Happy Birthday to my little princess! Today is my daughter Andrea’s third birthday. I know I talk all the time about my daughter being my inspiration, in running and in life, but I have never told you her story.
Andrea was born on April 23, 2009 at 26 weeks gestation, weighting just over one pound. She was such a fighter and did so great her first three weeks of life. At three weeks old, she needed heart surgery. An error occurred during her surgery and her airway was severely damaged. We had to wait for her to be seven pounds before she could be trached. After five very long months, she was finally ready to come home.
Once she came home, she got sick a lot due to the trach (an open hole in her neck.) She was hospitalized several times in her first year home. She survived a few more hospital errors, including a major blood clot from a central line being inserted incorrectly, an IV burn and having to much fluid injected and left in her lungs. She has also had several airway surgeries. Through all this, she has remained the happiest baby you would ever meet. She is never without a smile on her face!
Her first year and a half of life took a major toll on me. Living at the Ronald McDonald House or at the hospital was not easy. Even when she was finally home, I get little sleep because her trach needed to be suctioned about every two hours, even at night. I was tired all the time, so I never exercised and ate whatever was quick and easy. I gained a lot of weight very quickly. I early 2011, I realized that while I was giving her all my love and giving her the best medical care I could, I was not giving her a happy, healthy mom. She deserved to have a mom who is happy and healthy! That is when I decided to change my life.
I decided that I would become a runner! I set my goal as completing the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I worked hard at running and working out, losing weight and eating well. As you know, I achieved my goal of the Disney Princess Half two months ago. Nothing was better than seeing her smiling face watching me at a few spots along the course. As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my medal, all I could think about was holding my baby girl. My daughter inspires me every day. She has fought so hard these past three years just to stay alive. Seeing her fight so hard while still being so happy inspires me to work hard and do better to make her proud of me.
Who inspires you?
A dream is a wish…