This year, we let the kids stay up until midnight, which is unlikely to happen for another year.

Happy New Year everyone! We’re excited to let you know that Bowen is still NG tube free and is gaining weight! His sugars have been stable as well, between 70 – 110.  He’s also been making great developmental progress, always doing new things. Today, it seemed as though he was intentionally shaking his rattle. Even those little things continue to make us more hopeful about his overall health. We have some doctors appointments this week and we’ll keep you posted about his progress.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year, and I have no doubt it’s been the most dynamic year of my life. It’s crazy how much my life has changed. I went from being a mommy of two healthy girls, to being the mommy of two girls and a very sick little boy. One year ago I had no idea what was ahead, in fact, I didn’t even know that I was pregnant with Bowen at the time. Matt and I were actually tossing around the idea of not having any more kids. You can imagine that we were shocked to find out we were having number three. I remember being a little scared, like maybe I’d be inadequate to raise three children. I’ve always had this guilty mother complex, that my kids won’t feel loved enough or payed enough attention to, and that more kids would take away from them in some way. Now that we have another, I believe it only enriches them to have more siblings.

I’ve also been reflecting on all the questions I had when we found out that Bowen was sick last April. Will he make it to delivery? Will he make it to and past his first surgery? Will we take him home? Will he celebrate christmas with us? There were so many, but I thank the Lord that the answer to all these big questions, so far, has been “yes.” God has brought us through the most difficult year of our lives, and I know he’ll give us the grace and strength to take on 2011, even though there will be more questions. Will Bowen do well with his next surgery? How long will we be in the hospital next time around? Will there be complications? Will Bowen celebrate next christmas with us?…..Please Lord.

It still seems strange to say it, but God has blessed us so much through all the struggles we’ve experienced this year, and I especially know how blessed I am to have my sweet baby Bowen. Even as I write this, I just can not stop thinking about the mommies and daddies who didn’t get to celebrate with their little angels this year. I can’t understand this pain. When we thought we lost Bowen the pain was indescribable. I felt so hollow, and it was almost unbearable. If you’re reading this and you are one of these mommies or daddies, I’m sorry. I remember seeing a friend in the hospital only moments after she received the news that her baby wasn’t going to make it. We hugged tighter than I can ever remember hugging anyone. I had no clue what to say, so for once in my life, I said nothing. All she said was, “it’s not fair.” I suppose she was right, it’s really not fair. If you’ve suffered loss this year, our thoughts and prayers are with you.