You were born too early. I know, as Christians, we are supposed to believe that God's timing is involved in everything. But from the sole perspective of a mother, you came too soon.
We almost lost you.
five weeks premature, your little lungs had not developed enough to let
you breathe on your own. We didn't know that when you were born,
screaming and squalling and achingly beautiful. You had a full head of
soft, red hair. Long, dark lashes rested on your soft pink cheeks. You had
perfect little lips.
Five pounds, six ounces. Seventeen inches long. Just a peanut.
then things went horribly wrong. As breathing became more and more
difficult for you, we quickly discovered the problem: Respiratory
distress. You were immediately transferred to the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit. I thought my heart would break.
The thought of losing you became physical. I didn't know if I could survive it.
have friends who have lost babies. I have lost one before. And only in
understanding the excruciating grief, can this beautiful irony be truly
A fighter from the beginning, you
refused to stop struggling for independence. You took the tube out of
your own throat, infuriated with its meddling. You quickly weaned
yourself off of oxygen. You refused to take bottles with my breast milk
and instead wholeheartedly and vigorously nursed straight from the
source. You defied every doctor and specialist's expectations of you.
And you continue to do so.
last ten years you have continued to grow in intelligence, creativity and
kindness. You are a perfect combination of being both protective and
tender. You are fiercely loyal. You are a beautiful soul.
I love you, Dylan Patrick Smith.
Happy Birthday, son.