Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas the Night Before...

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Drew and I are watching for Santa to make his stop at Nationwide Children's Hospital from our large window on the 4th floor. Though Santa will come tonight to bring toys to children, for us Santa came last Friday in the form of Dr. Mark Galantowicz. He doesn't wear a red suit, but instead he wears a white coat. 

Dr. G has been Knox's surgeon from the beginning, and there is no one I would rather operating on my child. He is a world renown pediatric heart surgeon and transplant surgeon. He is a tall, kind, and gentle man who has a way of putting you at ease. I, of course have been a nervous wreck and a straight up hot mess leaving my child at the operating door. But every time Dr. G comes to talk to us before a surgery somehow my worry about the actual surgery is calmed. He knows what he is doing and he has the upmost confidence in your child. He is so humble and genuine. We really can't say enough good things about him other than we are so thankful God chose him to led us through this. There is no way we can ever thank him enough.  He truly gave us the most wonderful gift we will ever receive - a fixed heart. 

Of course we are still here recovering. It is  wonderful to know we are here together and Knox is doing well, but it's still hard to be away from our home for Christmas. To not be doing the normal Christmas things. BUT we have our tree and stockings up in our room, and we read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Though our Christmas Eve meal came from the hospital cafeteria we still shared it with mom, dad, Knox, Drew, and our family of nurses. 

A few photos from our night... Merry Christmas everyone! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Across the Squirrel

If you followed our journey at our first visit to Nationwide Children's Hospital you may have heard something about a squirrel. 

The fourth floor's mascot is the squirrel. He is a large statue that separates the CTICU  from the step down unit. To move  "across the squirrel" means to move to the step down unit. 

They have been trying to send us across the squirrel since Saturday. Knox did awesome post op the night after surgery, but his recovery to move has been a little slower 

But today they let us loose. Though we are still taking some medications and are still working through some issues he is doing well enough to move. We have been in the surgical bay in the CTICU so we are happy to have a private room. 

Knox is starting to return to his old self and has been flashing some smiles today. 

We don't know when we will be able to go home yet, but it's always nice to know when you are one step closer. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Day 2

Today is Day 2.  

             Morning of surgery

As most of you know on Friday Knox had his second open heart surgery. It was the longest 7 hours of my life. It was hard to sit there and wait. They didn't end up having to replace any valves at this time. They just repaired. The surgeon said it couldn't have gone more perfectly. 

We met Knox up in our old stomping grounds, the CTICU. Knox did great the first night, and they were already taking about moving us across the squirrel. 

BUT in true Knox Hatmaker style it just couldn't be that easy. We have had a few hiccups the last two days that have landed us to still be residing in the CTICU. NONE of them have to do with his heart. The heart looks great. (Insert insanely happy smile).  I don't mind being over here though because we are surrounded by old and new friends that are taking great care of our little peanut. Everything going on is pretty normal post op things around a surgery of this magnitude. His body just needs a little more time to recover. With the wonderful news we received from his surgeon, I don't care if he makes me sit here for 20 days. 

He is slowly becoming his old self. We even got a smile out of him this morning. Thank you again for all your texts, prayers, Facebook photos, and ridiculously amazing Knox Tshirt photos. 

We love you all From the bay in H4b! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's time

Well.... it certainly has been awhile. As I look back the last time I blogged was in July. Ouch.

Now its December. And Knox is 9 months old. When did that happen? He is such a little man and we love him so. He wants to touch everything and then put it in his mouth! Sometimes its hard to remember how our adventure with Knox began, but its always there. Looming in the back of your mind. When its time to head back to Columbus for phase two of Knox's congenital heart defect journey.

Merry Christmas, its time.

We knew it was coming. Every three weeks we would go to our cardiology appointment just kind of waiting for the word. We are still sitting pretty good because his numbers are still good, thus its not an emergency. Its just necessary.

So, next Wednesday we will load our family up for Columbus. This is the first time Knox will actually ride to Columbus out of womb. We will have all of our pre-op tests on Thursday, and then on Friday, December 19th Knox will have his second open heart surgery. They say if all goes well recovery usually is 5 to 7 days; which means we are likely spending our second holiday at Nationwide Children's Hospital.  I told Knox, like the Easter bunny, I'm sure Santa can find him.

