Wednesday, February 9, 2011

# benjamin # help needed

My Son - My Hero

This is Ben. Isn't he a handsome fellow? This was a quick picture that I snapped on Christmas morning as he opened the package of books that Santa had left him. If only I could convince him to read them now!

Ben is my miracle baby. In all reality, he shouldn't be here today. Let me give you a little bit of history.  On January 17, 1999, I went into preterm labor with his brother, Austin. Sadly, we lost him but in May of that same year, I got pregnant with Ben. I like to think that his brother was watching out for him because that was the pregnancy from hell.

I found out that I was pregnant, literally one week before we moved from Virginia back to Michigan. Since I had miscarried my first pregnancy and we knew all future pregnancies were going to be high risk, I was told not to touch anything. I wasn't to do any lifting of any nature. We managed to do the move but the day after, I started having sharp pains in my lower abdominal region and was sure that I was miscarrying. After a frightening run around Grand Rapids, trying to find a hospital (and being turned away at an emergency clinic because I had out of state insurance), it was discovered that he was just fine. The doctor figured that I must have pulled a groin muscle somehow.

The one huge blessing in all of that was that when I called for a follow up appointment, the nurse in the clinic told me not to go there but to call a specialist. It turns out that it was the best decision we ever made and I am thankful, to this day, to that nurse for being honest with me and not just trying to get another patient for their office. Dr. Balaskas was an amazing doctor. I should know! I saw him every week for that entire pregnancy. I was also on full bedrest that entire pregnancy.

He's the one who caught it when I started preterm labor at 26 weeks. He's the one who treated me time and time again for bacterial vaginosis (think yeast infection symptoms for weeks, ladies!). He's also the one who realized, at 35 weeks, Ben was not as active as he should have been. The thing is, I never realize just how serious it was because he was so calm through out the whole thing. He tried everything to get Ben going and when it didn't happen, he just told me that the hospital had better equipment and that I needed to go be listened to there.

He's the same doctor who I joked around with about never losing your sense of humor during the scary stuff. I believe it had to do with me counting dots on the ceiling while a resident removed my cerclage. He's also the one that saved my baby's life when he determined that we needed to do an emergency c-section. You see, it turns out that my placenta had very few blood vessels actually in it and many of those that were there had clotted off. My baby wasn't getting the oxygen and nutrients that he needed to survive. We were told later that if we had waited just another week, Ben wouldn't have made it. He's my miracle baby.

Well, my miracle baby is now 11 years old. He has cerebral palsy due to the pregnancy (not due to medical malpractice!). He's smart and funny and loves music more than any kid I know. He can also tell you just about any football game he's ever seen, along with any WWE wrestling match he's ever seen. He's a great kid who never gives up. Sadly, he does have some physical problems. In fact, we're considering doing hamstring surgery this summer to help with his gait. His writing is nearly illegible and he uses a word processor at school to type up a lot of his assignments.

Here's where I break down, folks. The word processor won't work for him next year. He's going on to middle school and what he uses now just isn't big enough to handle middle school work. He needs a laptop. He really needs it now so that he can be working with it and getting used to it before it's something he does every day. My miracle baby who has brought so much joy and love to my life needs something and I can't provide it for him. Yes, the district would provide it but he wouldn't be allowed to use it over the summer or even bring it home unless it was 100% necessary for an assignment. We really need to provide one for him and we just can't.

So, I'm going to reach out to you, my readers. If you know of anyone who is getting rid of a laptop, please have them contact me. If you know of a company who might be willing to donate one, again, put our names down. Lastly, and this one is the hardest for me, if you might be willing to donate money towards us purchasing one for him, please get in contact with me. I swear to you that all monies collected will go towards helping my miracle baby. He needs this to be successful as a student.

Any help that anyone can give will be greatly appreciated. I don't have much that I can give back, but I will give back where I can. If you can't help, please don't be sad. I understand and know right where you are. The fact that you stopped by and read his story (or the part I wrote here) means more to me than you can ever imagine.


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Monster Mom said...

Wow, that story brought tears to my eyes! My oldest daughter also has CP. I know what you're going through. She will be 9 this year, and is as smart as they come. But she has some of the same problems your son has with her gait and her motor skills like writing. I wish our family could afford to help you with getting him a laptop, but we are kinda in the same boat, along with welcoming our new addition this coming weekend. I will look around my area for anyone looking to donate a laptop and will let you know if I see any. Good luck to you and your Miracle baby. I'm sure everything will work out just fine!

Deanne said...

Katie, how I wish I could help you out with this, but I don't have the resources at this point to do it. I will keep my eyes and ears open for anything that I might come across and will check my local freecycle as well. Who knows? I also have a wonderful friend who can do darned near anything with a computer, so if I find one, then we could always have him fix it if needed or whatever. No promises, but I will be on the look out.

We had also talked about getting Natty a laptop for when he enters middle school. Thankfully, we still have a year and a half until then. I think middle school is a good time for a kid to get their own computer.

Hope you are able to find something! And I am so glad that everything worked out and that he is such an incredible kid. And you know what else? You are an incredible mom. Don't ever forget that, okay? ♥

Angela @ Nine More Months said...

Aww this post brought me to tears, Katie. I don't have any ideas at the moment, and I'm not sure how comfortable I would be buying a laptop off Craiglist with all those shady sellers. I often get giftcards from blogging programs, usually a visa, amex or amazon gift card. Maybe if a bunch of us teamed together to save up our Amazon gift cards we could get enough money together for you to buy a computer.

Trish said...

Believe me, as a mom of 7 (3 with special needs ranging from cerebral palsy to Aspergers to chronic lung disease), I KNOW how hard it can be to ask for help. So glad you posted this! Is there any way you can put up a donation button for those of us who have a little to give so we can chip in and get this need met?

Just a thought...

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