Happy First Birthday Pax

 (As promised nearly a month late)

Our miracle baby's first birthday...
I canNOT believe it has been one year since I first met the most amazing, brave, gorgeous, heroic baby ever. Cannot believe the journeys we have traveled in 365 days.  More hospital visits than I can count. More echos, ekg's, meds, syringes, stats, trips to Tampa/St.Pete than I ever imagined for my life, but with that came more love from the happiest little boy!  Pick on me like he's been picked on this past year and I'd be the grumpiest person you'd ever meet, but not Pax. He gets it. He knows he made it. He knows his time here is a precious, precious gift and he has chosen to rock it.  He smiles every day and laughs a belly laugh that is the sweetest sound I have ever known.

( Good lord son, if you didn't get my big ole' mouth!)

One year!  It can change everything!

(Thank you Nana for baking his first cake!)


Please note that all of the pictures below were done by Rayna Overmyer.  She donated her time to come and photograph Paxtons party so I could be in the moment and not have to worry about taking pictures.  She is not only a kick a*# photographer, but an amazingly kind and gentle friend as well!  Thank you Rayna for making me cry the happiest tears ever while watching your slide show!  If anyone would like her info be in touch with me.


What do they say..... Go Big Or Go Home

And good lord if this party didn't deserve to be BIG.  Like REALLY BIG!

We had buttons and everyone wore them with pride and my heart swelled to see how many people loved our boy!

Balloons galore, really big ones, that shouted to the world just how awesome Paxton is!

If this beaming boy isn't the epitome of hero, then I don't know what is....

Friends and family came in slews to celebrate 365 days of fight and triumph~


My sister and her "BFF". I'm still not sure when she got all grown up and gorgeous. I was her age when I was there for her birth.... no really, I don't feel old or anything.

We gathered under a big tent in the backyard proudly showing off what never giving up means.

We had Robb from Robb n' the Cradle come play tunes all night long, because what's a party without music.  Awesome, amazing job Robb. Thank you!

We played baseball, we ate, we laughed, we bragged ; ) and we were together.

Pax was passed around to welcoming arms. Arms that love him deeply!

("Him" loves his Papaw, he just despises his hat)

None of course, love him as deeply as his Mama...

And I think my love for him radiates in this picture.  I watched this little baby fight for his life from the moment he was born.  Some days, a lot of days, it was just the two of us, fighting the fight together.  Some days he gave me strength, but most, I stood by him talking to him and trying to give him all the strength I could give him.  Wanting to fight the fight for him, but not being able. Instead, I was just there. Through it all. Every poke, prod, cath, injection, feeding tube, iv, chest cut open, intubated, getting unintubated, fighting with nurses to be his advocate,  hlhs baby actually learning to nurse moment.  Only one time did I have to step out.  That was when he had been poked trying to get a line in literally 10 times. He was so blue from crying that he finally just gave up the fight and went limp. Only then did I see the med flight team walk in because apparently they are the best. NO ONE could get one in and it was then they decided to shave his hair and stick it in his scalp.  I broke down. I lost it and I walked and told them this was it. Last try and if they didn't get it, then they'd have to figure something else out.  Never knew I had that voice inside of me until I saw my baby limp from fighting so hard.   By the grace of God, they got it and I held him the rest of the night. So grateful that he allowed me to soothe him.  So grateful that he would not remember these moments and grateful that I would be given the chance to tell him when he's older just how freaking amazing he is!
No ONE loves this child like I do!  No one could ever know what birthing a baby, handing them over at four days old to be put on bypass, then watching him recover for two months does to you. There's a depth to that love that can never, ever be described. It's literally a work of God.  To see what happens there and then to see it happen to your own.  

HE is a work of God and of all things good!

Those eyes, they speak volumes.  My beautiful, old soul of a baby!

Oh yah', he's got it like that!

SUCH a celebration!

Such love and endearment from so many people who had our back the entire way.  From the moment we found out to present!  Oh' my love for him is palpable!

(See, big mouth I tell ya ;)

And because my heart is split into thirds....

Man if I don't want a piece of that cake as I write this! Someone hook me up!

Big balloons for a big, BIG, BIG celebration! Epic actually! And every year hereafter that my baby boy gets to celebrate will be epic, because these babies are wicked strong yet wicked fragile.  Every cold we fight, every surgery we make it through, every echo that says his heart function is good and he won't need a heart transplant is epic because Paxton has HLHS, half of a heart people, and the fact that he is here at all is well...epic.  

Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles.... and one that weighs 24 pounds thank you very much!

I am honored in more ways than I can ever put into words to be his Mother.  So proud to call him my son.  So proud that I helped make a boy as strong and heroic as he is.  I can only hope in the years ahead that I make him just as proud.

Happy Birthday my beautiful boy! I love you more than you will ever know and soon, when I can wrap my head around the fact that last year is behind us, I will write you your birthday letter. I have not forgotten, but our year is a lot to process and I'm working on putting it into words for you to read when you are older.  Your story is an inspiration Paxton and I know you are here to do great things!  I will be behind you every step of the way, maybe biting my tongue, arms out trying to help you, but I'll do my best to let you grow up and be a boy!  

Until next year!


That was an epic post! Happy Birthday Paxton. I followed your journey from the moment I found out about you. I can't believe we are planning Owen's 3rd birthday.. nothing but miracles.
Amy Bennett said…
Oh boy did this post leave me in tears...sobbing, actually. What a beautiful tribute to our amazing little heroes. I cannot wait to be in your shoes, celebrating my little guy's first birthday! These kids are breathtaking...

Heart mom to Bodie, 9 months (HLHS)
Neha said…
Your son is a true hero! And those were all such lovely pictures. It felt like I was part of the celebration too!

Many happy returns to the miracle boy. loads of love and hugs to him!
schnider_am said…
What a little cutie!! Happy Birthday Pax!!
cici said…
sorry I missed your birthday sweet boy. Sorry you are in the Hospital now. Please get better fast!
We love you little superman.

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