I cannot believe we are celebrating this amazing milestone!
As I look back over the past year, part of me feels like we were watching Kate receive new life ages ago but another part of me feels as if it was just yesterday.
One thing is certain though, August 31, 2011 will forever be etched in my mind. Every little detail is so vivid.
I remember Kate woke up happy and was happy for most of the morning. It was the first bit of happiness we'd had in several days. I remember I tweet and FBd that she must know it was her big day!
She walked the halls with pride that day - told everyone hi, waved, smiled. I really think she knew her little life was about to change. We admired her door sign - something that isn't hung until transplant day!
I was a nervous wreck all day waiting for the cells to arrive. I even posted about some of the crazy thoughts I had. We weren't anticipating her cells arriving so late and every time her transplant got pushed back, I freaked out a little bit more.
Kate went to sleep and rested for a bit and around 8:30 we started prepping her to receive her cells. It took Sleeping Beauty a while to wake up! She wasn't happy about being disturbed.
Anabell was our nurse and Dr Olive (to this day I cannot remember her last name - just her first) was the fellow who would be in the room for the entire cell infusion.
When her cells would brought to the room it took my breath away. Just a small bag of red fluids. Nothing fancy. Any stranger that saw it wouldn't stop and think about what that bag meant. It looked ordinary.
But it was so far from normal.
It was filled with LIFE.
It was filled with HOPE.
It was filled with DREAMS.
Seeing the gift that would forever change our lives, and let Kate go on to live, was a moment that took my breath away and filled my eyes with tears.
I was so emotional that I took over the camera and had Alex hold Kate. I didn't want her to be scared or nervous and I thought my tears (ok let's be honest, my sobs) might freak her out a bit.
I will never forget the moment that we hooked Kate up to her cells.
On Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 9:57pm, the first of Kate's life saving cells reached her precious body. I will always be thankful I caught the exact moment on camera.
New life began while I was snapping this picture. (The red line is her tube of cells.)
I hid my sobbing face behind the camera while Alex read Kate books and played Peek-a-boo Ocean on the iPad. She was oblivious to what was going on!
And just like that, we were done! The quickest, yet most important 45 minutes of my life.
Anabell snapped a picture of us - there is so much wrong with it - Kate is nearly cut out (and looks like she might kill someone), I was incredibly sick, two months pregnant with Will, and looked a hot mess, we were all so tired.
But it is perfect to me. Our first picture of hope!
Kate- you are an inspiration to so many. You are a FIGHTER. You are STRONG. You are SPECIAL. Momma and daddy are so proud of you and we cannot wait to see what the Lord has planned for your life! You made it sweet girl! Happy re-birthday!
And to the amazing man that selflessly donated his bone marrow to save Kate - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I will never be able to articulate how thankful we are for you. You are a blessing and an inspiration to so many. I hope that we are able to meet you, hug you, thank you, celebrate you in the near future!