I know I am a week late but better late than never.
This Thanksgiving was extra special for us this year. The word thankful doesn't even begin to cover how grateful we are.
Last year my husband and I spent Thanksgiving mourning our unborn son. We had just found out days earlier that he would be born with half of a heart, that he may not survive. We were just told that we had to decide if he lived or died. I was not feeling very thankful last year. I was lost in a fog of disbelief. Little did I know the blessings that were ahead of me.
This year has not been easy. Watching one child fight for his life and trying to explain to my other son why mommy can't come home was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Do I wish I could heal Jacob's broken heart? Yes. Do I wish I could shield him from the hardships he will face in his life? Yes. Do I regret that he was given to our family? NO WAY! Jacob is the biggest blessing. I have said this so many times before but Jacob has taught so many people about what is important in life... including myself.
Jake is amazing. He has shown his mother that she is not in control but that our worst fears could be our greatest blessings. He has taught his father that miracles do happen. He has taught his brother a love and a friendship that no one could ever top. He has shown perfect strangers what true strength and inspiration looks like. He is amazing.
I am so thankful that Jake was given to me. He has shown me how many amazing people there are in the world who will reach their hand out to help a perfect stranger. I can't thank each and everyone of you enough. We are so humbled by the generosity and love that you have shown us. You have proven that there really are good people left in this world. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
I am eternally thankful to the doctors. To Denise Donahue our fetal care coordinator at CHOP who showed us such compassion during our darkest time. To Dr. Szwast who looked out for my son when he was at his worst. To Dr. Spray who held my babies heart in his hands at only 9 days old. Who saved my son's life. To Doctor Heydarian for dealing with my crazy worry and for taking my son under his wing. I know for a fact he made it to his second surgery because of the amazing care you gave him. To Doctor Harris and all of the nurses at his pediatrician's office who helped me anytime I asked.
To the countless doctors, residents and nurses who cared for my son. To Dr. Norwood and all of the other amazing doctors who did not give up until they found a way for our children to have a chance at living. To all of the parents who came before us who allowed these doctors to test out their theories on their newborn children with hopes of a cure.
There is no cure. Jake's heart will never be whole. But he has a life. He has a life because of the amazing care he has been given. He is laughing and playing and I owe this to so many amazing people.
Most of all Thank you God for hearing our prayers and watching over my son.
Thank you to my family and friends. To my mom who gave up 8 weeks of her life to live in Philadelphia with me after Jake was born. To Mimi and Nana for giving up their lives to stay with Aidan when I couldn't be there and for helping us in more ways I can count. We are so blessed to have such amazing families. Without your support we could not have made it. Jake is alive thanks to you as well. You made this year possible. We will repay it someway somehow.
Thank you to my husband for holding my hand and holding me up during the hardest times of our lives. Thank you to Aidan for being the most amazing big brother. I could not be more proud of you. You are such a blessing to me and you are such a strong little boy. You are the smartest child I know and the way you have gone through this year without skipping a beat amazes me. You love Jake with all of your heart and he loves you. I am so blessed to be your mom. You are my hero.
I know I am leaving out so many people. Thank you so much to everyone that has been there for our family this year. It has not gone unnoticed. We love you all.
Love, The Bakers
The boys are growing up so fast. Jake is sitting up really well now and not tipping over much. He is changing daily. I can't get over how big Aidan has gotten over this past year. Hard to believe a few short years ago he was Jake's age. Here are some pictures of my greatest gifts!