Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Gaines

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,



Susannah said...

Brittany, you know feeling all that is normal! :D And as for the fussing, moving, crawling, etc-Emma is going through that too-they are starting to get independent, huh! :D

SarahMerritt said...

I have been following this blog since you first went in to the hospital and have praied for Gaines and your family often. I praied for Gaines to stay put in your belly and for no infection to praying for Him to grow and breath better to him going home and now pray that he continues to grow and hit those milestones! He is doing amazingly well! I am glad you guys have kept us all up to date on him and I am excited for your new change in blogging! Happy first birthday Gains!!!


Diana said...

Happy first birthday Gaines! Wow, this first year has been tough, but I am sure it will get easier from here on. Thank you for your openness and transparency. I have struggled with some of the same feelings with my girls illnesses. It helps to know that I am not the only one who feels those things.

Thomas and Jamie said...

Way to go Brittany and Happy Birthday the Gaines!!! We're SO proud of your mommy and daddy dude, you have NO idea!! Thank you Lord for protecting Gaines and bringing him SO far this year!!

Oh, and way to go on the new blogging philosophy - I like it!!

Coach's Wife said...

Happy Birthday to The Gaines and momma! I'm glad you admitted that you resented him at first, just because I know that was hard for you to say and it will probably help you in the long run. I certainly don't think that meant you loved him any less or didn't want him to get better or even to not be here. I really hope no one else thinks that either. My nephew was born in November, 10 weeks early. My sister's water broke at 30 weeks, they put her on complete bedrest but couldn't get her labor to stop. So about 24 hours after her water broke, I got to watch my nephew be born and mediflighted to another hospital, the best NICU in Oklahoma. He was in the NICU for 10 weeks and it was so hard! But you know, all I could think about was you and Gaines. I'm not kidding. I thought how similar a lot of the situations were and I honestly pulled strength from having read your words and knowing some of the things we were dealing with could be overcome, if it was God's will. I can't tell you how many times I told my sister, "Well I read about this little boy named Gaines, and this is what happened to him..." So thank you so much for sharing with us and showing that there is hope. I was also going to say, do you think maybe part of your feelings towards Gaines was feeling like you failed him? I know my sister feels that way, even though Carson is home and doing great now. She felt like it was her fault that he was struggling so much. It's not. It's not her fault and it's not your fault. Those little boys are gonna be some strong boys!!!