It was July 10th, nearly 10 years ago, that I took a home pregnancy test which FINALLY revealed two pink lines. Just 3 weeks prior I sat in my doctors office crying because we had been trying, and I mean really, really trying for the prior 15 months with lack of success. And so it began, a not so easy journey to Ryan.
My pregnancy didn't go quite as planned, I was sicker than I ever dreamed possible, and had to have IV fluids a few times just to keep myself hydrated. Instead of gaining weight I was losing. At week 19 we had an ultrasound in which our little one not so discreetly, showed off his boy parts, and his passion for thumb sucking. Unfortunately the ultrasound also showed a two-vessel umbilical cord which is rare but often signifies major heart defects, chromosomal defects, and cleft lip and palate. The doctors in our area did not have the expertise to handle our situation so we set off to Stanford to undergo echo-cardiograms and genetic testing and counseling. The results came in and we were assured that all looked well physically and our best option was to monitor the pregnancy closely, which we did with bi-weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests in the hospital 2-3 days a week for the next 5 months. We had another scare at about month 7 where the ultrasound technician identified what he thought was an abnormality with the way Ryan's aorta was formed. Again, after further evaluation we were once again reassured all was well, other than the fact that we had a rapidly growing baby and too much amniotic fluid. Week 32 or 33 brought preterm labor and another trip to the hospital. By now I was VERY large and VERY uncomfortable, and definitely done being pregnant. It wasn't the fairytale experience I planned. When my doctor decided it was best to induce at the beginning of week 37 I didn't hesitate.
It was a Monday morning, March 3, 2003 (03/03/03) that we checked in to the hospital to bring our little boy into this great big world. My sister flew in from Portland and Matt's mom came to help me through the hard stuff. They induced at 7 a.m., and the labor was all smile and giggles. Okay, not really. It was grueling and hard and painful. But, GO TEAM, I had great support (even if they all talked way too much). Six hours later at 1:07 p.m. Ryan Matthew Willison made his entrance. The delivery was a little scary with Ryan getting stuck in the birth canal, one of my hips getting pulled from the socket, Ryan's collarbone being broken and then WOW, there he was, all 9 pounds, 10 ounces of him, slightly bruised and sporting thick, black hair that was so long it hung below his ears. It is funny how the minute they lay that baby on your chest the pain of what you went through to get them here just disappears.
And then it happens, you climb into bed one night and when you wake up it is 9 years later. Children grow TOO fast, way too fast. No matter how we try to slow the clock, stop the calendar, and hold on, time just flies by. I spend so many moments taking mental snapshots and cataloging away memories, little bits that I don't ever want to forget.
I adore my Ry guy. I love him for his uniqueness. He is nine years old, wearing a men's size 7 shoe. He is a giant, but a sweet, gentle, sensitive giant. There is so much of him that screams boy-boy, rough and tumble. He loves to hunt, fish, dig in the dirt, where camo, take things apart, build things out of nothing and play basketball. But he also loves to draw, sew, paint, and cook. He says some day he wants to open a bookstore that will also serve lunch and dinner and have art shows at night. He plans to build a big house on his nanny's ranch with a covered walkway that joins his house to hers. There is something so special about his heart. He is absolutely the most intuitive, compassionate, sweet and sensitive boy I know, especially for his age. He is the kid on the playground who is ultra aware of how others around him are feeling. I have been told time and again how he will seek out others who are sad, lonely or left out and ask them to play. He isn't afraid to speak up when he sees someone treating someone wrong. My guess is he could be a force to be reckoned with, but it isn't in his heart to cause someone else hurt. Needless to say, the moment football turned to tackling he realized it wasn't his sport, even though he is built like a linebacker. Ryan never looks at someone and notices their flaws, he never questions a persons difference, disability, skin color or weight. He takes everyone as they come and welcomes them with open arms. He loves to help out at home and is always quick to offer up his services in the kitchen preparing dinner, packing lunches or clearing the table. He is just that kind of a boy. A sparkly, shiny, significant little gemstone who makes my whole world brighter. Happy 9th Birthday Ry Guy...........here's to you. May every little hope, dream, wish you ever have come true.