A year ago was one of the greatest days of my life.

We held Madeline’s first birthday party nine days early, on November 2nd, taking advantage of the proximity to Halloween to throw a costume bash.

It was a large party at my parents’ house. They have the room for that sort of thing. I wanted to invite the whole world, but I figured there were plenty of birthdays in the future for that.

Instead of gifts, we asked the guests to donate to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s name, and $540 was raised.

Maddie went from loved one to loved one, and every time I saw her she looked so happy and content.

The Flintstones

photo by Auntie Dana

Auntie Jackie! and sleepy Maddie/Pebbles

She was surrounded by love.

When we brought out her cake and everyone sang happy birthday, it was amazing. It was the culmination of eighteen months of worry, eighteen months of fear and stress. And it was a day where we were so proud of everything our Madeline had accomplished in her year on earth – all with a smile on her face.

It was the only time she had candles.

Not so sure about this

It was her only taste of birthday cake.

birthday cake dive

But it wasn’t the only time she heard happy birthday. Every day in the NICU at 4:22 pm we’d sing it to her. After she came home we sang it on the eleventh of every month.

We wanted her to have a hundred more birthday parties. But the one she had? Was great.

if you can’t see the video above, click here.