Congratulations! It's a Boy

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Today I decided to be a little low key being Presley is only 6 weeks old.  I didn't want to take him door to door just yet.  We did get out of the house and go see Grandma Pat at work, then went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house to help hand out candy to the Trick or Treaters.  As the doorbell continued to ring as the night went on, I actually got a little excited for next year.  My husband and I were talking about the fun we would have when Presley is older, where we would take him Trick or Treating, and what he was going to be.  It's a good thing I have a year to think of a costume for next Halloween because I know it is going to be hard to top this one! (Thanks Aunt Carol & Kami). 

Happy Halloween!  Check out Presley's costume!!!  Who better to be for Halloween than his namesake...Elvis Presley.  LOL

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

And our Journey Begins

After a very long 9 months, the day we waited for had finally arrived.  Presley Edward was born on September 20, 2011.  His due date.  I arrived at the hospital in the early morning hours of that day.  After only a few hours of labor, my Dr. informed me that things were not moving the way he had liked and that I would have to have a c-section.   Before I knew it, I was whisked away into the operating room.  The c-section began exactly at noon and at 12:14pm Presley Edward Ryan was born.  I'll never forget the joy and happiness I felt the moment they held up my baby boy for me to see.  The nurses whisked the baby away to be cleaned and weighed and motioned for my husband to follow. 

Just a few short moments later, my husband walked over with Presley in his arms and sat down beside me.  I took one look at him and knew immediately something wasn't right.  He had tears in his eyes and had a look of sadness and fear on his face.  This is where our "Trip to Holland" would begin.


Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

A few minutes after I arrived in the recovery room, my husband came and stood by my side.  He looked at me with red, teary eyes and said, "He has Down Syndrome."  All I could say was that it was OK and that everything was going to be OK.  The next few days came and went in a blur.  I remember the insane amount of visitors (I am still surprised we didn't get in trouble) and the various doctors coming in and out.  Overall Presley was in great health.  No thyroid problems, no heart issues, no hearing problems.  The only thing "wrong" was the assumption he has Down Syndrome.  I, however, was not 100% convinced....I was going to wait until we got the definite results of the genetic testing before I talked about it.

A few days later it was time to go home.  Five days later I got the call from the pediatrician and he confirmed that Presley has Down Syndrome.  I cried. 

Fast forward five weeks to today.... I still sometimes cry, but then I look at the little boy in my arms and my heart just fills with love.  I know everyday is going to be a journey full of smiles, laughs and sometimes tears.  For this reason I will write...