Thursday, March 19, 2015

The #miniSPbdaybash Grand Finale and Ryan's Story

Well, it's here.  My baby boy is officially three years old.  Three years ago on this day, Mr. Spray Pal was getting ready to teach a math lesson, 1.0 was 1.5 years old and hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's house as she did each day while I was on bedrest with 2.0, and I had been on bedrest leave from teaching since December.

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.
Click here to purchase
Click Here to Purchase from Spray Pal

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:
Winner will receive a Spray Pal diaper sprayer and splatter shield bundle plus their choice of one of the brand new GroVia + Spray Pal limited edition Little Warriors diapers for the March of Dimes!  HUGE thank you to Maria from Change-Diapers.com for co-hosting this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

200 comments:

  1. Crying for sure. God bless you, Ryan, the whole SprayPal family - truly an inspirational story. We are certainly a family in the cloth community and we love you all!

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  2. Oh how far he has come. What an incredible journey in such a short time. Happy Birthday, Ryan! God Bless you, and your amazing family!

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  3. What a beautiful story, Happy Birthday Ryan :)

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  4. What a beautiful story And I'm sure a tremendously difficult time for your family. I'm so glad that your son inherited his fighting spirit from his parents.

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  5. What a beautiful story And I'm sure a tremendously difficult time for your family. I'm so glad that your son inherited his fighting spirit from his parents.

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  6. Happy birthday Ryan! Makes me tear up reading his birth story. So great to see two amazing companies supporting each other and such a great cause!!

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  7. Happy Birthday!! It's great fun watching you grow!! Hope you have a Happy Day!!

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  8. Happy Birthday, Ryan! Enjoy your special day!

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  9. What a fabulous idea. Go Team Ryan!!!

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  10. What an amazing story. Happiest of birthdays Ryan!

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  11. Love the new diapers. Happy Birthday, warrior Ryan!

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  12. Happy birthday!!! Ryans story is so beautiful!! Made me tear up for sure!

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  13. Happy Birthday to the one, the only, the amazing Ryan!!!!!

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  14. What a beautiful story!All my prayers go out to Ryan and the whole family. Ryan's such a strong little warrior. Thank you so much for sharing your story

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    1. And a very very big and a happy birthday to Ryan. Lots of live from the other side of the world

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  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant, and I can't fathom giving birth to this LO in just 4 more weeks. Bless you and your family.

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  16. Bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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    1. And Happy Happy birthday #Minispraypal2.0

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  17. Thank you sharing your story! Happy birthday Ryan!!

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  18. Happy Birthday Mini SprayPal 2.0!

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  19. Feliz cumpleaños! Qué te la pases super!
    Happy Birthday! Have a great day!
    Thank you for sharing! Lots of love!

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    1. And as always. thank you for the opportunity!

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  20. Happy birthday! My twins were in the NICU for 2 week and it felt like an eternity, can't imagine 223 days. Your family is an amazing inspiration.

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  21. Thank you for sharing your families story! Happy Birthday to your Little Warrior Ryan!

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  22. Happy birthday to an amazing little boy and his family!

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  23. Happy birthday Ryan!!!! I was 2 months early, so def snagging one of these diapers for my little!

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  24. Happy Birthday Ryan, and many happy returns

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  25. Happy Birthday, Ryan! Thank you for sharing your story, Jen. :)

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  26. Happy Birthday little guy! You are truly a warrior and an inspiration!

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  27. Happy birthday, Ryan!! I had several partial placental abruptions when I was pregnant with my second son. I was put on full bed rest at 21 weeks and prepped for a micropreemie, but we ended up making it all the way to 38 weeks. My son is now 9. This story brought back a lot of emotions for me, and even though our stories have a lot of differences, we have the same outcome- amazing sons! <3. I remember crossing off the days, praying to hit viability.

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  28. Happy Birthday Ryan! You were blessed with great parents and a warrior's spirit. Thanks for inspiring us with your story!

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  29. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RYAN! you and your mama are strong warriors!!!

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  30. Happy Birthday, Ryan! I hope it is everything you dream of.

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  31. Happy Birthday little guy! Or as my German husband would say - Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!! :D

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  32. Happy birthday!!! Hope you have a great day!

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  33. Happy birthday!! This hits close to home as a friend and co-worker's wife's had their son at 25 weeks. He's almost 8 weeks old now and still in the nicu. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  34. God bless you and happy birthday Ryan!

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  35. Happy birthday Ryan!!! Thanks for sharing your story!!

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  36. Beautiful story...and beautiful color for a diaper! Happy Birthday, Ryan!

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  37. Happy birthday Ryan! You're story just made my heart swell, now I have to go give my little one a hug.

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  38. Happy Happy Birthday Sweet little Ryan! I hope you have an amazing day!!!

