Happy Birthday, Aiden!

I called my big sister, Amber, on Thursday, 11/18/2010. It was early, I was walking to work. Just wanted to say hi, I told her, and see how you and the baby were doing. She didn't return my call, which I thought was odd but not worrisome.

Then my mom called that night. Everything about our lives changed. Amber was sick, very sick, and both she and the new baby were in danger.

Friday, 11/19/2010, I spent the entire day waiting for a call from my mom. Should I leave New York and fly down to Florida? Was everything okay? I bought the ticket that evening, sitting at my desk at work, my buddy Neil supporting me. It was the longest night of my life, waiting for my flight on Saturday, wondering what was going on back in Florida, worrying about my sister and my unborn niece.

Saturday, 11/20/2010, I flew home. My sister was in the hospital. Her blood pressure was through the roof. Our younger sister, Averie, was a pillar of strength and positivity. She handled the logistics of visits, she held Amber's hand, she kept her laughing. The doctors had given Amber shots of steroids in an effort to get her unborn baby to develop faster.

Mom and I talked endlessly, Averie and I stayed up all night talking, Daddy and I prayed in the Quiet Room at the hospital. Our family had never faced such a situation. We were all so lucky to have one another.

Sunday, 11/21/2010, one year ago today, the doctors pulled Aiden Rae Thompson from my sister's womb. She weighed 1 pound 8 ounces. She was breathing, but she was very tiny.

She was also unbelievably strong. Aiden Rae survived being a micropreemie. More than that, she dominated every obstacle in front of her; she surpassed everyone's expectations; and she won over every heart with her big personality.

Now, she is one year old. She has no major health complications, and she still dominates every challenge she comes up against. She's close to walking, babbles constantly, and still wins over every heart.

She is the only true miracle I have witnessed in my life. She is Amazing Aiden, and I love her.

Happy Birthday, Smooch Magoo! 

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