This time will be hard and it will be different for Drew and I. Not that it wasn't hard the first time because it definitely was, but its different. When Knox was born he was a little baby who we didn't know. We hadn't cuddled. When hadn't spent late nights and early mornings together. We hadn't travelled to 14 states together, met Santa, and attended numerous cattle sales. This time it is our little man; who is wiggly and active. Please say a prayer for our strength through all of this.

But here is where I ask for a favor. Many of you wonderful people bought Knox shirts this summer. I ask that on Friday, December 19th you wear your Knox shirt for strength and support of our little guy.   Take a photo and tag it to Drew or I on Facebook so that we can make an album for Knox to see in the future of all the wonderful support he received. Of course, we also hope that you will keep Knox and his doctors, nurses, and team in your prayers.

If you don't have a shirt and would like one, there are still some available. Contact me to get one.

I will go back to updating this blog during our stay at Nationwide as I can.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blanket of Love

Throughout 2014, thus far. I have been truly humbled by the amount of love and support Drew, myself, and Knox have been given by friends all over the United States, but perhaps none has hit me quite as hard as Saturday evening. 

As most of you know I was a member of the American Junior Simmental Association for many years, and competed at national classics for 11 years. Since aging out I have attended national classics to judge, promote our business, and continue my investment in some amazing young people of our breed. I served two terms on the AJSA Board of Trustees. 

You have seen from an earlier blog that Project Linus gave Knox a blanket while we were in the hospital, and the AJSA was making blankets for Project Linus as their service project. 

Knox, himself donated four blankets, and his great- Nana gave us two more blankets to donate as well. 
Other friends donated money in honor of Knox to make blankets. 

On Saturday night at the banquet, the junior board gave an update on their service project that the completed. The Louisville Project Linus chapter was given 150 blankets to brighten sick children's day. 

Allison then began to talk about three future AJSA members that got off to a rough start. Knox and his friends Breham and Berwick Bloomberg; twins of my good friend Blake who were born at only a pound a piece. They just got to go home last week. The AJSA Board presented our family as well as the Bloomberg family with blankets they made for us. 

They called us to the front to accept these blankets. I was a bucket of tears. Knox and Drew had stayed at the hotel so it was just me and my tears. I love the simmental breed and the AJSA, but knowing that they support my little guy and thought of him as they did this program was too much for me to handle.

We have been blessed by some great friends and even strangers since Knox came into this world, but this gesture was just too much for me to handle. I was (and still am) overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness to Knox. It will forever be a moment that will hold a special place in my heart as well as those young people who thought of my little man. 

Thank you AJSA board, you will never know how much I appreciate this blanket. I look forward to telling Knox about you all as he gets older. I am so proud of the success of your project and for helping children who need a bright spot in their day. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Raise your hand if you are 4 months!

Monday we celebrated Knox's 4 month birthday! 
4 months? Whoa! 

We celebrated with getting our 4 month shots which he did not enjoy, and then shopping at Trader Joe's. Our pediatrician who we love, of course only sees us for normal baby stuff. She was very happy with his growth and development. 

4 month stats: 
Weight: 10 pds 3 oz. 
Height: 23 in. 

Knox loves: 
- Taking a bath in his bath tub
- Sitting up (with some help)

New things: 
- Went to his first wedding 
- Celebrated his first 4th of July
- Went shopping for the first time
- 0-3 month clothing
- Size 1 diapers!

Knox wasn't really into photo taking because he still didn't feel well. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Some Good News

Today we got some wonderful news. 

A lot of you have asked what's next for Knox and his heart journey. We haven't known what to tell you because we weren't for sure ourselves. We have been waiting to see if the left ventricle of the heart will heal and begin to work better. 

Over the last few weeks our pediatric cardiologist here in Lexington has been very happy with Knox's numbers. She said that it looked like the left side was working better. Like she does every two weeks she sends his numbers to Columbus for our team to look at. 

Today during our visit Dr. Cottrill read us a letter from The Heart Center that said indeed the left side was doing better and believed that in the future it will be a working part of the heart. Which is AMAZING news. I couldn't help but cry tears of joy. 

Yes he will still have to have surgery but this route is the much more ideal route that the one we hoped for. It will also likely require some maintenance later in life. 

Tomorrow Drew and I will celebrate our four year wedding anniversary and we couldn't have asked for a better gift than this wonderful news. 

Please continue to pray for growth and strength for Knox and his heart. The prayers sure are working! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

3 months old

News flash! We now have a three month old baby in the Hatmaker residence! Well, we have for a few weeks, but it has been way busy!

