At 1:47 AM this morning, 9 years ago, this happened:
(Read the story of how that birth happened here). 
And, just like that, we were a family: 

Then we took him home and started the arduous task of raising him. It was tough, at first, with amazing highs and lows. The boy was dubbed “failure to thrive” after losing some weight and then he started refusing to nurse. We found out that I wasn’t producing enough milk for him. I started pumping and pumping and pumping. And then I pumped some more. I was a dismal failure at it. The max I ever pumped in ONE DAY was 2.5 ounces. So, as if that challenge wasn’t enough, the kid wouldn’t sleep at night. I spent all day pumping and trying to feed him in-between his naps and then when the hubby got home from work I would try to sleep for a few hours and then, like clockwork, the boy was wide awake from midnight until 8 am. It took a month for us to start paring that down and, hour by hour, I was able to get him to go to sleep earlier. But, man, for awhile I felt like the walking dead.
Once we got over these speed bumps we were able to really just enjoy him. He was so sweet and we enjoyed him so much. He loved being swaddled very tightly. We called him our burrito baby. He was happy and snuggly and he looked like a little man. 
Here’s a pictorial from his younger years:
8 weeks old. He can thank me for this later.
My little man
Look what’s growing!
First trip to Disneyland
Kickin’ it baby-style
And then, before we knew it (or had even considered it) he was a big brother:
He seemed to grow up so fast after that point. He just became a big boy in the flash of an instant:
Halloween when he was 4
5th birthday
Going to school!
And now, so handsome, so smart and clever. He’s become so independent. He gets up in the morning and starts getting ready for school. He runs to the bus stop by himself. He gets his own band-aids. He does his chores and yells at his brother and brushes his teeth and combs his hair and reads. He started reading the first Harry Potter book this year. Oh my.

Look what I made. I am one proud mama today. (And most days, to be honest).

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