Happy Birthday Rowan!

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I’ve assumed that I would have a long and heartfelt post to write for Rowan’s first birthday, full of all the feelings and realities of this past year. But honestly? I’ve said it all so many times already. So rather than rehash all my feelings, let’s talk about Rowan.

I am not sure I have ever met a baby who is as happy as Rowan. He greets everyone with a wide grin that radiates this pure happiness — it is impossible to look at Rowan and not smile back. He charms everyone he meets in a way that is almost magic.

It’s crazy to think that a year ago we were discussing what would happen after his birth — whether he would need to be intubated, the likelihood that he would need oxygen support, etc. Then he came out and he had apgars of 8 and 9, and he breathed without help. Now he is sporting four teeth with two more on the way, he is pulling to a stand and is going to be cruising before we know it.

He loves to eat. Last night he ate two chicken nuggets, four mini whole grain pancakes, some puffs, half of a baby food container, and part of a fish stick. The only food that he flat-out dislikes is hummus. He is 17 pounds 12 ounces now, which is almost 15 pounds above his lowest weight.

He loves playing with bead mazes and things with wheels for him to spin. Wooden blocks are another favorite. This week he discovered the joy of the pets’ water dish. And speaking of water, he loves taking baths and splashing.

He thinks his big sister is the best. He is saying a lot of “dadada” and “bababa” and generally talking to himself. He still doesn’t seem to understand the idea of waving bye. Now that we have gotten his ear infection under control he is suddenly sleeping better, though “better” is relative. He’s on long-term inhaled steroids for reactive airway disease, and he hates the nebulizer. But even when he’s wheezing and sounds awful he is still smiling.

Today is bittersweet, for sure, but as hard as it may feel to celebrate he constantly reminds me how happy he is to be here.

Happy birthday, Rowan!

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