3 month stats: 

Weight: 8.5 Pds 
Length: 21 1/2 inches 

Likes to: 
- suck our thumb
- chew on our hands 
- choo and make noises 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Today is a very special day. Today is Father's Day! Of course, as many of you can gather it also Drew's first Father's Day. 

I got pretty lucky when God designed my perfect match. He designed a wonderful, strong man who loves me unconditionally no matter what the circumstances. But it has never been more evident how amazing and perfect Drew is for me and was meant to be a daddy than this spring. 

God knew that I needed someone strong to sit beside in the hospital on one of our many trips to Central Baptist. He knew that I needed someone to told me when we first received the news about our unborn child. He knew that Drew would be the perfect person to sit with me through labor pains and tell me how wonderful I was and how great of a job I was doing. He made Drew strong to support his wife and child through 47 days at the Children's hospital, but more importantly, he made him the perfect dad. 

I know that I could not have made it through the last couple months without him. Knox is incredibly lucky to have him as a daddy, and I plan on telling him that for the rest of his life. The saying at the top really is true, my love for Drew has grown immensely as I have watched him care for Knox in and out of the womb. 

Not only did God make Drew to be my partner and best friend, but he made the perfect daddy for our precious son. 

So Knox and I hope that we can make the first Father's Day a special one for the one we love and cherish. We can't thank him enough for being the rock for our family. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Favorite things

Someone is growing in the Hatmaker house! We are almost tipping the scale over 8 pounds! It's hard to believe! 

Here is one of my favorite things about our growing little guy. He smiles a lot. Mornings are the best to catch a few, but we smile throughout the day. 

Today Knox was awake for most of the day until after lunch. He was cranky, but you could tell he was getting tired. After our 3 o'clock feeding he started to dose off. I went to lay him down beside me on the bed, but he started to cry. So I spent my entire afternoon holding him in our bed while he napped. It was quite wonderful. Drew said he was spoiled , but I said one day he wouldn't want me to hold him like this. So I was taking advantage of it while I can. 

One of thing Knox likes to do is take selfies with his mom! Please ignore my nastiness. Apparently it becomes difficult to find time to showe when you have a baby! 

Only 2 more days to buy your Knox Tshirt from the Booster campaign! We are getting so close to our goal of 150 shirts. Proceeds go to Knox Hatmaker and The Heart Center at Nationwide.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What's up with Knox?

I have been lacking on the blog posts because we have been busy at home learning our new routine with Knox. Plus he has a very busy social life at only 2 months old! 

Mothers Day - On Sunday, I was able to celebrate my very first Mother's Day with my two boys, my mom, and some family. I was definitely spoiled for my first Mother's Day by my family especially my two boys. They gave me a beautiful ring with Knox's birthstone.  Knox even ordered my favorite flowers. When I asked how he knew my favorite flower, Drew said that was between Knox and Granny. 

Knox's first sheep sale - Knox enjoyed his first sheep sale in Eaton, Ohio last week. We went up to watch Emily sell a few of her Natural Coloreds. Plus it allowed us to use our stroller for the very first time! I really liked it! I see a lot of walks in our future. Lucy (the lamb in the background) was very curious of Knox's stroller. Knox slept through the entire sale. We enjoyed seeing some friends that have been following Knox's story on here and Facebook.

2 Months Old - On May 7th, Knox turned 2 months old! We met our pediatrician for the first time the next day, and had our 2 month shots. Knox barely cried. Those shots were nothing compared to what he has been through. We've seen the cardiologist twice and the pediatrician once since we've been home. Everyone is happy with his progress and his growth. We are now over 7 pounds!

Meeting Laure - Laure Schadler was my midwife that was caring for Knox and I before we found the heart defect. I had to go in for my check up, and we knew she would love to meet Knox. We hated leaving Laure when they sent us to Columbus. She had taken such good care of us. 

Newborn Photos - Though we were a little late we finally had our newborn photos taken. Knox did awesome for our favorite photographer Kelsey Malicote of Malicote Photography. She took some amazing photos that captured our little cutie pie! I'm in love with them all. 

Shirts for Knox - Last, but certainly not least; my best friend Lauren has organized a fundraiser for Knox. Because I wanted to help others, not just us half of the money will go to The Heart Center. The Heart Center was great to us while we were at Nationwide. If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, you can buy one for $20 here

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Becoming a "mom"

As today is Mother's Day I have been reflecting upon my two months of motherhood.

