-On the night you were born. Aurora turns one- |children’s photographer Novi, MI Gastroschisis Survivor|

On the night you were born.

Both mommy and daddy were terrified beyond words.

We had been both anticipating your arrival and dreading it.

We couldn’t wait to see your beautiful face, little one. Yet, knew what laid ahead for you just moments after your entrance into this world.

The doctors told us to be brave. They told us to be strong.

Because, you needed our strength to get through this.

Mommy knew the second you came out she could no longer fight your fight for you.

Daddy kept her strong when it got to be too much.

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After 16 hours of hard labor.

You made your entrance.

Even though we only got to look at your sweet face for a quick few moments before they swept you away.

You were beautiful. Perfect. We loved you so much, Aurora.

We didn’t even get to give your sweet face a kiss before they left with you for surgery.

We had to trust the doctors and nurses.

Complete strangers with your life.

We couldn’t help but be envious, because they got to spend more time with you, our baby, than we did the night you were born.

After what seemed like the longest two hours of our lives.

Two doctors came into our room and delivered the best news we had heard all day.

You were out of surgery and in recovery, doing great!

You had a primary closure ( you will know what that means when you are older, Rory).

When they told us that, daddy just held mommy and we cried.

Happy tears, this time. 12184115_10207442277515996_7088344971249442344_o

Mommy almost ran down to the NICU when they said we could FINALLY see you.

But, Daddy pushed her in a wheelchair, carefully.

Seeing you for the first time. Really seeing you.

Was…. it was hard, baby girl.

We wanted nothing more then to hold you. You kiss you. To love on you.

Like mommy’s and daddy’s should be able to do with their new baby.

We wanted to take your place. We wanted to make you all better.

All we could do was watch you. And hold your tiny, perfect little hands.

That were now bruised and scared up from the IVs.

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On the night you were born, Rory.

You scared us. Scared us badly.

You quit breathing. Not once, but twice.

Daddy and mommy had to just sit there and watch helplessly.

As the team of nurses and doctors came rushing into the room.

Its all a blur now. But, watching you go lifeless in front of our eyes…..

was terrifying.

Baby girl, the universe knew you had big things to do in this life.

You came back to us.

Fighting harder than ever.

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On the night you were born, Aurora, you taught us so much.

We’ve learned to NEVER take anything for granted.

To love more deeply.

To have patience, even when we don’t understand.

To be humble and take the help when offered.

To take the time to slow down and enjoy life.

To not sweat the little things, but celebrate them. Because they are accomplishments, too.

For three weeks mommy did not leave your side.

Daddy had to go back to work to take care of us. But called and talked to you every day.

You fought hard. And made such a fast recovery.

You have been fighting every day since you came home with us.

We’ve had a few minor bumps in the road, my sweet girl.

But nothing we couldn’t face together.

Now, here we are.

One year later. One year after the night you were born.

You are here. Home.

Your big sisters cannot wait to come home from school and bake you your first birthday cake.

Walter cant wait to lick the frosting off your hands, even when mommy says “no.”

Daddy cant wait to kiss your face all over when he comes home from work.

And mommy? Mommy is just happy.

Because, on the night you were born,

you made her realize just how tough you really were.

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