Thursday, September 9, 2010


Well Ryan started Kindergarten this week. I felt one with thousands of parents around the country as we said goodbye to our babies and welcomed our kids. But for me, sending Ryan to Kindergarten was more then that. It almost felt like I had finished a marathon. I know that there are many more "races" to come throughout Ryan's life but as I was standing there watching Ryan run with joy into his classroom I felt a sense of accomplishment.
I remembered the depressing times of not knowing if Ryan was going to ever talk, ever be able to make any friends, or to ever stop throwing things and biting me. I thought of all the work, all the therapists, all the time that has gone into preparing Ryan for this very moment. I remembered the times when we were waiting for Ryan to hit developmental milestones, I would always say that I just wanted Ryan to be happy. I did not want to push on him what I thought he needed to be happy. I thought that if he was truly happy with no friends then I would be happy for him with no friends. If Ryan was happy playing "doorman" for 2 hours then I was happy for him to play "doorman" for 2 hours. Of course we worked nonstop with therapists and countless hours by myself to advance Ryan in age appropriate activities, but more important to me then Ryan reaching those goals was that I just wanted him to be happy.
So here I was dropping my little boy off at kindergarten for his first day. He was one of 35 kids in his class, not on an IEP, and already had a friend in a different class. But more important then all of that was the giant smile on his face as he waved goodbye to me. He was truly happy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Big Day

Ryan did not have a typical American entry into this World. Because of a baby boom, due to the War in Iraq, I was sent to a German doctor and hospital. Because I progressed fast towards the end of my labor, it was too late to get an epidural. So the nurse suggested I get in a birthing tub to ease the pain. Ryan was born in the bathtub after over 40 minutes of the intense, painful labor. Towards the end, because Ryan was having trouble coming out, the doctor started pushing down on my stomach while I was pushing at the same time. It hurt so bad that I actually tried to pretend I was not having a contraction so she would not push down. Anyone who has given birth before knows how futile this is. But I still tried.
Ryan was born at almost six in the morning after being in labor all night. He was big, strong, and very loud. A healthy set of lungs as the polite people would put it. In my mind my baby boy was perfect. After he was born I was exhausted, in a lot of pain, and sad to be separated from my family. But all I could think about was my precious baby boy. I loved him so much. The love was instant and intense. I would just stare at him all day in the hospital and I felt so lucky to have such a beautiful, healthy boy.