Throughout your life and definitely throughout your pregnancy you think about how it will be to be a mother.  The moment you find out your pregnant,  hear the heart beat the first time, and meet your child are just a few milestones you long for.

Obviously my path to motherhood hasn't been the regular road like most mothers experience. Well it was until week 29, and then all hell broke lose. Our world was turned upside down. I, then began questioning myself - did I do something wrong, was something my fault, what could I have done differently? Though I knew things weren't my fault I couldn't help but blame myself. When Knox was forced to come early because of my preeclampsia issues, I felt like it was my fault that he was so small and early.

When they delivered Knox and whisked him away to the NICU I barely even got to see him. After a little bit of time they took him to Nationwide Children's Hospital to begin his care for his heart. I was left at my delivery hospital. Drew went with Knox to the children's hospital and our families went to get sleep. My aunt stayed with me, but there I was stuck at the hospital. I had just delivered a baby, but there was no baby in sight. I was a mom, but it sure didn't feel like it. The nurses were ready for me to begin pumping, but at that moment I had no emotional attachment to what had gone on. I just felt alone.

My first day as a mother progressed. Because of the preeclampsia I was confined to bed rest. I was in a rut. I was husband-less, child-less, depressed, and angry. Our families visited Knox at the hospital. Now everyone had seen him, had photos with him, and I hadn't even gotten to hold him. They all talked about him, and all I wanted to do was cry. I was angry at the world. This wasn't how this was suppose to go. This wasn't how every mother dreamed of spending her first day. A mother should be doing kangaroo care, taking pictures of their new family, and welcoming visitors. I didn't feel like a mother.

The following day I was finally allowed to meet Knox for the first time at Nationwide. The wonderful nurse even let me hold him for the first time. I had a son. The three of us were a family.

I won't lie that for the next few days/weeks I continued to struggle. I was scared for what Knox was going through. In my heart I could feel the tug of my heart strings as he had bad days, and had procedures. I knew that I loved that little boy hooked to all the wires and monitors, but I still didn't feel like his mom.

Little moments started happening as Knox progressed that began to pull me out of my hole. I changed his diaper for the first time. I helped with his chest cold care. But the day I got to hold him skin to skin, my world changed. Doctors and nurses asked me questions instead of just telling me things to know. I was a mom. I was Knox's mom.

As I look back now I know that all the worrying I did meant that I WAS a MOM. It just wasn't the typical road women go down to become a mom. I hope that going through all that, and what we will continue to go through in the future will help me be a better, stronger mom for Knox.

So Happy Mother's Day to all your wonderful moms out there. I am blessed to have joined the club and be celebrating my first Mother's Day with my little man.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First Cattle Sale

First off, thank you to everyone for the calls/texts/cards since the three of us arrived home. It has been weird getting adjusted to life at home with a baby, but we are all getting into a routine. 

We didn't let the grass grow under us too long after we arrived home last Wednesday. We loaded Knox up and room off to our sale last weekend. Before you freak out the doctors at Nationwide ok'ed our trip. They told us to take him and treat him like a real baby (wait, he is a real baby!?). 

Not only was it one of our larger sales, but we  (and when I saw we I am including Knox) had our own cattle selling in it. 

Knox, mom, and I hung out at the hotel on Thursday, and then we had some mommy and Knox time on Friday. First time being alone just me and him. I successfully learned how to do things with a baby around - like going to the bathroom! We even tried our hand at going out to a restaurant with Knox. My dad just came saying, "we are out to eat with Knox." After living in a hospital since he was born it felt weird to go out and do regular things. 

Everyone was very surprised and excited to see Knox. He did great and enjoyed his first sale. 

With his new friend Bella

Steve and Knox were comparing scars! 

Not only was it great to get out and show off our baby, but it was great to get back to normal. I told Drew that it made me feel like myself again. It was great to get back to work and know that Knox was just in the office. 

Now we are home for awhile and just trying to adjust to life with a baby. A baby that will be two months old soon! Ah! 


Knox would like to announce that he is one of the newest and youngest members of the American Junior Simmental Association! 

As we were sifting through the massive amount of mail we have accumulated I came upon a large envelope. I recognized the return address and opened the envelope. What I saw brought me to tears. 

