happy 1st birthday to the bravest baby in the world

 Corrigan,

          Happy 1st Birthday Corrigan.  What a year it has been. I have struggled with how to write up this birthday post for nearly a month now.  It is hard to tell you about the past year without talking about the hard stuff but people do not call you “tank” without good reason. You can handle things. Anything, really. One day, when you look at mommy’s blog I want you to know that I was honest…and it was hard…but baby, it was worth it.  YOU are worth it…every single bit of it.

     On May 28, 2008 we were thrilled to finally meet you.  You were so small (yet kind of weighty!) and you were angry from the minute you were born.  The first glimpse I had of you was from across the operating room and I only saw your butt and a glimpse of reddish blonde hair. I told your daddy that you looked just like Uncle Daniel…and boy, you were making a ruckus. Everybody commented on your frown line and the way that, after quieting down, you stared hard at people, almost taking them in and studying them.

…and then you sort of went away a bit. You would not open your eyes and you seemed uncomfortable…and a few days later mommy’s instincts ( and the keen eye of Dr. Jackie! ) thought that something was really wrong. Who knew that, at that very moment, an ugly invader was building up in your perfect little body. Who knew that in a few hours everything would change so quickly.

       Corrigan, you gave us quite the scare. There were some really dark moments in the days following your birth…there were moments of optimism as well but mainly due to ignorance at what we were facing…and the most frightening moment of my life, the moment that will forever haunt me, is when they told me that you might not live…that your little body might not be able to fight long enough to win this battle…and then they put you in a helicopter and took you away from me.  Standing in the parking lot, feeling the deep bass of the medevac’s wings rotating and hearing you lift off from that rooftop nearly did me in.  To this day, the sound of a helicopter makes me cry. (and Aunt Erica too…one day, when you were very sick and in the P.I.C.U , Erica and I stood on a Baltimore street corner and cried, holding each other tightly as some other poor soul was dropped off in a medevac…it was too much and it still is)

Picnik collage

…but Corrigan, you fought hard.  There are ammonia numbers written in a notebook (tucked away in a box that I am not yet ready to open again) that meant very little to us then…620….740…that we now realize should have brought us to our knees. Perhaps that the second hospital you were sent to, the fact that they knew little of what you were suffering from or how to fix it, allowed us to feel a hope that we wouldn’t have felt if we would have known what 740…and climbing by the minute….meant. 

       We had to make tough choices 12 months ago. We had to give permission for a procedure that had rarely been done on infants your age. A procedure that was taking place while Daddy and I were racing towards your third hospital…just praying that God would keep you here, on Earth, long enough for us to get there to kiss you before you might leave us.  I held your Aunt Erica and your Grandma, before we left, and asked them, if you left us, to please make sure everything was was gone from the house that was yours…before we returned.  I didn’t know Faith the way I know it now Corrigan. YOU showed me Faith.

bracelets

        You pulled through Corrigan. You showed them who was the boss of YOU. Not Citrullinemia…not that day…no way.  You fought hard to come out from under that blanket of silence, from under the medicines that kept you sedated, from whatever that nasty ammonia had done…and you have shown us how tough one little baby can be.

            Ten hospitalizations total. Two helicopter rides….8 ambulance rides…hundreds of needle sticks,  hemodialysis and surgery to install your medi-port…YOU are one amazing kid.  Through it all you are smiling.  Oh, you still frown and study people…but you still manage to smile in a way that makes my heart still skip a bit, even after seeing it a thousand times.

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      “They” said that there would be ramifications from such high ammonia’s…we were given grim outlooks on how you would develop. The internet, my goodness Corrigan whatever you do when faced with a medical dilemma do NOT Google it, told us that we would bury you before your 2nd birthday. We read statistics that could cause a person to give up hope…but then you smile at us..and you work so hard that you no longer need physical therapy….and your occupational therapist is thrilled to tell us that you are meeting every.single. milestone…and we know that you are special, sweet baby. God didn’t bring you this far for no good reason. God has a purpose for you…and you know what it is.  I believe that in those days when you were here in body…but deep in sleep and unable to respond…that your conversations with God told you many things.  I pray that you will live every single year of your life fulfilling the purpose…I pray that you will honor and glorify the Lord with your life. No matter how long that might be.

