We were so honoured this month to be asked to speak at the annual Respiratory Therapists awards ceremony. I’m not much of a public speaker and wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it on time because I had a work commitment in the morning, so I put together a 9 minute video instead. I cry when I do public speaking and I’m a huge believer in the power of images so a video felt like a better choice anyway.
You can watch it here
We also had an amazing halloween. Poppy was a bug and Oliver dressed up as a duck (without a beak because he refused to wear the hat) and by the end of trick or treating (with nurse Steph from his time in the surgical wards!) he was an old pro, helping himself to multiple candy bars and putting them in his bucket with glee. SO freakin adorable.
He’s still working on walking, he’s 100% capable and sometimes he’ll just walk across a room but most of the time he prefers to crawl, probably because he’s so darn fast at it.
He caught a cold last month (Poppy’s in preschool afterall!) and is still trying to recover from the cough, but with just one lung it takes him a bit longer than other kids. It’s not keeping him up at night anymore so we’re happy with that.
Hope everyone is doing great!
Hi Oliver’s friends!
I will never be able to pay you back for all your love and kindness but the universe has conspired to offer you a tiny token of gratitude. Through an amazing series of random connections, a wonderful woman named Michelle has given me the opportunity to offer a free photo session at Movies for Mommies at the Humber next Monday (October 7). Michelle is also a mom and she, like you, followed Oliver through his whole journey. She wanted to extend an invitation to all of you to enjoy special TWO FOR ONE admission on the 7th! I’m so excited about this. I know not everyone is in Toronto, or has a baby to bring, but if you do and you’re around come on by! Enjoy a movie with your babe, bring a friend for free and get your baby’s fall (halloween!) portrait done for free!
Hope to see some of you there <3
Oliver is doing great and thriving. He’s not going to daycare so I’m happy that I can take another year off without losing my job. No mat leave though so I’m starting to do birth photography. You
can be nosy here. He is a super speedy crawler, and is slowly working on learning to walk. He is a chatty little guy, he adorably says “uh oh” while throwing food on the floor for the dog. Other words include mama, dada, dog, cat, duck, quack and look. He really couldn’t be cuter if he tried. Big sister Poppy started preschool yesterday, three half days a week, which she lives and gives Ollie and I some quality bonding time. We miss Tim, we had such a great summer with him at home, but now we have to share him with other kids who need him too. September 10 will bee one year of Oliver living at home with his family and we’re really excited to celebrate the last “one year” mile stone
here’s a video of Oliver finding a cat in his book.
A year ago Dr. Cox decided Oliver was stable enough to have surgery. A year ago today Dr. Himidan wheeled him off to the operating room, but not before promising me that she would do the surgery exactly the way uncle Dave had taught her. A year ago today Oliver became whole. She put her hands inside his 18 day old body and put everything in the right place, giving him the best possible gift, a chance at life. Thank you sick kids for giving us Oliver.
A year ago today Oliver’s cousin Eliza was born (happy birthday beautiful girl!) A year ago today Oliver finally began his journey to wellness. A year ago today the world became such a better place. July 20th will always be one of my favorite days.
Thank you to everyone who donated for Oliver’s birthday, together we raised nearly $5,000 for CDH research!
Oliver is going to be a year old on Tuesday. Excuse my language but holy shit. He was going to die. He couldn’t breathe on his own. His organs were all wrong. He was the king of pulmonary hypertensive crises. He had to go back on the oscillator and was never going to make it to surgery. Now he is going to be one. A happy, healthy, freakin adorable one year old boy. I’m crying as I type this. I can’t believe a miracle happened to me. I can’t believe how awesome my miracle was. I can’t believe how lucky our family is. Because Oliver is not just alive. He’s full of life!
He couldn’t be sweeter or snugglier or happier or more fun to be around. He claps, he crawls, he plays peek a boo. He laughs so hard and is obsessed with Poppy and our dog Forrest. He is absolutely undiscerning about food and will eat anything, even stuff you and I wouldn’t call food. Like pinecones and sand. He pulls himself up to stand and then plods down on his cute little tushy when he’s had enough. He bangs his head at least once a day because he’s so busy exploring. He is completely normal and totally charming.
He’s done so well this year in terms of his health. His doctors were really pleased that despite having gotten quite sick he didn’t need to be hospitalized and he didn’t lose any weight. His left nub looked like it’d stopped growing but now it looks like maybe it is. He had me all worried at his neonatal follow up clinic because he scored quite low on his gross motor but he’s since caught up and his communication score was very high. So mama can chill a bit. And most excitingly because his lungs have proven themself so resilient he’s now allowed out in public. We celebrated with a trip on the bus and subway which were enormous hits with both Ollie and Pops! In short, life ifs amazing. He’s had a lingering cough which could be post viral, allergies, reflux, or asthma. There’s no real way to tell yet so we’ll look in to it more at his 18 month follow up. He’s a miracle. And we are so incredibly grateful to have been so blessed.
In honor of his birthday we are trying to raise money for our beloved Dr Coxs CDH research project. Both as a thank you for saving our Ollie and to help prevent other families from having to go through what we did. If you’ve ever thought you’d like to make a gesture of gratitude to sick kids we would love if you’d consider joining us. This is the link to our fundraising page: http://my.sickkidsdonations.com/PersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=1930271&LangPref=en-CA#.UcnhVIokJ4s.facebook
We were blown away by how wonderful the rally at the CN Tower was! It was a cold, horrible night, yet so many people came our to show support and raise awareness. It was truly awe inspiring. From friends we see all the time to friends we haven’t seen in years, from our parents to friends friends, to friends of friends parents, from Sick Kids staff (hello you amazing people!) to former sick kids and their families, we got to spend a very cold hour with some of the very best people on the planet! The kids had a blast playing, the grown ups enjoyed delicious cupcakes, and everyone did their best to stay warm in CDH tshirts Oliver’s amazing Godmother had made for everyone. We got to meet four other survivors and their families, which was amazing and inspiring and seeing such awesome, happy, normal (except even better!) kids gave me so much hope for Ollie’s future. Then the sun went down, the tower lit up, and an amazing night got even more amazing. To see the biggest, brightest, most noticeable part of our cityscape lit up in honour of all the little CDH angels and survivors was so powerful that there are no words to describe it. An enormous and endless thank you goes out to everyone who had a part in getting it lit, especially Shannen Bailey, angel Asjiah’s mom, who is a beacon of strength and amazes me every day in her efforts to raise awareness and continue to fight CDH in her daughter’s honour. And thank you to everyone for coming out despite the awful weather, it meant the world to us to celebrate with you!
This Sunday, I’m sure you know, is Mothers day. Yesterday was Bereaved Mother’s Day, a special Mother’s Day for mommies whose babies live in their hearts but who they do not get to hold here on earth anymore. If you know someone, like Shannen, who has suffered such an unimaginable loss, please give them a hug this week and remember to wish them a happy Mother’s Day this Sunday. <3