As most of you know the beef cattle industry and the Simmental breed had and always will be a huge part of my life. Being a member of the AJSA gave me a lot of opportunities to grow myself and help lead other junior members. It has taught me so much and because of it I have met some of my best friends and my husband. 

I look forward to being able to share that with Knox. 

So when I opened that envelope to find an AJSA membership certificate with Knox's name and his very own membership number from some of our dearest friends, I became very emotional. 

So thank you Phillips families- Chan, Tonga, Morgan, AK, Keith, Lindsay, Josie, and Wyatt for giving Knox one of the greatest gifts. I hope you know how much this means to Drew and I. I can't wait to be able to share the AJSA with Knox. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homeward Bound......

.......The Incredible Journey.....

Well I guess the cat is out of the bag! I am writing this from our house! We are HOME

On Monday they began the discussion of going home. We, of course, were very excited but you also have to be very cautious because at any time they can take it away. So we didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. 

Drew, Knox, and I left Columbus this morning with a packed down car and one baby of our own. We said we felt like we had stolen him. Life outside of the hospital, Columbus, and heck, just normal life has been very foreign to us.

You can imagine that I was a barrel of nerves. SO excited to go home but so nervous that we were going to be three hours away from Nationwide Children's. 
I can tell you that as we left the city of Columbus I never looked back. As I stepped back in my own home with my own things (after the initial overwhelm$ I felt this huge sigh of relief. A relief I haven't felt since all my pregnancy complications began and continuing into Knox's life. 

As you can see from the photos we got a very warm welcome. Knox has a wonderful yard card from Bluegrass Greetings and his grannies were here to greet him and his Auntie Salena. Not far behind was my aunt and Knox's Franny and my cousin's daughter Grace. Even Aunt LaLoon showed up which was a great surprise. Our wonderful neighbors also came by for a visit.

As you might remember it has been since February since we had seen our house. All of our family has been so wonderful to get things together, clean, organize, and plan for our arrival. There is no way we will ever be able to thank everyone enough. 

It's amazing to be home. Like we for real had a baby and get to keep it. Not just like hanging out in the hospital and maybe get to take him home. I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that had been terrified that this day would never come, but it has and I am overwhelmed with love, happiness, and relief. We know there will come a time when we must make the trek back to Columbus, but for now... We are home and that is a beautiful thing. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


In the spirit of Easter weekend I thought I would do a post dedicated to some of the wonderful organizations that have gave to our family and Knox while we have been at Nationwide Children's hospital.

Brynlee's Baskets

The other day we walked in to our room to find that an Easter bunny had came to visit Knox a few days early. There was this wonderful basket put together with toys appropriate for infant/toddlers. Brynlee is a little girl who delivers Easter baskets to children throughout the hospital. This year through donations there were able to deliver 60 baskets. I posted our picture of Knox with his basket on their Facebook page. If you would like to learn more or give click here

The Lauren Faith Miller Foundation 
This foundation was formed in honor of a little girl who lost her life to a congenital heart defect at the age of 3. In February, which is Congenital heart defect month, they made tshirts and sold them through I have seen the shirt several times as nurses wear them, but sadly I can't get my hand on one. On the day of Knox's first heart cath we received an envelope from the foundation with hospital gift cards in it that are good for any food or gift shop in the hospital. Around the holidays they also furnish a catered meal for families in the CTICU; which I thought was very thoughtful. If you would like to learn more or give to their foundation click here

Project Linus

A few days after we moved over to the step down unit we came in to find two handmade blankets for Knox. One was a crib blanket which fits nicely over the boring hospital sheet in the cribs, and the other was a lap blanket. Project Linus gives blankets to patients in children's hospitals. There are different chapters of the organization all over the U.S. If you would like to learn more about Project Linus click here

A few days after we received our blankets I found out that the AJSA Junior Board had selected Project Linus as their service project and would be donating blankets at the junior nationals to the hospital in Louisville. I immediately dialed up Hannah Wine to tell her that Knox had been a recipient of Project Linus. Knox will be donating a blanket to the AJSA's cause in July. If you would like to learn more about what the AJSA is doing click here

When you sit at the hospital day after day it is simple gestures of love and support that you greatly appreciate. All of these organizations will be getting donations in the future from us. It's the least we can do for all they do. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Got milk?

