I won't rehash all the gory details, but I will give a little bit of the background because it's our story. It's his birth story. And each year it gets a little bit easier to tell it.
At 10 weeks pregnant with Ryan I was diagnosed with a rather large subchorionic hematoma (SCH), which is basically a blood clot between the lining of the uterus and the gestational sac. My OB put me on bedrest and told me to hope for the best as they typically resolve on their own at around 20 weeks when baby would grow big enough to push the blood clot out. Well, mine never resolved. In fact, it got worse. So, I'd go in to get checked each week and the specialists basically told me there would be nothing they could do if the SCH got behind the placenta and detached it before the viability milestone at 24 weeks.
When we made it to 24 weeks, I was transferred from bed rest at home to bed rest in the hospital. The SCH was still very large and actively bleeding, but baby Ryan checked out fine on all of the ultra sounds. Thank God, he wasn't being affected by the clot.
At 25 weeks exactly, I was sitting in the hospital bed having breakfast and talking to my mom on the phone when I felt a big kick/pop followed by intense pain. I had been having contractions all night and it seemed that the blood clot had finally worked it's way behind the placenta and managed to detach it. I was having a placental abruption at only 25 weeks, and there was no stopping Ryan from coming out that very moment to save both of our lives.
My OB had just been called in to another surgery, so the ER surgeon was on the case. I just remember them wheeling me in to the OR on a gurney, taking my phone and my wedding rings, and telling me everything would be fine, they'd make sure my husband got there in time. (OK, so now it's getting harder to tell the story. Break time.)
Alright, I'm back. So, that was the beginning of our NICU journey which lasted 223 days. In that time, our daughter flourished and potty trained before she even turned 2 years old, our son wore the tiniest cloth diapers you've ever seen, and our business really started to thrive. There was so much going on and 99% of it was brand new territory for us.
I was so lost and had no idea where to begin pointing my efforts for Ryan. I decided the best thing to do was to start a March for Babies team in his name. This would appease the friends and family who wanted to show support but didn't know how, and it would give me a place to dedicate my time and keep my mind occupied for those long days in the NICU. We did amazing things that year and raised thousands of dollars for the March of Dimes. They had local representatives calling and emailing me to see how I was doing. Asking how they could help. Telling me about their own children's NICU journeys. It was amazingly helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been there. Who understood.
This is why we've teamed up with GroVia to create the Little Warriors line of diapers. Purple for prematurity awareness. A portion of each purchase goes to the March of Dimes via Ryan's March for Babies team this year. And the name pretty much says it all. Dedicated to all the Little Warriors like Ryan.
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And while Ryan was fighting his fight and enduring 6 procedures in 7 months of hospital living, we were surviving on the strength and prayers of friends, family, and internet strangers. This is why we do this big event every year. It's crazy, time-consuming, and stressful, but I really wouldn't miss it because it's Ryan's way of giving back to the Spray Pal fans who supported him through his hardest time without even really knowing who he was.
The cloth diapering community is a beautiful place. Yes, there can be drama, and yes people get really heated about poop catchers, but for the most part our Spray Pal Facebook page has been a safe haven from that. People are positive, encouraging, and loving. And they love on my kids. I'm sure new followers to the page must think we're the most random product/brand page out there because...well, we probably are. But I love our community and wouldn't have it any other way.
So THANK YOU all for being so amazing and helping us celebrate our son again this year! And here is the GRAND FINALE of the #miniSPbdaybash 2015:
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