Friday, March 6, 2009

Special Momma Guest Post

We arrived in Holland 6 years and 1 day ago.  My pregnancy was normal -- we were blissfully unaware of what was coming.  Like other parents we exptected our baby to arrive healthy and to be able to bring him home a few days after he was born.  That wasn't the case.  Suddenly, like a scene from some medical drama on TV our lives changed forever.  Our son Jack Riley was born at 25 weeks gestation and almost didn't survive.  Almost.  He was a fighter from day one.  We were thrown into life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 3 long months where Jack endured many medical treatments and surgeries.  There were times we didn't know if he would make it.

Jack came home from the hospital and never looked back.  He grew stronger and reached milestones we didn't know if he would ever achieve.  He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 2 years of age.  We read and researched and learned everything we could.

Nothing prepares parents for having a disabled child.  Reaching out to other moms and dads helped so much.  Joining online support groups, reading blogs and connecting with local resources (like early intervention) helped us realize that "Holland" wasn't so bad.  In fact, Holland is a place where we celebrate the "inchstones" instead of reaching for milestones.  And you better believe when one of those far off milestones is reached there's a party....there are cheers and heart felt congratulations from those that truly get it!

Living in Holland with my family has truly been a blessing.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Jack wouldn't be the awesome kid he is today.  Of course I would take away the pain and hope our children never have to go through another procedure or surgery but I wouldn't take away their spirits.

I did not move to Holland by choice.  There are days when it's tough living here.  Really tough!  But the beauty of this place is amazing.  We're here and we're not leaving any time soon!  To my fellow "Hollanders" -- i am grateful for your friendship and support.  I love celebrating your children and sharing this life together.  Thank you for being a part of mine.

Angela Wilhelm

Jack is a former 25 week preemie who just turned 6 years old yesterday!  You can see Jack's progress through the years at our blog.  Thank you for reading!

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Beautiful post, Angela.