Friday, March 7, 2008

My baby boy is turning 4!

Sniff, "baby", my last-born, is turning 4 tomorrow. 4 sounds so much older and bigger than 3 does, don't you think? It's like he's officially not a baby or even a toddler any more.......but a "big boy" as he'll readily tell you if you ask. He took brownies to school today for his preschool class, and then we'll have a celebration tomorrow with just our family (and presents sent from relatives out of town). Then, on Sunday we're having a party with preschool classmates and a little girl who lives next door that he wanted to invite. What a weekend!

The party theme is Go Diego Go, and we're having it outside at the pavilion area behind our church. PLEASE Lord, let the rain stop in plenty of time for things to dry up so we can play outside, do a treasure hunt on the nature trail, gorge ourselves on candy from the Diego pinata, etc. :) Only 4 kids have RSVPd to come so far, but these families are notorious for not RSVPing, but then showing up anyway. Hard to know how to plan, but oh well...........

The first half of 2004 was pretty much the scariest 5 months of my life. Beginning in January, I was put onto bedrest at home due to the onset (AGAIN!) of severe preeclampsia. There's no cure for it (other than delivery), or even a treatment that's guaranteed to hold off the progression of the disease, but some believe that strict bedrest can help. In my case, it seems to have done so. In February, an appointment with a maternal/fetal medicine specialist ended in immediate admission to the hospital, and the next couple of days were filled with intense fear and grief. I was only at 24 weeks, and we were being told by just about every medical person in the hospital that my baby boy (for whom we still hadn't settled on a name) would not survive if delivered anytime soon.

We hung on somehow, though, and I stayed horizontal in the hospital from Feb. 12 to March 8......when little Ethan Hunter was delivered by c section, weighing only 1 lb., 9 oz. Then we began our second journey through the NICU, this time for 11 weeks. There were plenty of scary moments, and many many long days and nights living in a hotel near the hospital and trying to maintain some kind of a life for our then-2 1/2 year old.

So when days like tomorrow come around, it makes me think back, obviously. I know that as time passes, memories fade, especially about how much something hurts.......either physically or emotionally. I think that's what's happening to me. After 4 years, I've repressed or blocked out a lot of the extremes of our fears of losing Ethan, but I still get shivers up my spine when I do think back to how close we came to NOT bringing our baby home with us, and how much of a miracle he truly is. Happy Birthday, little man, Mom and Dad and Andrew love you SO much!



tafkalorelei said...

Seems like just yesterday I remember following Meg's post and just prayed and prayed that Ethan would pull thru. I can't believe that he is 4. Happy Birthday!!!!

Jen said...

Happy birthday Ethan! You are one special miracle, and your online pal, Meghan, isn't too far behind you on the birthday train.

I hope his party was a blast, Jen.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe it!! The little guy looks so big in that picture!!! How is it he is four?
Happy birthday Ethan, you are one wonderful gift!!!