No expectations

No expectations for you.
Only love. Today, my precious Monkey. You are 18 months old. 18 months, how is that possible?
I wasn’t sure you would survive inside me. You fought so hard. You won. You survived. You were born.
You were so not cute. Black and blue, cone head.. that’s what happens when you shoot out in three pushes. You get bruised, you get swollen, you get misshapen, you look funny. To the eyes. But my heart, oh my heart fell instantly.
Six hours old, just out of the NICU, you showed them. No fluid in the lungs could keep you down.
Now if only you could figure out who all these people are.

3 days after you were born we finally left the hospital. 2 days later, they wanted you back. Your bilirubin levels were off the charts. I fought. I would keep you on the alien blanket all day, I was nursing, you were trying so hard to thrive… God Bless your pediatrician, she fought for us. They relented. 11 days on a bili blanket and twice daily blood draws… finally you were declared, cured.

Only to come down with RSV. Life threatening. I have never been so scared in my life. But you fought. You worked. You tried. You won.

You have survived 3 severe bouts of RSV. You have survived, thus far, your overly enthusiastic sister, who thinks the moon and sun rise and set upon your command.

You don’t follow any charts but your own. You have two words and they are the only ones that matter. Mama and Dada.
You’re devious and mischievous. You know exactly what you want, exactly what we’re saying and precisely how to achieve whatever goal you set.
I have no expectations for you. Only love, prayers, hopes and dreams.
You make me laugh daily with your antics, you make my heart stop because you scale furniture and tables and attempt to swing from chandeliers. You have no fear, and yet you don’t want me out of your sight for long.
You have no idea how much I miss nursing you. Barely two months, and yet it feels like forever.
Your appetite for life thrills me, your disdain for safety terrifies me and your smile and laughter warm my very core.
You are joy, you are love, you are wonder, you are the perfect union of love. You are the ultimate expression of the love that your father and I share. You were wished for and prayed for. You are a granted blessing, a true miracle.

I hope that you will continue to walk your own path, take joy in all the you come across, I hope the world is always a wondrous place; full of new discoveries and beauty around every turn.

I hope you always realize that even when we aren’t able to physically carry you, we are still with you. You will always be lifted up in our prayers, carried in our hearts and never ever alone.

Monkey, you are 18 months old, but before I know it… you will be 18 years old.
I pray that at 18 years you are as sure of yourself, as you are at 18 months.
I love you my son, my angel, my heart.

Then, Now and Always


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  1. absolutely beautiful. Did you ever think, before you had kids, that your heart could hold so much? I sure didn’t. Then when I had a 2nd, I was scared I wouldn’t love her as much as my first. By my 3rd, I knew I would but it’s still so awe inspiring!

    Happy 18 month birthday, Monkey! You sure are a fighter! So happy for you all!

  2. awww… happy 18 months Monkey!

    We also had the “alien” bili blanket for a few days, which I had almost forgotten about until I saw this. Wow, how time flies!

  3. It is amazing how children change our lifes…isn’t it? That was a beautiful post and tribute to your beautiful, perfect little angel boy….You truly have an amazing way of expressing yourself through your posts….I just love ya! So..I have a little somethin’ somethin’ for ya..come over and see me when you get time.

  4. Oh Rachel… that was so beautiful. What a memory he will treasure forever.

    “3 severe bouts of RSV” oh. my. gosh. I am so sorry. What a fighter. He must have someone looking over him. 🙂

    Happy 18 months!

  5. What an amazing story! I love it. Thank you so much for stopping by yesterday and leaving a comment. Ya, my son and his “lefty” handwriting lol…poor thing. Well I hope you guys have an awesome day 🙂

  6. There is nothing harder than when your kids are very sick. Oh, those photos broke my heart.

    I’m so glad that he is such a tough little guy and pulled through it all.

    He just rocks.

  7. Oh this post took me back to our scary NICU days. Having a sick baby is heartbreaking. I’m so glad your tough little guy is thriving and doing so well. Motherhood is absolutely the greatest of gifts.

  8. Aww, Rachel, this was so sweet!! He sounds like an amazing child, you are so lucky! And so is he to have an awesome mom like you!

  9. (Found you from Holly aka June Cleaver’s blog)
    “You have two words and they are the only ones that matter. Mama and Dada. “
    Priceless and perfect!
    Be sure to save this sweet post for him when he is 18 YEARS old 😉

  10. OMG Rachel, those pics of that tiny little baby just tug so hard at my heart strings!!

    Oh sweet Monkey…18 months old and growing stronger everyday. A truly wonderous thing isn’t it??

  11. Fantastic Rachel! What a struggle you both had. Worth every second, I’m sure!

    My little Monkey did the whole bili blanket thing too. My pediatrician cracked up when we showed up with Monkey in a jumper the exact same shade of pumpkin orange as his skin!

  12. Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? Another wonderful post.. Happy 18th month birthday little man!!

  13. Oh how sweet! What a fighter your little man is. That’s hard on a mama to have a little one who’s had to fight so hard.

    My sweet baby turned 20 months yesterday. Where, oh where does the time go? I know she will be twenty years all too quickly!
    (But right now she’s clinging to my leg crying about wanting another cracker & driving me a little batty….)

  14. He is a fighter! God gave him a will and zest for life, you have captured the essence of your Monkey in this post.

  15. Oh he’s SO tiny! I have middle to large size babies so I can’t imagine one this incredibly tiny.

    What a great story!! And the pictures are so precious.

  16. that totally made me cry! We had a rocky pregnancy with my last and they told us at 12 weeks to not expect the baby to make it to the next week’s visit. And the next week they were shocked the baby was still alive, but told us not to get our hopes up. And week after week we went, when at 26 weeks they finally said everything looked great and we had a little miracle on our hands. It’s truly amazing. Much of what you said about your son fits mine as well and I can really relate to your story. I’m thrilled you had a happy ending, as we did, and I’m anzious to see what age 18 brings (he’s 21 months now), but I’m in NO HURRY.

    Enjoy your sweet little man, and have fun with him being 18 months.

    Thank you for sharing that story!

  17. golly Rach….that was powerful. honestly for a momont there, i thought i was reading about a sick kid on someones page…but then i remember it was Monkey…nothin gets him down!

    he’s the maan..even at only 18 months


  18. I think this must be the most heartwarming tribute I’ve ever read. Absolutely beautiful.

    Now I want you to get a tape recorder and read it outloud so that when he hits those turbulent teen years you can play it over and over again at night while you sleep to subliminally remind you why you shouldn’t kill him. ;o)

    Thanks for stopping by my land of nutty goodness. It’s nice to meet another Texas gal. I’ll be back when I have more time to look around. TTFN

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