Guess who turned ONE today?! That's right - CARTER! It's hard to believe that a year ago we were learning of the details of Carter's condition. It's all such a blur. I remember visiting him in the RNICU at UAB, where they kept him sterile and stabile. They called to tell us they were transporting him across the street to Children's NICU. Then they called to let us know he was settled and we could visit over there. They gave me a temporary discharge and wheeled me to the truck. We got a quick run-down of NICU do's and don'ts from our nurse. After that there were phone calls to my hospital room to inform us of his first surgery and receive my consent. I had not even done any research on his condition, I only knew that he was in the hands of an experienced doctor and a mighty God, and prayed they'd take care of my baby. They called again after surgery to let us know how it went - perfect. He recovered quickly. All of this happened in the first 2 days. I was discharged, and we began our Birmingham adventure as NICU parents, visiting as much as we were able, driving home as little as possible, and thanking the Lord for the Ronald McDonald House and amazing friends, co-workers, and family for allowing us those options. For one whole month my sweet boy was in the NICU. Little things excited us... like the nurses telling us he could wear clothes finally, or his graduation from an incubator to a crib, and a new name tag a nurse took her time to make. One month, three surgeries, and one infection later, we were bringing home a healthy boy with a colostomy, vesicostomy, and a pretty line of stitches down his back. We've had ups and downs for the remaining 11 months... times where we never thought we'd be well and at home for the back-to-back infections, and times where he seemed like the most healthy and happy child on the planet and we couldn't even picture him in the hospital with an IV in his scalp. He's been such a trooper... a truly tough little man. Now he has three teeth, a headful of hair, and he can army crawl and roll like crazy. He laughs and gives funny looks, and hates vegetables. He can quack like a duck, and bok like a chicken. He can hold his "Little Light of Mine" up and make the Spider that goes up the water spout. He loves to patty cake, and gives the best mouth-wide-open-wet-sloppy kisses. He has brought Josh and I such joy and fulfillment, and I can't fathom my world without him. Happy birthday, sweet boy.
I had Carter's teacher snap this picture when I dropped him off at daycare today... I'm typically behind the camera.
Carter's new bike. Josh couldn't wait til the party to let him have it!
He looks like a pro.
Taking it for a spin.
Watching Sesame Street for the first time - ZONED.
"Are y'all watching this?!"