Her First and Won't Be Her Last...

This time last year I was heading into night 1 of 4 with absolutely no sleep...This time tomorrow I was desperately trying to look into my 5 week old baby girl's eyes still kinda hoping for a miraculous miracle...This time the following day I was handing my tiny baby to a surgeon and literally collapsing and choking in fear...This time the day after I was learning to put in and care for a minuscule contact and instructed to patch my daughter's "good eye" half her waking hours - Awesome to decipher for a newborn right? 

This time last year was just filled with the unknown...

Would the surgery be successful? Would she survive the post surgery complications? Would the plan of care after even work? Would her other eye need surgery? Would she need glasses? 

Nothing in the world prepares you for hearing the news that your child, let alone your newborn needs surgery...And no matter how many parents you seek out who have been there before, articles you read or sit down chats with the surgeons, the absolute feeling of helplessness is bound to overtake you...

I've been sitting here reading blogs from last year, sobbing if you really must know...Remembering how very terrified I was...With each surgery she's had since, those feelings return but the first one will be forever etched in my mind...

It was the first time I had to see her in one of those ridiculous hospital gowns, way too big to fit any 5 week old baby...It was the first time the clock absolutely dragged & I watched my husband pound donut after donut, nervously waiting for an update...And it was the first time I felt nothing but utter gratefulness, when she was finally put back into my arms...It was her first and it won't be her last but the feelings surrounding this surgery will be with me always...

I wonder if every year around the time of her surgeries I will reflect on them as I have these last few days...I wonder if the tears will still come like they have while writing this...I wonder if the fear will still kinda get caught in my throat when I think back to how desperately I was begging God to keep her here with us...And I wonder if I will always be as awed with how far she's come...

I wrote this a year ago before her surgery,
"So, as I learn to let go of what I cant control- I realized that all that really matters is how I live my life & teach my babies to live theirs...I cant control that Noal is a busy boy, has my short little legs & has my sassy personality...I cant control that Reid was born with Down Syndrome, had a hole in her heart or needs eye surgery...I can only control how I handle what has been given to me- How I hope to raise Noal & Reid to be loving, kind, open minded, grateful & Happy Little Souls...At the end of the day this is what I truly believe to be important."

And lets just say it's been one hell of a year learning to let go and realize what's important & I truly think I have been a pretty damn good student of just that...

To read about my thoughts hours before Pip's first surgery Click HERE and to read about Pip's Eye Surgery/Complications & the Outcome Click HERE...


  1. Tara, as I read your words above...tests steam from my eyes as I feel your completely raw emotions and know EXACTLY what you feel! As soon as Alley was born she was taken to the NICU to have a tub inserted into her tummy to station the amniotic fluid that she could not digest because of a digestive tract blockage. I finally got to hold for a brief moment at 11:30 pm after giving birth to get at 9:41 am. The next morning at 22 hours old she had her 1st of 4 surgeries. Walking our tiny new born down the hall for surgery is the scariest feeling...we waited for the up dates, they came about every two hours. About 7 hours later she was in recovery and on a ventilator for about three days...She came off the ventilator on Mother's day, what a gift! She finally came home for the first time two weeks after birth. Then at 4 months old and had AVSD repair, another 7 hour surgery and days on the ventilator and 4 solid days of no sleep.
    I love your blog and I love how you love your children! They are perfect and beautiful! Thank you for all the fun pictures, love and emotions you share with us all! xo

    1. Sorry, my eyes were teary and I swipe text a couple wrong words on my phone! :-)

  2. Yes. Yes you will live through these emotions every year. Well, if you're like me anyway.
    And every year you have your beautiful children in your life you will be more grateful than the last.
    I like to believe I would love my son just the same without all the hard lessons that included those moments when fear...Oh God the fear...
    In other news, I was talking about you and your adorable Pip yesterday, trying to ease the worries of this friend for her sister's family, a new baby with Down syndrome and she's got some eye challenges. I shared with her these things are hard, but there's help. I shared a bit of your story. Thank you for telling it.

    I shared with my husband that I'm not sure your baby knows your face without a camera (phone, I assume)
    and how adorable every moment is! Don't stop. :)

  3. Anonymous2.2.14

    Your daughter, Pip, is adorable. I don't have kids, but I used to be a children/ baby photographer. Your photos are amazing and she looks like she is an easy, beautiful subject! I've made my career being a social worker for kids and folks like your daughter, but the happiness they bring is never ending! Thank Pip for putting a smile on my face!

  4. Anonymous25.7.17

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