Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A birthday boy and his dad

Today, I'm celebrating six years of Max—and six years of Daddy. Because if it weren't for Dave, Max wouldn't be doing anywhere near as well as he is. Dave's been an amazing father since Day One. He was first to hold Max (I was drugged out from the C-section) and I remember looking up in a haze and seeing Dave holding this little bundle so gingerly and staring wondrously, as if he couldn't believe that, yes, I'd had a baby in my belly.

After we got home from the two weeks in the NICU (things went disastrously wrong after the first 24 hours, someday soon I'll tell you how we found out Max had a stroke), I was depressed. I was mourning what had happened to Max, and I felt sick with worry about his future. Oh, and I hated breastfeeding, but I was determined to give Max anything I could. Then one night, I hit rock bottom and I couldn't even hold Max. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and sob. Dave came into the bedroom with Max and tried to talk to me. I said something like, "My worst nightmare actually happened." And Dave said, and these words I recall exactly, "Honey, look at him. Does he look like a nightmare? He's beautiful."

That is my sweet, loving, very sane husband, Dave. Over the years, he has done everything for Max—squeezed himself into a narrow glass tube with him for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, woken up at 7:00 on Saturday mornings to take Max to horseback riding therapy, fed him, changed him, bathed him, you name it. "Hands-on" doesn't begin to describe Dave. It's more like heart-on, soul-on, entire-being-on.

Happy, happy birthday, Max. I am in awe of how far you have come, and grateful that you've never stopped being determined, bright and beyond adorable. Dave, I love you. And no more complaining that I never put pictures of you on the blog. xoxoxo


  1. ((Ellen)), this is a lovely story and a loving family. Thank you for sharing. What beautiful gifts you've been given!

    Happy Birthday, Max! :smooch:


    What a wonderful tribute to Dave (HI DAVE!) and Max...give yourself a pat on the back too, after all, you helped bring that beautiful boy into this world!

    I just checked to see if I have the first ever emails we sent to eachother in the very beginning of the boys' journeys...nope. I wanted to show how far you have come too. I remember the heartache and dispair, and I am so glad that it is now filled with a heart full of love and admiration. Max has come a long way, he is doing AMAZING!

    Have a great day Ellen!

  3. Wow! What a beautiful tribute. Gorgeous pics!

    Happy birthday Max!!! (I'm a December person too, we're special!). Hope you have a great day!!

    And a big congrats to both you AND Dave for all your hard work and beautiful parenting! It's quite a journey our kids take us on, isn't it? xo

  4. Happy Birthday Max.
    Wonderful post. You are very lucky to have two wonderful men in your family!

  5. Happy birthday to a very smart, sweet and handsome young man. May you always be happy.

    Congratulations to Ellen and Dave.

  6. What a lovely story. Two beautiful gifts to enjoy. Happy Birthday Max and (daddy)


  7. Happy Birthday Max!!!! And yippie for Daveypoo!!! I think everyone should marry a guy named David!!!


    that pretty much made me cry. I don't know how I would have handled anything without MrB supporting us both. :) You've got a good man

  9. Happy BIRTHDAY to a handsome, beautiful, talented boy. And happy family to you all.

  10. Happy Birthday Max!

    I'm Mel, mom of Piper who is a right hemi, AND has a big brother named Max who recently turned 5. I'd love to get to know you better! You can visit us at
    Hope to talk to you more, keep up the good work, Max!

  11. A beautiful post and a wonderful tribute. A great daddy can make such a huge difference.

    Happy Birthday Max!!

  12. I almost cried with the words your husband said to you. He is beautiful. Max. Dave. You. Your family. You're all beautiful.

    Happy Birthday Max!!!!

  13. This is so inspirational. I too have an amazing husband. One that is now given up everything to be a stay at home daddy with Jude. He too always says "he is just so beautiful" when I feel so helpless. I am glad I found your blog.

  14. A beautiful tribute! Thank you. Barbara

  15. Ellen,
    What a gorgeous tribute to Dave, as has been said before. Happy b-day to Max and congrats all around--


Thanks for sharing!