12 Months

(Two weeks late. Ah, well.)

Brandt, you’re 12 months old. One year!

By the numbers: 12 months old, 10 months adjusted age. 8 oz bottles for breakfast and bedtime, one 6 oz bottle for an afternoon snack. 2-4 servings of solids x 3 meals per day. 0 doses of reflux medication per day! 2 naps per day. size 3 diapers. size 6-9 months clothes. 2 teeth (since your birthday, you’ve cut tooth #3). 18 lb 9 oz. 26.5 inches long.

I’ve had many reflections around your first birthday, comparing your early days in the hospital to your active, happy life now. I’m amazed to have you. God didn’t have to give you to me. He didn’t have to heal you. But he did, and words can’t express how glad that makes me.

A little over a year ago, as I sat keeping your daddy company while he painted your nursery, I noticed you had stopped moving much – the warning sign that led to the discovery that something was wrong and that you needed emergency delivery nine weeks before your due date. Now, you never stop moving. You bounce; you crawl; you cruise along the furniture. Even in your sleep, you roll and scoot all over. You’re figuring out how to throw balls and clap blocks together. You recently realized the joy of playing chase; I say, “I’m going to get you!” and you can barely crawl three paces before stopping to look behind, laughing in anticipation. Your favorite new skill is climbing the stairs. If we open the door to the stairway at the back of the house, you crawl at your top speed – hands going slap, slap, slap on the linoleum – to get to those steps while you have the opportunity.

A year ago, we were afraid to hold your delicate body. Keeping you in our arms too long might set off all your alarms, as your heart and lungs faltered under the extra stimulation. Now, you climb my legs, clambering to be held. You giggle in glee when I dance with you, spinning and swinging and dipping you. And you love to snuggle, nestling in my arms before every nap (and, let’s be honest, often in the middle of the night).

A year ago, we had to feed you just so, propping your legs on ours, cradling your head between the fingers of one hand, supporting your chin and the little 1-ounce bottle with the fingers of the other. We had to teach you to breathe while eating. One, two, three sucks; breathe; one, two three; breathe. Now, you can hold your own 8-ounce bottle, drain it effortlessly. You eat an entire banana or sweet potato in one sitting.

A year ago, I worried you might drown in the pink plastic hospital basin, about one cubic foot big, that we used for bathing you. Now, you bathe in the big tub, crawling, standing, sitting, splashing, slipping underwater, coming up spluttering and eager to do it again. You try to blow bubbles in the water, just like daddy. In the hospital, you cried for every bath. Now, you cry every time we take you out of the bath, wanting more.

A year ago, we didn’t know if your sight, your hearing, your mind would be okay. We didn’t know if your health would be permanently compromised by your premature birth. You came home from the hospital needing many medications and specialists. Now, you’re a curious, developing boy (who no longer takes any regular medications). You laugh when mama and daddy make silly noises or when we read funny parts of books. You growl when we growl. If asked, you give high fives, and sometimes kisses. You jabber away in your own language. You adore looking out the window, while I name the things we see.

And I adore looking at the world through your one-year-old eyes, sweet boy.




Filed under Brandt

11 responses to “12 Months

  1. Could those eyes be any more blue!??? Gorgeous.

    Look how far that tiny baby has come!! 🙂 What a gift.

  2. That’s really beautiful. I’ve followed your blog for almost four years now and I’m so thankful for all that God has done for and in you

  3. Andrea,

    thank you for posting this and allowing others to go down “memory lane” with you.
    as i read this, i was in tears remembering your years of infertility and then the elation to find out that you’re pregnant. i remember watching you grow week by week as i seen you on Sundays, and each Sunday, i would thank God for the life growing inside of you.
    who knew that it would be part of His plan for Brandt to be born so early, but in his kindness, He graciously carried you though that time, making you aware of His love for you and your sweet boy.
    now, every sunday, i have the privilege of watching Brandt grow outside of your tummy, and it is such a joy. i don’t know what i enjoy more, watching brandt or watching the love in your eyes as you carry him around.
    God, in his faithfulness, has given you a precious gift in Brandt and i’m so thankful that i get to share in that gift along with you.

  4. MarySue

    Thank you for this beautifully-written post! I cried my way through it, as your words brought back vivid memories of our own journey, hopes, and fears with our preemies (especially Molly). It is a miracle, isn’t it? and such a wonderful thing to look back and see how graciously God has dealt with us! I rejoice with you as you continue to enjoy your little guy day by day! ❤

  5. this is beautiful, Andrea, and beautifully written. What a miracle story. I have tears in my eyes–so happy that you are in this place, now, after that long journey!

  6. Rejoicing with you that the Lord chose to give Brandt to you. As I think back to those first days and months after Brandt was born, I am reminded of the countless ways that God protected him and healed his little body. Thank you Lord for Brandt – he is such a joy and a blessing!

  7. amy

    What a beautiful post, and what a glorious story.

  8. Greta

    So often we think we know what we need & when. But, our wonderful heavenly Father – in His amazing wisdom & love – knew when to give you a baby and knew it would be little Brandt. All in His time and with His love for you. I cried, too, after reading this. What a difficult road it was for all of you, but what a joy to see just how He walked through it with you. We love you all and thank our God often for such a special little guy!

  9. Annika

    I fear I’m just going to repeat what’s already been said here, but yes…what a beautiful post. Beautiful contrasts, amazing the difference a year makes. (And I can’t believe he’s a year already!! Holy cow.) He’s SO cute and I’m glad to be able keep up with him through the blog! 🙂 What a joy to have walked this journey with you all. Thank you for sharing so beautifully the things God is doing in your lives. We love you guys!

  10. It truly warms my heart to read this. How far you all have come in 12 months… amazing. He is such a miracle boy and our God is so good!

  11. Elise

    I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing all of the milestones that your sweet little boy has made over this past year. It is amazing to see all of the leaps and bounds they make, isn’t it.
    Rejoicing with you over God’s goodness in His sovereign plan,


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