365 days. I have been a mother for 365 days. How did that happen? How did it fly by so quickly? In the early weeks of parenthood, I felt like I was in a painful, fast-paced, slow motion, beautiful, bittersweet moment in time. We didn’t know as much about Kierra’s condition as we do now, all we knew was her heart was bad off, but not bad enough for a surgery yet. There were times I wasn’t sure we would get to one year. Everything was so uncertain in those first weeks. But then, I began to enjoy my daughter more and wow, time really does fly.
In 365 days, 1 year of life…Kierra has had
- 19 Pediatrician
- 1 Rheumatology
- 7 Cardiology (5 echocardiograms)
- 2 Opthalmology
- 1 Emergency room
- 1 Neurology
- 25 physical therapy
- 23 occupational therapy
- and 1 orthopedic appointment(s)
And she has whethered it all incredibly. Her strong-willed personality astounds me. Sometimes I think that it’s awful she has to grow up going to the doctors so often but the blessing in that is she’ll grow up not knowing a difference, it will be normal for her.
Being her mother is the most amazing thing I could ever be. I say that because nothing I do in this life will ever be more important than raising my daughter, advocating for her, teaching her about Christ’s love, cherishing her and loving her wholly.
So 365 days. My every thought revolves around my daughter. Scheduling life around nap time, wiping a snotty nose, trying to figure out the sippy cup, bedtime stories every night with Daddy, making sure Kierra gets her medicine, diaper changes, pumping milk, making sure she wears her ankle braces (gettting them on takes forever!), cleaning up vomit, going to the park, get to PT on time, cutting up green beans small enough, and many more things that make me a mom and I love it.
Christopher is a wonderful father and I couldn’t do this without him. He has had just as many sleepless nights as I have. He has made it to all the big important doctor appointments, he loves on Kierra and plays with her and her eyes light up with him. He has hummed many a lullaby and walked many a mile trying to soothe Kierra to sleep. Then he goes to his job and works more. I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate him, I respect him and value him. He is our rock in this family and I treasure him. My love for him as my husband and as Kierra’s daddy, is infinite.
Parenting has been very difficult for us….this past year has been taxing on our marriage. I will be honest and tell you all that we were our worst selves in the first few months after Kierra was born, me especially. There was a lot of anger, sleeplessness and fear and we took it out on each other. We’ve worked through that and I’ve realized that there is no one on this planet that can be my best friend, my lover, my secret keeper, my shoulder to cry on, my strength, arms to hold me when I’m falling so far down….like my Christopher is. We’re a team and instead of pulling a part, we are leaning on Christ and coming together. We love each other and we’re not giving that up.
Parenting is also realizing that it truly does take a village. We have had soooooo much help. Kierra has the best grandparents. My parents have taken us to many of the appointments, cook for us, watch Kierra when Chris and I are spent, pray for and encourage us. Christopher’s parents have supported and encouraged us as well. I remember the 1st week home with Kierra, my mother in law made breakfast and dinner every day. Both of our families have been amazing. I say it all the time but we really are so blessed.
I don’t post about every little detail in our lives but just know these 365 days have been hard. So hard. I feel like I can honestly say I have cried more tears in this past year than I ever have. Dealing with heart issues and heart medications and scoliosis and popping joints….it’s tough. The worry that comes from being a parent, it’s overwhelming. I sometimes wonder how any parent gets past it, especially a parent of a child with special needs. But we do, because loves spurs us on. Because as hard as it’s been, as worried as I feel….that’s all gone when she smiles. The love surpasses it all. I love Kierra with every cell in my body. My pinky toe loves her, my eyebrows love her. My heart is consumed by her. As hard as it’s been, we’ve had so many blessings and many wonderful days to be thankful for too.
Kierra is so beautiful, intelligent and just all around awesome. I know, I know, every parent says that about their kids. But Kierra really amazes me. She has a very strong, independent personality already. She loves to be held by Momma and Daddy but she really likes to do things on her own. And wow is she observant! She absorbs everything she sees and hears and it’s like you can watch her brain processing information. She isn’t walking yet but she’s close! She has a few words: mama, dada, papa, bye-bye, bubbles, book, and hi. She recognizes and understands several signs and on her own signs: milk, fish, ball, eat, more, all done, baby, book, flower, thank you, dog, train, diaper change, and water. She loves music and dancing. Our cats always bring a smile to her face.
So 365 days of parenting summed up: wonderful, difficult, life changing, heart wrenching, snuggling, priority changing, sleep depriving, worrisome, and LOVE like you don’t have words to explain.