R is for...

Ryan!  Ryan is 12 today! Ryan loves science, machines, dinosaurs, electricity, trains, monster trucks and anything else that runs by a motor.  He also loves to cook, ride bikes, swim and hike.  He loves to travel and go camping.

Ryan- 12 years old

Ryan- 12 years old

Ryan was born 12 years ago under less than ideal circumstances.  The day after moving into a new house I had another bleeding episode.  It was 2 weeks before his due date and I had been diagnosed with placenta previa several months before.  It was scary, but we went to the hospital for a routine check.  They started talking emergency C-section and I was feeling really good about it even though Ryan was supposed to be my home birth (Chloe was born in a free standing birth center with just a midwife). 

Anyway, Ryan had an apgar of 2 and was revived and given oxygen for 12 hours.  It was a difficult time because the hospital pediatrician gave him antiobiotics without our permission and immunizations we didn't approve of.  When I was ready to come home they said he couldn't because he needed IV injections of this antiobiotic.  Mark was our savior during this time, being the advocate for both of us.  He insisted that Ryan should be able to come home and we could get a visiting nurse to handle the injections.  We worked that out, then after the 4th day, when the injections were done, we were told he needed to have his hearing checked because the antiobiotic, gentamycin, can cause hearing loss.  We were incensed!!!  I couldn't not believe how many things were bungled and how much we were not informed of.  Well, he had an infant hearing test which was fine and had several more hearing tests over the years for his speech delay.  His hearing has always been fine- even hyperacute which caused some behavioral issues along the way.  On top of all that, my mom, who had come to help developed pneumonia while she was visiting and Mark ended up having to take care of me during my recovery from a c-section, an infant, a 19 month old toddler and his mother-in-law with pneumonia.  What a difficult month that first one was!

Ryan was diagnosed with strabismus at the age of 6 months and had surgery at 8 months in both eyes.  The effect of the surgery was immediate and dramatic.  We brought him home and almost instantly he was looking at us and smiling from across the room, something he hadn't done before.  Over time we discovered his development was delayed in almost all ways, but he was always a smiling and happy boy.  He was diagnosed at age 6 with autism, then re-evaluated this year and told he doesn't have autism.  We've been told he has cognitive delay and will most likely not live independently. 

It's been a roller coaster raising this boy, who is not so little anymore.  His strengths are his sense of humor, his unabashed love for his family and his determination to do what he wants to do.  He is the most persistent kid I know.  Ryan is a great kid and we just love him!  Happy Birthday, sweetie!