One year. One whole year since Ronan's open heart surgery. One year since Paul and I kissed him and touched his face before handing his life over to another person. One year from when Ronan's heart was stopped and he was placed on bypass. One year from when his heart was dysfunctional.
The 6 weeks before Ronan's open heart surgery were the best and worst weeks of my life. We brought this little life into the world. From early on, it was clear he had a funny, complex, and passionate personality. He was one of those babies who adored being cuddled and held, and no swaddle was tight enough for him. But with these precious moments, we had some of our darkest. Doctor after doctor came to see us, giving us news that no parents want to hear. Every appointment brought some degree of unknown or bad news. I don't think we had one "typical" appointment. I've never experienced such highs and such lows in my life. Thank goodness we have some amazing friends and family.
In honor of the occasion, we bought Ronan a red balloon to release. He loved it. Watching him look at it, and let go of the balloon was nothing short of wonderful for me. It said a lot to me of where he came from, and how much process he has made. After he had his surgery, I think I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. I was always waiting for the next open heart surgery. In some ways, I was also releasing something - all the tension and stress that I built up waiting for another major health event.
As I was thinking about Ronan's open heart surgery, I realized how much has happened in that year. Ronan hasn't had any other procedure or surgery. He hasn't been under anesthesia since his heart surgery. AMAZING. He's made some major gains after his 2 - 3 month recovery. Every week he seems to be doing more. Every week he is so much stronger. In just the last few weeks, he's learned to bang objects together, clap other people's hands, and hold his bottle with one hand. He has also learned one thing in particular that melted my heart. Ronan kissed me for the first time today.
|The balloon floating away...|