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Friday, May 27, 2005

Happy Anniversary R!

Today is the one-year anniversary of R's second open-heart surgery.

I can't believe it's been a whole year.

And what a different kid he is. At 14 months, he could not roll over, sit up on his own, crawl, stand. He did not move and he was rather blue. But he could think. He loved books (and still does, although cars are a current fascination). He could do puzzles and he even mastered 12 different signs. One year later, he's almost running, almost jumping, almost climbing up and down stairs, and has hundreds of words, can count to 20, knows all of his letters (both capital and lowercase). He can even read a couple of words (cat, car, dog, ball, hat, mommy, daddy, and Riley).

And it feels good to have my kid blend in at the park.

What is amazing to me is that we are even talking about turning R into a big brother. After Riley was born and diagnosed with a laundry list of health problems, I thought that we had made a huge mistake. We decided to have kids and look where we ended up. Now a mere 26 months have gone by and we are thinking about doing it again.

Yes, we could just throw caution to the wind (and we just might), but the delivery room is a very dangerous place to be, at least in our experience. And so the idea of having another baby isn't just about having another baby. There are a lot of emotional scars tied to that experience.

But we can't live on what-ifs, on the fears of what might happen. Yes it could happen again, just as randomly as it did the first time around. At least we'd be more prepared, more educated on what to expect.

Our kid is amazing. And despite our choppy road, I'm happy I'm here. And I'd like to think I'm a stronger, more compassionate person than I would be without Riley. He's amazing and I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

R's Dad has posted his thoughts as well.


  1. Anonymous10:13 PM

    Happy Anniversary Riley! Look at all the cars! Where are you going cars? You have such a wonderful personality and you are so engaged with you world. How very special it is to be your Grampy! Do some baseball singing for me!

  2. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Happy Anniversary, Riley man! :-)

  3. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Whew! I didn't know, either. Congratuations, and can you believe how normal it all feels now?

    It's tough to get back in there when you know just how bad things can get (and I know, too, in a different way). Thanks for talking about it. I've been thinking about getting back on the horse (so to speak), and it's good to hear some other perspectives. On the plus side, I've already had a post-delivery-room-crisis delivery, and even though the fear is part of what makes me hesitate to go through it again, we did do it, with a happy ending.

  4. Being a relatively newcomer to your blog as well, I had no idea what all of you have been through. All I can say is - Wow, what a road to have traveled. And how wonderful that Riley is doing so well after a year's time. I can understand your hesitation with having another child, since having to go through all of that certainly does make you wonder about the what-ifs. But you're right about the whole experience making you a stronger person. He truly is an amazing little boy - and as cute as a button! But what an amazing family he has as well.

  5. Anonymous5:51 AM

    I am the parent of a 20 year old with a diagnosis of single ventricle and transposition.He has had 6 open heart surgeries and # 7 is being planned for this January.He is a very outgoing guy, and until he takes his shirt off you would never know anything is wrong.He is on 8 meds now and that is something we are just used to.Good luck.

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