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  39. Happy Happy Birthday! We thank God for everyone of those days he has given you!

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  40. Happy birthday, Ryan! I'm amazed by your family and their strength.

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  41. A very Happy 3rd Birthday #minispraypal 2.0 (Ryan). Such a beautiful story. What a strong family and a strong little guy. And what a perfect diaper for Little Warriors. Best of Wishes Ryan
    GT name is Aimee Place
    soccer_chic_10@yahoo(dot)com

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  42. Happy Birthday from me and my daughter who was a preemie as well.

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  43. Happy birthday! Such a touching story.

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  44. Thank you for sharing your story!! You will rock your procedure today Little Warrior! Happy Birthday Ryan!!

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  45. Happy Happy Birthday, big guy! I love watching you thrive.

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  46. Have a very Blessed Birthday big boy!

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  47. This is such an inspirational story. Happy birthday Ryan!

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  48. Happy Birthday, Ryan!!! 3 is gonna be awesome!

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  49. You guys are all amazing. Happy Birthday to your little guy!

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  50. Happy birthday #miniSprayPal 2.0! :)

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  51. Happy Birthday precious boy!

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  52. Happiest of Birthdays #miniSprayPal 2.0!
    Good luck today. Thinking of the SprayPal family.

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  53. Happy Birthday!!! (I Also only entered a V for my name for the Cloth Diaper Experiment. It should be Vannessa Leppek)

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  54. Happy Happy HAPPY Birthday to one amazing boy! A massive fan base by 3 years old; that's quite an achievement!

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  55. Happy birthday Ryan and family!

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  56. Happy Birthday little guy! You are one strong and amazing kiddo, as are your parents.
    Lots of love <3

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  57. Happy birthday Ryan!You are such a great little trooper!

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  58. Happy Birthday Mini Spray Pal 2.0!!!

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  59. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN! You are truly a miracle and inspiration! May you thrive and continue to inspire us with your milestones and cuteness :)

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  60. Happy happy birthday, Ryan! And so many more to come!

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  61. Ryan, you are strong, loving boy and your family loves you a ton! I'm praying for your procedure today, and I hope that you have an AMAZING birthday!!!

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  62. So a sweet and encouraging story. You are a wonderful family with the most adorable children! Thank you for sharing with everyone.

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  63. Happy Birthday Mini SprayPal 2.0!! =) You are definitely a little fighter & miracle! You're mama is one brave lady! Being on bedrest is not easy. I was on bedrest from 9-23 weeks at home, then in the hospital from 23-30 weeks. Many Abundant Blessings!

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  64. Happy birthday, Ryan! Many blessings to you!

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  65. Happy Birthday, Ryan! You are miracle baby who makes more of a difference in people's lives than you will ever know!

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  66. Happy birthday Ryan! Great story and I'm glad your family is doing so well!

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  67. happy birthday Ryan and family. what a huge milestone for you. good luck with you procedure today.

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  68. happy birthday!! love your story and thank you for sharing it!

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  69. Happy birthday lil man!!! Good luck today :)

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  70. Happy birthday! Hope you grow up safe and healthy and enjoy childhood as well as a life of happiness!

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  71. Happy birthday Ryan!! You are so amazing and such a fighter. Sending prayers your way for your procedure. Have an amazing birthday little man.

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  72. what an incredible story. Very brave of you to share. Obviously Ryan is bound for greatness. Happy birthday!

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  73. Happy birthday Ryan!! I hope you have the best 3rd birthday ever!

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  74. Happy Birthday Ryan! What a beautiful story!

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  75. Happy Birthday! I had sub chorionic hematomas/bleeding for the first 16 weeks of my last pregnancy. It was scary enough with out placental ebruption. I'm so happy for your family with how far he has come.

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  76. Happy birthday Ryan! What an amazing story you have, praying everything goes smoothly today:)

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  77. Happy Birthday, Ryan! I hope you get to have some fun today.

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  78. Your the most amazing baby ever. And I wish u the best today and every day. HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY RYAN

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  79. Happy birthday Ryan! You really are a little warrior! I bet this surgery is scary to you too and not just your mom. I remember when I was 4 I had the same one. They took out my tonsils and adenoids and put tubes in my ears all at once. The worst part was that my throat was so sore I couldn't even eat the ice cream they promised me! I felt like they lied! But now as an adult, I have a better immune system than anyone I know and rarely, if ever, do I get sick! And I never get ear infections anymore! You're a strong little man!

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  80. Happy birthday Ryan! You really are a little warrior! I bet this surgery is scary to you too and not just your mom. I remember when I was 4 I had the same one. They took out my tonsils and adenoids and put tubes in my ears all at once. The worst part was that my throat was so sore I couldn't even eat the ice cream they promised me! I felt like they lied! But now as an adult, I have a better immune system than anyone I know and rarely, if ever, do I get sick! And I never get ear infections anymore! You're a strong little man!

