little friends here to hit the piñata with him, family members were quick to help him bust into the 2! And the smile on his face alone was worth it. It was so fun to see him tear into gifts on his own this year. He got so excited for each one, that we had to coach him A LOT into moving onto the next one.
To eat, we smoked pork for sandwiches, made potato salad, coleslaw, tomato salad, and picked goodies for toppings. Our gardens this year allowed us to pick almost everything we served! For dessert we had key lime pie and ice cream cookie sandwiches. The weather was so perfect so some people sat outside at the dining table and others had picnics around the yard. I don’t know that we could have asked for a better day. We are so grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives to celebrate these moments with.
That night, we unpacked gifts, washed his new jammies (which he put on immediately), and he wrote thank you cards to each person who had a part in making his day so special. It was so sweet watching him ‘write’ in each card. If we can be so lucky, this is exactly how I hope to end each of his birthdays. ❤