Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One Year Later

One Year Later

Here we are one year later celebrating Kai's birth into this world and more importantly his belonging into this world. To say this past year has been a roller coaster is an understatement, it has been much more. Kai's remarkable journey has been uplifting, inspiring, unbelievable, and unforgettable.
He exemplifies what it means to be a fighter in the preemie world. His strength and courage alone were no match for his odds of survival...Kai is a true Miracle.

Born at 25 weeks and 5 days gestation, weighing 2 pounds and 4 ounces, and only 12 inches long, Kai was born a micro preemie . I find myself asking the same simple question, how did this happen? So simple yet so complex. How is a baby to survive in the womb when amniotic fluid levels have been diminishing since 18 weeks gestation and last 7 more weeks? A huge supply of nutrients are lost, growth of the baby has been inhibited, the ability to move fluidly has been lost, plus much more are all working against the chance of survival. Somehow Kai beat the odds and made it through these early obstacles only to face even more when he arrived in the NICU.

After just five days of life Adam and I were given a choice--chose to continue life support or chose to discontinue. This came about solely because of the severity of the Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) that occurred on both sides of his brain. We chose to continue without hesitation. That day I will never forget. His birth was not as intense as this day was when we were to make one of the biggest decisions on Kai’s behalf. He made it through the birth so why would we have wanted to take something away from him that he so rightfully earned? Although the doctors said what they had to say and give us statistics, probabilities, and odds, both Adam and I somehow knew that Kai was going to defy all of those and be just fine at the end of this. We knew that he belonged in this world.

Those days were so scary. Its really hard to go back to those moments and replay them in my head. Everything was on a day-by-day basis and we had no idea what Kai’s future was going to be like, we just knew that he was going to make it through all of this and come out on top.

Well, Kai conquered his NICU stay and since he has been home, he has exceeded all of our expectations. He could not be any more impressive, pulling out his NG tube, drinking from a bottle, rolling over, sitting up, crawling and much more, all before he has turned one is a big deal! There are times I feel like none of those scary days ever happened. I feel like how could they have when he is doing so well! No matter what would have happened to Kai or what may still happen to Kai, whether it be some sort of disability or what have you, Adam and I will love him no matter what and be so proud of him and his accomplishments no matter how small. But I must say, we are truly blessed and lucky. We were given one of the strongest most brave little boy we have ever met.

I also want to acknowledge all of his followers who prayed for him and supported our family. Your prayers were heard, your love was received, and your help was greatly appreciated. I don’t know what we would have done without this huge support group.Thank You.

And a Thank You is deserved to all of the doctors, nurses, and medical staff that cared for Kai. He
was very popular at the hospital during his NICU stay. All of these members of the hospital had Kai’s best interest in mind and cared for him as they would have cared for their own. He had the best of the best looking after him. I will never forget any of you and I look forward to the day Kai can meet and remember all of you as well.

At the end of his first year, I honestly feel relieved. Adam and I both feel a weight has been lifted and we can put those past struggles behind us now. Kai is a happy little boy and by all means a healthy one too. We haven't taken anything for granted and we are so thankful for his health more than anything!
We look forward to this second year with Kai and the years thereafter. We look forward to all of the things we had talked about when we decided to have a second child and all of the new memories we are going to create.


Dear Kai,

You were nothing short of a miracle and the journey of your birth into this world is remarkable. You have changed my life forever and I am thankful for that.
I cherish these days of our first year together and I am so lucky you are my son.
Our family is complete now because of you and I am forever grateful you chose me to be your mom.

I Love You Kai!



Tabitha Bernardi said...

Happy Birthday Kai! We love you so much! Great post Ash... I knew you were gonna make me cry with this one!

Melanie Kitchen said...

Happy Birthday to an amazing little man! We are so proud of you and Adam and your strength during this incredible journey. Kai truly is a miracle and continues to inspire us every time he flashes that handsome smile :) We are so blessed to have your family in our lives. Lots of love. XO

ashley sihler said...

Thanks you guys! I will give him your love!

Unknown said...

Happy 1st Birthday you amazing boy Kai!
And to your your parents, who Love you un-conditionally with such strength that is so beautiful and encouraging see. Thanks for opening our eyes to the power faith and love.
May God continue to bless and love this strong Family.

Love - Papi