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  81. Happy Birthday! Hope all goes smoothly today so that you can enjoy your birthday :)

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  82. Happy Birthday Ryan! You are a special little guy for sure!

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  83. This is a beautiful story, Happy Birthday Ryan!!!

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  84. Happy Birthday Ryan!!!! I hope miniSprayPal 2.0 and all the SprayPal family has a wonderful day!

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  85. How precious life is! Happy Birthday, Ryan!!!

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  86. Happy Birthday Ryan from Mr. Brooksie (who will be 2 next month)! Our fighters have come a long way! Love you guys! And I love this diaper! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  87. Happy Birthday Ryan!!! My little one turns 1 on the 22nd!

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  88. Happy Birthday! Hope you get to do something amazing today!!

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  89. Our babies were born on the same day!

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  90. Happy Birthday! I'm excited to learn about these products!

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  91. Happy Birthday sweet sweet boy!

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  92. Happy birthday, strong dude! :)

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  93. Happy birthday! So wonderful to hear a positive preemie story. I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins and although I grow more uncomfortable by the day, my greatest hope is that these babies stay on the inside and grow as long as possible.

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  94. Not related to the giveaway, but I just wanted to share. I won a spray pal in a giveaway a couple of years ago, I was just getting started with cloth diapers and no clue what it was. I started following your Facebook page and blog. I love following your story and watching your children and business grow. Ryan's story is beautiful and inspirational and filled with love, he is so blessed to have been born to parents strong enough to rise up and meet the challenges that come your way.
    All throughout my pregnancy I would tell myself "we just have to make it to 24 weeks, mini SprayPal made it and so can we! " My baby girl lost her battle the this Christmas, she was 21 weeks. Watching your son grow and develop (and hear!) Has helped me to heal and cope. You give me hope for the future, and help me to remember that joy can be found even in the darkest of times. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for letting the world celebrate Ryan's birthday with you.

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  95. Happy Birthday Ryan! You are a special little miracle.

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  96. Happy birthday #miniSprayPal 2.0! Ryan's story is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

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  97. Thank you for sharing your story. And happy birthday!!

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  98. Thank you for sharing. I couldn't endnotes imagine. Our little peanut was luckily only on the nicu for 11 days and continues to thrive every day. 💙

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  99. Happy birthday! :) Each year is a blessing to have them.

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    1. Oh, and this would be a perfect gift for anyone who cloth diapers!

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  100. Thank you so much for all of your hard work Thank you for sharing your story I can't even begin to imagine how difficult all that has been for your family but from mother to mother and from family to family we feel for you and celebrate with you on your baby's birthday! We hope you are able to celebrate with all of your heart and soul and able to dance, smile, and laugh together as a family lots of love and prayers and positive energy being sent to you and of course, best of all...have a happy birthday!!!

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  101. Happy Birthday Ryan! Such a big day I am so glad it went well!!!

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  102. Happy Birthday Ryan, you are a miracle for sure!

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  103. Happy third birthday Ryan! May you have an amazing day. You sure have the most wonderful of parents!

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  104. Wishing Ryan a very, very Happy Birthday and speedy recovery!!

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  105. Wishing Ryan a very Happy Birthday! What a strong little boy:)

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  106. Happy birthday, Ryan! It has been a joy to see you grow and learn.

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  107. Happy birthday! I'm so thankful for all the procedures and doctors and especially God for answering many prayers and saving this little guy, my sister's little guy, and my sister in law's daughter. God is so good!

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  108. Happy Birthday Ryan, you go dude!

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  109. Happy birthday -- you rock!!

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  110. Even when I am done cloth diapering, I will always follow your page. It has been amazing and truly inspirational to watch not only him grow, but to watch your family develop into something so beautiful! Happy Birthday to your sweet little boy!

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  111. Happy birthday! Ryan, yours is a beautiful story. May this be your best year yet buddy!

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  112. I love your story, happy birthday to your little fighter!

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  113. Happy birthday. What a little warrior!!!

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  114. Happy Birthday Little Man! hope you had a great birthday :)

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  115. Happy birthday Little Warrior, from the mom of two fellow NICU graduates.

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  116. Your story is just amazing. My son just turned 2 in February, as well. Ryan is the sweetest, cutest little boy. I love following you all on Instagram. Happy Birthday, Ryan!!

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  117. Happy birthday #miniSprayPal 2.0

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  118. Thank you for sharing your story and for turning such a trying time into something so positive.

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  119. Happy Birthday #miniSprayPal 2.0! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you :)

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