I was reading a blog post about a year ago and thought I'd go back and see where we were a year ago. I do so periodically. The difference between this time last year and this year is always profound.
In some ways our days in the NICU seem so fresh. In others, a million miles away. Recently a friend gave birth at 32 weeks and while talking to her through her experiences, it's meant a bit of reliving it for me. That's both good and bad.
On this day last year, Robbie nursed for the first time.
What an amazing day it was. I love re-reading that post because it was truly one of the happiest moments of my life. I really, truly felt like a mom, maybe for the first time, that day. I was finally doing something for him that no one else could. Sure, other women could make milk, but I was making milk made just for him.
This year, he barely eats anything at all. He still gets the milk made just for him, but now it's pumped into a port into his stomach instead of gulped by a contented face.
Today I did some shopping. I heard a little boy, maybe 4, ask his mother for some vanilla and chocolate mixed pudding. My eyes welled up with tears in the aisle. Will Robbie ever ask for pudding? He's not speaking with purpose yet. Will he learn the word pudding? Will he be able to form the word correctly? Will he ever want pudding? Be willing to eat it? All these are questions I don't have the answers to.
But I'll always have that day last year, when he latched on despite every one's assurances that he wouldn't. I'll never forget the moment when he smiled and the tears sprang from my eyes. I didn't have a hand free to wipe them, so I just cried happiness onto his head.
I did the same tonight when I snuck in to rock him a little. He's a big boy now with no time to snuggle his mom when he's awake. He'd rather look around, grabbing at things he shouldn't have, grunting because he wants to practice his standing up. So when he sleeps, sometimes I sneak in and pick him up and rock him. He grunts and whines a little, his sleep disturbed just enough to protest without opening his eyes. But then I rock and whisper how much I love him.
In those moments, the answers to the unasked questions don't matter. All that matters is that he's my son and I will always love him. Even if he can't ask for chocolate pudding.
The 16th was the anniversary of my first baby's due date. Rest in peace my baby angel. You'll never be forgotten or unloved. I hope you're having the very best chocolate pudding in heaven.