My Sweet Luna Bell,

Today, my little girl, you are two.

At 1:33am this morning, I celebrated the 730 days you have blessed this earth with your presence. You have been a force to be reckoned with; a superhero in your own right, the recipient of so much love and adoration by your dad and I, and a joy to so many. You surprised doctors and nurses for the your first 117 days while you resided at Seattle Children’s Hospital. You became known for your feisty personality and sweet eyes and was nominated the cutest baby in the NICU by multiple nurses and all of the resident doctors that had the privilege of caring for you.

You were a challenge and a mystery right from the start. We didn’t know if you would be able to breath or not when you were born and when you couldn’t get that first breath on your own, your strong will came through in the maddest little face. You worked hard everyday to get well and get strong and grow new, healthy tissue on those little damaged, unhealthy lungs and get yourself first off the breathing tube, then the c pap and then you literally took yourself off the high flow support so many times they finally decided you were ok without it. Your voice was strong and clear and even now I say “For a kiddo who had lung issues, you’ve got quite a set of lungs!”

You finally came home with us three days short of four months old. And the joy at having you home with us was overwhelming. You required extra care, continued medication and a feeding tube, but you were home. No longer did we have to hover around your hospital crib or hold you with a dozen wires and tubes. I had told your daddy that it was my dream to hold you with my shoes off. And I finally got to live out that dream when we brought you home.

For the next few months you had some struggles, but with the help of an amazing physical therapist and doctors, we got you through the tough stuff and then one day you were one! A few months later, on a March evening you walked all by yourself for the very first time. We looked at each other and squealed! And then about two minutes later you walked to daddy. From that day on you haven’t stopped walking and running and climbing and getting into all kinds of trouble!

The strangest time of my life came when the Covid virus closed everything down. Hopes of continued visits to the library every week ended. Hopes of days at the park, the zoo and traveling to meet friends and family were stalled. And while everyone around you was desperate for anything to do, you thrived. You walked and learned to run. Your motor skills excelled and you began to eat. And then you really started to eat. Everything. Every meal. You drank from any vessel you could, sometimes with help but more so without. Finally, on August 26th you had your last feeling through your tube. And we began tracking your growth and your calories and and you no longer needed your feeding tube. It was a while before we could convince your doctors that it was time to remove the port, but today you have an appointment to see about FINALLY getting that little piece of plastic removed from your tummy once and for all.

It impossible to describe the feeling or feelings that I have when I watch you run about, so confident and busy and sweet. When you squeal and run towards me when I get home from work, it’s the best feeling in the world. You are more than a preemie baby who had such a rough time for a while. You are more than the baby with the feeding tube and the backpack. You are more than just my daughter or your daddy’s daughter. You are a whole, amazing, beautiful person all your own. You are smart and funny and kind and independent and spunky. And I couldn’t be more proud to be your mommy.

You have rocked your first two years and as you start your third, I know there are big things on the horizon for you. More exploring and learning, talking and finally settling down long enough to have your mommy or daddy read you a book. More dancing and living and meeting new family and friends (once this COVID thing is over) and hopefully still down for lots of cuddles and love.

I love you, my sweet BabyBean. I waited for you for a long time, and you have been totally worth the wait. Luna Bell, you are loved and cherished and I hope that no matter what the years bring, you always feel that love and security and have confidence in yourself. Because you are magic.

Happy Birthday my sweet Luna Bell! I love you so much. And I can’t believe you’re two.

Love, Mommy

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