Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Happiest of Birthdays

Norah's birthday was simply perfect. Of course, she wasn't at home. She wasn't free of life-supporting medical equipment. But she was alive, happy, smiling, breathing, and so very loved. I can't believe it has been a year (sometimes it feels like days, other times it feels like a decade). Every once in awhile I think about the typical things that our family has missed out on. But those thoughts are fleeting, as Norah's smile reminds me that it is all worth it. Our life is our own, and while I'm eager to someday take Norah home, I'm also grateful for what we do have.

There had to be something like 75 people that came to wish Norah a happy birthday. It was totally, completely crazy, especially when you consider that there were only about 30 people at our wedding. We're low-key sort of people. But that's just not how Norah rolls. My only regret for the day was that I wasn't better able to spend time with each one of the partygoers. It meant so much that our loved ones celebrated with us, both near and from afar. It meant even more that our family was able to see the love that so many carry for Norah. As one of her PICU nurses said, Norah is love.

We had a slideshow of this last year's photos of Norah. Even those that know her best were a little surprised by how she looked when she was first born (we included one of the scary NICU photos). The contrast between the struggling newborn babe and the smiling 1-year old is striking.

Oh - and we finally set-up a donation button on the righthand side of the blog. Several of you have asked for it, though we have been hesitant. We are admittedly prideful about asking for help, but we've given in... After all, it is for Norah. So thank you to everyone that has, and will donate. Your contribution will help with medical costs, travel expenses, and time away from work to be with our girl when she needs us most.

It's been a year for the record books, and I thank all of you for supporting us through it.

Norah meets her great grandma, Jeff's mom's mom.

Norah meets her newest cousin, 5-day old Dreyden. They're close to the same size!

Norah and Dreyden's feet. Norah's are barely bigger. I love her feet. 

Harper dealt with the chaos by losing himself in his Nintendo DS and daddy's iPhone. This poor kid puts up with so much despite his social discomforts.

Norah kept her eyes locked on her speech therapist from PCMC. She wanted Leann to help reassure her during the whole eating/tasting experience. She wasn't used to the audience while eating. She has come so far with her oral aversion, thanks to her therapists at both PCMC and SDCH.

Norah was wired after the party. In this photo she's showing us that she knows how to take the oximeter (it measures the oxygen percentage in her blood) off of her foot and put it in her mouth.

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