The things you take for granted . . . someone else is praying for.
 Be grateful. 

Grateful is something that we have learned through the 14 weeks of Cooper being in the neonatal intensive care unit. Grateful for Cooper, for the strength he has continued to posses and the courage he has shown day after day. I couldn't be prouder of the little 5 pounder. Proud to show him off and for the world to know that my son, born 16 weeks early fought for his life for weeks, that he overcame tests, x-rays, brain bleeds, ultrasounds, breathing issues and more. That makes me proud. And I realize that this is just the beginning, now Cooper will have a whole life to be even stronger and more courageous. 

I couldn't feel anymore grateful. I know how lucky we are, how lucky we have become that Cooper not only got to walk out of those hospital doors but he left with his eyesight, no brain issues, formed perfectly, and just on oxygen. We are grateful. 

Cooper is so special to us. 

Every little cry, suck on his bottle is a blessing to us. We know how lucky we are. We know that there are families that aren't as lucky as we are, so we never take this experience for granted. While it wasn't ideal, it wasn't fun or pleasant - it was worth it. Every single worry, tear, sleepless night, scare, walk into the NICU - all of it was worth it. It was worth it all to have Cooper alive at home and growing. 


We have been home now for a week. I can't even believe it. It is such a big change. A newborn baby, at home for being gone for nearly 14 weeks and more.

Dirty diapers, dozens of bottles and the endless beeps of his oxygen monitor - life of a mother. And I love it.

Cooper is such a blessing. Really.

We are getting used to being home and re-adjusting, unpacking and re-organizing. And more than anything getting into the groove of things. Getting up at night, getting used to his oxygen needs, making bottles etc. etc.

None the less being home is an amazing feeling.


Four generations, Annette as a baby (left to right) her mother Michelle, grandmother Jackie and
 great grandmother Esther.

Turning 27 tomorrow, it has me reflecting on life, love, where I am and where I want to be.
This is not where I ever thought I would be in life. Once upon a time I dreamed of a life full of power at some swanky advertising company, married with kids in my early 20s, a tight knit and close living family with every holiday intermixed full of love and laughter. 

While my life isn't quite "that" I feel that I have accomplished some of that. 

I always thought that I would be married early and start having children early. Now at 27 Tom and I haven't been married for two years yet and we haven't even had the chance to bring Cooper home. Older and what I like to think as wiser, there is a perfectly good reason why I was lucky to have children later. 

I was able to meet and marry the love of my life. I was able to get to a decent place in my life including work, emotionally and maturity. And at 27 I know I have the tools of what it takes to have a child, especially one as special as Cooper. I may not work at a swanky advertising agency but I know my job and I am great at it. I have worked so hard for the past 5 years to be great at my job and it satifies me. 

The husband I have, I couldn't be more grateful for. He really is everything I wanted as a husband, loving, caring, funny, outgoing and just plain fun. 

Everyone goes through their own battles in life with trials and tribulations in hopes of making you a stronger version of yourself. I won't bore you with the tortures, the lies, or even my own bad decisions but in everyone is a truth and really an eye awakening moment in your decisions. I am not happy with all of them I have lied and betrayed friends and family but in the end I am me. 

I am happy with me. 

So this birthday is different for me, my very first birthday with a child yet the first birthday by "myself." Cooper and I will hang out all day together and while we will miss Tom being with us, there is always next year. 

At 27 I feel like my life is just now starting, a great husband, cutest kid, a good job and loyal friends and family. 

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