    Twelve months ago we welcomed you into this world with tears and hugs and many many kisses.  We were overjoyed to meet you and marveled at the wonderful creation that God had made. Perfect.

    Even now, after watching you struggle to return from the fog of Citrullinemia those first few weeks and the ensuing hardships of your disorder, we feel the same way. Perfect.

    God made you the way you were meant to be. I do not know why. I struggle to understand ( with my human mind/reasoning)  the reasons you suffer but I know that you were wonderfully made by the Creator ( who does nothing by accident!)  and given to us to love and adore. I am so thankful to have you here to celebrate your first birthday. You have had one heck of a year, little C…but you handled it so amazingly well. You inspire me to be better, to be stronger and to love harder. Every single day. I love you Corrigan.  Love always, Mommy.

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7 thoughts on “happy 1st birthday to the bravest baby in the world

  1. A year. A YEAR! Happy happy birthday to the strongest littlest man EVER! You rock. We love you! *kiss kiss kiss*
    xoxox Auntie Steph
    PS. Tell your mommy the helicopter phobia will go away in about ten years… or so. *muah*

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  2. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. You richly deserve a special day in your honor. You are such a Godsend and inspiration to us. What a sweet blessing from heaven it is to celebrate your first birthday with you. You were brought to us for a reason, kept here with us by a miracle, and continue to teach us each and everyday with your ability to overcome insurmountable obstacles. Our faith has increased exponentially with your birth. It is wonderful to behold Gods grace and mercy first hand and also to receive his bountiful blessings. You continue to defy the odds day after day but we know that Faith moves mountains and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Happy Birthday Corrigan. Daddy Loves you.

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  3. Happy Birthday, little man! I have had the honor to know you since, one day at Hopkins, God crossed our paths knowing we needed each other. Thank you for letting me be a part of your first year of life: ups, downs and all the in-betweens. You are truly one of God’s miracles, blessing every person who has the honor to meet you. You are a fighter. And how lucky are your mommy, daddy and big brother Connor to be those closest to you! Keep smiling! And have a truly awesome first birthday! We will be celebrating from afar! Love you lots!

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  4. Happy Birthday Corrigan! Hopefully your next year will not be as tough as your first. I miss you every minute and can’t wait to see you and Connor this weekend for your very first birthday party!

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  5. Your pictures are incredible.

    There is a book, something like “When Bad things happen to Good People”, written by a Rabbi, I think, that I read many years ago. I should re-read it, I suppose.

    The upshot I got from the book, or that my memories have evolved into after reading the book, is that God does not cause the bad things that happen. He does not give us Cancer or medical problems, kill loved ones in accidents, spread disease, start wars, cause addictions, cause children to be sick, etc.

    He did not pick you as a mother of a child with a medical problem because you were stronger then your neighbor, or because you “could handle” it. If God “gave” problems only to people who could handle it, then the divorces, murders, suicides, wars, etc. wouldn’t happen.

    But God will give us strength and coping skills, if we ask for them, and he has given us many others many things. He has given surgeons passion and talent for surgical skills, doctors the brains and inspiration to pursue new treatments, inventors and engineers to develop the technology like helicopters which have helped your child.

    In my life, God has blessed us with a community who has helped with my son, many talented therapists and medical professionals, teachers and others who have helped, Friends and relatives and strangers even who have supported us. He has also helped me, when I ask him. I don’t ask him “cure this”, I wouldn’t expect that prayer to be answered in that way. But he always has provided strength and assistance, in sometimes surprising ways.

    15 years after my child with Down Syndrome was born, I can truly say I am blessed, and I can truly feel lucky. Not because my child has a disability, but because in spite of obstacles, things are working out surprisingly well.

    God Bless you.

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  6. Corrigan,
    You’re going to find out that your Pap Pap is terrible with dates. I will admit that I could not remember your birth date the year you turned 2. I have returned to your Mother’s blog in an effort to discover what day you were born on. Even though that date was given in the first fews words of her blog, I could not help but read on. I once again relived those first months of your life, the struggles you faced and the way you met them head on. Yes, you are Tank for a reason. Strong and tough yet soft and loving. You have beaten the odds young man! Go ahead and Google to your hearts content. What’s really important, is keeping God in your corner. He, and He alone is why you are with us today and He will keep you safe forever. Happy Birthday Corrigan.

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  7. Pingback: My baby is six years old. Wha?!?! | Mooney=MC2

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