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Me (and Ricky) - about a year ago...

One year ago today i had my youngest boy, Richard Gabriel McNiel. He is named after his daddy, Richard aka “Rick,” and myself, Gabriela aka “Gaby.” I felt that this little guy should have been baked and ready to come out by February 14 but my Kaiser doctor thought otherwise – even though i was measuring 40 weeks at the end of January.

My tummy was so huge – it will never be the same! I was so uncomfortable and it was just about unbearable. I will be recovering from his birth for many years!

Ricky was born by C-section at Kaiser 2/23/11 at 11:02am. He weighed 11lbs, 12oz., and was 22.5 inches long with a head circumference of 39. I didn’t have high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or any other issue, except that i felt the doctors let him get too big!

Shortly after having Ricky, my husband and i got confirmation that our middle son, David had Autism.

I sometimes feel like Ricky got cheated this first year of his life. Like we’ve paid more attention to David and Christian and all the assessments, appointments, therapies, schools, IEP’s, IPP’s, psyche evaluations, ABA, and so on…but what can we do about that? Obviously the our older boys need a ton of our attention and care and we balance everything pretty well.

Where does that leave Ricky?

I need to make sure that i include him in everything (as much as possible) and let him know that he is just as important as Christian and David and their special needs. I know he does not understand any of this now, but i will make sure to explain this all to the boys. They are my life and as Rick says, “Our loves!”

I dare not even think about this now. Is it too early to tell? I find my self constantly watching and thinking about the boys when they were his age. What is he doing? What was Christian doing at this age? David walked at 1, Ricky started about a week before he turned 1. What does that mean? Is he hitting his milestones?

A person could drive themselves crazy thinking about all this.

I pray for my children every morning and night and i pray that Ricky is not affected by Autism like his brothers.

I know it sounds harsh, but i’m not sure i could survive another round on “mourning” or “resentment,” Would i survive this process a third time?

Ugh. Should Autism be something that Ricky develops, i do know that i am better prepared now. I know what to do first and where to go from there. I suppose i’ll need to realize that i was chosen to advocate, educate, care for, love and fight for these boys for a reason. I was chosen. I am trusted by God to be fully able to do this. I just hope i am strong enough – I hope i have that much fight in me.