First Birthday Surprise

*March 21, 2009

I had a vision for the day my son turns one – some balloons, good food shared with guests bringing gifts and eating cake. Unfortunately, his celebration didn’t go exactly the way I planned.

On the Thursday before his birthday (which fell on a Saturday), he started with a runny nose and a mild cough. Friday morning, he was wheezing, and by noon, he was breathing rapidly. Good thing Nino was home, because we took him straight to his pediatrician.

After a couple breathing treatments, doc said his oxygen saturation levels were still dangerously low, and she feared he could have pneumonia. PNEUMONIA – the day before his birthday.

I never thought my baby could develop pneumonia in one day, but he did, because his lungs are tiny and there is not much room for virus or bacteria to move around. He didn’t even run a fever, so his diagnosis really came as a shock to us. He was admitted that same afternoon, which also meant we had to cancel his planned celebration.

But we decided not to let the situation stop us from celebrating.

Nino picked up the balloons we ordered and tied them to his bedside. Our good friends, Mayick – who happened to be in LA for work – and Toni brought pancit malabon and Jollibee Chicken Joy for merienda. The nurses were also very sweet and accommodating, and even gave him a cake (which I ate, coz he was allergic to dairy), birthday bear and toys for presents, knowing it was his first birthday.

Thankfully, he felt better on his exact birthday, well enough for him to smile on the camera even with oxygen strapped to him, and well enough to enjoy this day despite everything he had to be put through.

Though I never envisioned a hospital bed in Milo’s first birthday celebration, we still got to have balloons, yummy food, guests, gifts and cake, too, even if it had to be in the same hospital where he was born exactly one year ago.

Of course, we still pushed through with his parties at home, – we just had to postpone everything two weeks later. What a way to mark Milo's first birthday...

“Life has a funny way of helping you up when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face…” – Alanis Morisette

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I’m a new mom and this is my story. I’m sharing with you my moments of joy, tears, excitement, and every other emotion that comes with being a mom, whether you’re a new mom yourself, a veteran mom, a mom-to-be, even a dad-to-be. Learn from my experience, or reminisce about your own. Welcome to this mom’s world!