If you checked out my previous post you know that over the weekend we had a bit of a set back. We had some stomach issues that the doctors wanted to get checked out. 

After tests and observation they now believe that Knox might have a milk protein allergy. The bad thing is that there isn't really a way to test for it other than eliminating it from his diet then reintroducing in the future. Since Knox has been receiving pumped breast milk that means that I must become dairy free. (Insert gasp here) 

I love dairy. Milk. Cheese. Ice Cream. Anything made with dairy. Do you know how many things are made with dairy? ALOT! I could drink milk with every meal and chocolate milk is delicious! 

Can we say hello weight loss plan? In the last 36 hours have been hard. With out cute situation and eating out a lot the dairy restriction makes things difficult. It is going to be quite the adjustment for this milk lover, but it's worth it for our little peanut. 

Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Set Backs

I knew this day would come. The day when we were so close to going home, and something would go astray. 

We were working toward going home. Passing all of our tests, learning our routine, and taking a bottle better everyday. You can't help but be frustrated. Like we were so close, and now you feel like you have had a set back. I am frustrated that this happened, but it hurts my heart that this is something else that sweet little baby has to go through. He is such a trooper. 

Over the weekend we had an issue arrive that has set us back. It has nothing to do with his heart, and hopefully will turnout to be nothing serious, but the doctors want to check things out. So a few more tests, antibiotics, IVs, and observation to hopefully rule everything out. Hopefully it's just a bug or allergy. 

So please today say a little prayer for Knox and a quick recovery from whatever it is that makes his belly upset. We were hoping to be home for Easter, but looks like the bunny will be visiting Knox in Columbus. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Due Date

beware.. this one is kind of a mushy one. 

I sit here today on Saturday, April 12th with my one month 5 day old son and my husband at Nationwide Children's Hospital. We have been here one month and 5 days. We should actually just be getting here today. We should really just be beginning this journey. Today was Knox's due date.

But we are not. We have already been through 3 hospitals, 28 hours of labor, one heart surgery, 3 heart caths, and hundreds of nurses/doctors/people in scrubs.

I have learned A LOT in the past few months. Though this is exactly the path we had in mind, obviously God brought all this on us for a reason. Sometimes it just takes time to realize why.

First and foremost, I have learned that being a mommy is the greatest gift I could ever receive. I actually can't believe what I would have done if I had to wait until today to meet my little peanut. This little guy is such a blessing, and I am so glad I get to be his mommy.
Our first meeting
Knox - one day old

I have learned that the human body is amazing. It is really hard for me to wrap my head around what all Knox has been through in the last month. He has been so strong and such a fighter. Each day he amazes me on how far he has came. He is working to prove everyone wrong about his small size. He is trying to hold his head up and roll over. He is determined to show them all wrong. Hope he gets that from me. :)

I have learned that we have the best family and friends. Since this whole roller coaster began it is amazing on the amount of support Drew and I, and now Knox have received. I know that through this we might not have been the best at returning e-mails, texts, and phone calls, but we hope that everyone knows how much we APPRECIATE each and every person, text, and phone call. Friends from near and far have reached out to us in love and support. Our family has been with us every step of the way, and every mile.

I have learned my husband is simply the best.
And supportive. And wonderful. Actually, I knew all this already, but this experience has made me look at everything again. I had been in and out of the hospital since the end of January, and he never left my side. He slept in every hospital chair and couch to be with me. He left me cry, and cry, and cry, and cry some more. He held my hand and comforted me through labor. He has held our son, prayed for him, and been the most wonderful daddy. Seeing them together for the first time melted my heart and made me love him even more.

I have seen the power of prayer. Knox has been on so many prayer lists. From Mississippi to Washington to Florida. I actually wish I had a list of every place so I could wrap my head around an actual number. People who don't even know us have prayed. People have prayed for us in the middle of the aisle at the Kentucky Beef Expo. My husband prayed for us right before they wheeled me off to have a c-section. It has wrapped around us and comforted us through scary times and happy times.

I have learned a lot about myself. Things have been downright scary at times. I have had health complications myself which is why Knox was early. No to mention having a child with a congenital heart defect. I have had my moments of down right emotional breakdowns, but then I have rallied to be strong because thats what my family needed. At the beginning of 2014 if you had thrown a situation like this at me, you would have found me in the fetal position in the corner. I am strong (with a few moments of breakdowns in it).

I have learned that life is beautiful and precious. And this is how I know.