One year ago today… A letter to my son

September 16, 2011

Dear Sam:

It was on this day one year ago that you entered our lives.  You were... shall we say... early.  Really really early.  We were not expecting to meet you until January 4th, but you just had other plans.  The six days prior to your arrival were hard and scary.  The 95 days you stayed in the hospital after you ere born were some of the hardest days of my life.  But one year ago, at 6:35 pm, the most magical thing happened.  All 1 pounds 12 ounces of you changed the course of your mommy's life forever.

You may not realize what a different person I was before you my sweet boy, and I am glad you won't.  The person I am now is so much better than I ever imagined I could be.  Don't let this all go to your head.  You are still grounded until you are at least 16.  I mean, you did put me through hell!  But you also changed me for the better.

Because of you, I have learned so much about myself, my friends and family and the resilience of you.

First, I learned that there is nothing the world can throw at me that I can not handle.  Having a baby born so early is terrifying.  You were so small and fragile- and for at least that first month, each hour was a miracle that you were still with us.  In those darkest of days, I was there.  I was there with you, day in and day out.  Holding you, nourishing you, willing you to grow.  It didn't matter how hard it was, I was there.  If you had to suffer through it, i was going to be there with you.  I never thought I was that strong, but I learned from you that strength is there when you need it.

And I needed it.  You would not believe the community of people we had around us- supporting us, feeding us, listening to us, thinking good thoughts for us.  You had a real fan club- many of whom will be there tomorrow to celebrate your birthday.  This amazing community is how I managed to get through each and every day.  Some of these people I have known my whole lives, some of them I only know because of you, and some of them I have never even met.  You are so loved my little man- and I do not mean just by me.

The biggest thing I learned in this last year is that some superheroes wear onesies.  You may not believe this, but in my eyes, you will always be a superhero.  Not everyone can be born at such a young age and do nothing but thrive.  Yes- there was the whole "scare the crap out of me heart issue" that was repaired way back when... but overall you have done nothing but defy the odds.  You are amazing- and there is nothing you will not be able to do in your life.

So, after shedding a few tears this evening as we sang Happy Birthday to you tonight in Fentons, I now sit here in awe of all that you were and are.  You have forever changed me my son, and I will love you more than I will ever be able to express.

Happy Birthday Sam- may each year prove over and over again why you are the anti-preemie.


Your Mommy

Chilling in his crib

Victory tour of the NICU: Laura and the family in front of room 11- where Sam spent the majority of his time while at Alta Bates

Waiting for ice cream at Fentons

Gloria Odum
Happy Birthday, Sam. I have followed your amazing story ever since I heard of your mommy’s blog. It is a heartbreaking story full of love, hope and determination. You truly are a Super Hero in a Onesie!
Have a wonderful life!
Thanks for following! By the last name, I have to assume a family connection… Dying to know what it is…

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