I missed posting about Gaines yesterday on his actual birthday but I've got a good excuse. The poor guy has been a little sick. He had a 101.8 fever Friday night so we took him in to the doctor Saturday morning. Turns out it was nothing major...just a little viral infection but he hasn't quite felt himself so he and I took ourselves a nice little rest yesterday afternoon.
Anyway, back to my birthday post about the Gaines (I like to call him The Gaines sometimes...I just think it suits him). His baby dedication was today at church and it was so great. It was awesome to be able to have Gaines in front of so many people that prayed for him. We also had lunch this afternoon with lots of family. I would have loved to have invited about 50 more people but we had to draw the line somewhere.
I've been thinking a lot about Gaines lately and the journey we've been on the last year with him. Last night he crawled from the den, up two stairs, through the living room, down the hall to Reed's bathroom. It wasn't so long ago that I was worried Gaines wouldn't be able to hold his head up on his own and now he's crawling all over the house. He has just come so far the last year. I mean, from a tiny little thing on a ventilator to a crawler that only needs a little help breathing.
People ask me all the time if the last year has just flown by. I want to laugh in their face. No-the last year has not flown by. Parts of it have been faster than others but early on there were some very long, very hard days. Not just when Gaines was still in the hospital...although that was loooong and there were many, many days that I just cried and cried because I didn't know how much longer I could hold out. But even when he first came home the days and weeks were long. I was so worried about his devleopment and wondering if he would be "normal". It was hard for me to just enjoy him and not always be analyzing him. That's hard enough, but you top it off with him not eating as well as he should and spitting up multiple times a day (spitting up puts it mildly...whenever I say Gaines spits up, I mean he vomits large quantities). There were many, many days that I cried once he was home. And there were days that I yelled at him and got frustrated and had to leave the room...and then I'd feel so guilty for not loving him enough. I think early on I resented him some. There I said it. I know it sounds awful but I did. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved Gaines with all my heart but I couldn't live my life like I wanted to live it because Gaines couldn't go anywhere and Gaines required so much time, energy and money and Gaines was just SO much work...and I felt constant stress and worry about him not developing like he should. I faked it pretty well because I was supposed to be happy that he was finally home but it was a rough time for me.
I don't know what did it but I was able to finally snap out of it. I guess he just got easier and and started meeting some of his milestones and gradually I was able to relax and realize that he might not do things on my timeline, but he was doing them. I was able to actually enjoy him.
Lately Gaines has gotten so much fun. He's playing with toys and giving Reed a run for his money. He's got an attitude like you wouldn't believe. He is sweet as pie when he's doing what he wants to do but don't cross him. He was born with some fight him and its still there. There are times when I have to physically overpower him to get a bottle in his mouth. Or change his diaper. Or clothes or whatever I want him to do that he doesn't want to do.
But...he can be so sweet too. I love the way he grabs onto you when you pick him up. He just squeezes you and loves you. And he loves to laugh. He laughs at anything Reed does. He loves his big brother (and Reed tolerates him pretty well).
This past year with Gaines has been a roller coaster. We've had lots of dark, hard days, but we've also had lots of amazing ones raising two little boys. When I was on bedrest last year, one of the things that kept me going was bringing Reed home a little brother and the thought of being a mom to two little boys. It might have been harder than I'd thought (and required a little more equipment, medicine, effort, etc)...but we are doing it. It's been a crazy year but I could not be more thankful for it because it means we've got our little brother...and he's awesome.
Love to all,