You Say it’s your Birthday…well, it’s ZAK’S BIRTHDAY TOO!

May 9, 2012

First Day

9 Years!  Yes, 9 years ago today we were blessed with this little man!  Oh the stories we could tell you.  So, here goes one!

ZAKSMOM and I were married 2/22/02 (22 is my lucky number and no, I did not make her marry me that day just so I would never forget) and I swear the moment we were married, she was asking for a baby!  I may be a little off on this but needless to say, we wasted little time.  By September that year, we found out ZAKSMOM was pregnant and we were launching ourselves into parenthood.  Like every parent, we started dreaming.  Of course this kid would be President someday and likely hit a grand slam in the World Series all while solving world hunger!  We started to get the nursery ready and did all the fun things that come with being an expecting parent.  Life was perfect.

Her pregnancy was pretty uneventful but with a couple weeks remaining, ZAKSMOM came home not feeling well.  No big deal she said till it was the middle of the night and the pain was excruciating.  We rushed to the hospital and immediately had her admitted.  She was sick, my poor wife but not too sick to make sure that everyone in the hospital knew she would take their life if they did not help her.  It was hard to watch.  The person you love carrying another person you are about to love in immense pain and there was not much they could do for her.  Hours later, she was finally given a sedative and all seemed ok.  I left the hospital to go let out our dogs thinking all would be fine for a while.  Not the case!  The doctor informed her that he suspected HELLP Syndrome and the little monkey needed to come out right away or there would be grave risk to both.  When I arrived, the doctor was very clear with me that he anticipated no problems but this was serious and he needed to get the baby out right away.  All I could do was cry and pray.  Life, at this moment, was not perfect. I was not entering the most exciting time of my life to watch my wife and child go someplace else.  I paced.  I prayed.  I cried and I was alone waiting for the news.  I would listen but there was no crying.  I could not hear anything even though I was right outside the door and man, I was pooping my pants.

I'm Sexy and I Know it.

They finally wheeled him out and told me to come with them.  All I could think about was where is she?  Where is my wife and is she ok?  What the hell was I going to do with this child if she was not there?  I could barely take care of myself.  The nurses were very comforting (not really).  They were not sure but thought that she would be ok.  In the meantime, they needed to warm the kid up and get him going a bit.  I just realized I HAD A SON.  I mean, I already knew I was having a boy but I HAD A SON!!!  As they did their checking on my boy, I went back to praying.  “Lord, thanks for giving me my son but you know better than anyone, I cannot do this alone.  I do not want to screw up this child like his dad turned out.  You have got to help her because I am selfish and cannot raise a kid.”

She was fine (thank you lord!).  It was not perfect and she was going to hurt but she was fine (later on I would find out how fine she was.  As I am feeding our child right next to her, she starts flirting with the doctor who “SAVED HER LIFE.”).  I tell this story as I believe this was the start of the issue.  ZAK and ZAKSMOM experienced a huge trauma and his immune system was compromised.  I will never know but it is what I think.

Zak was the perfect baby.  Slept through the night at 9 weeks (which he does not do now).  Would eat anything and rarely cried.  We were so blessed but being new parents, we missed signs and questioned little.  We always say that if we had Katie first, we easily would have seen the signs.  I just kept dreaming though.  He was going to play soccer and baseball like his old man and I was going to coach him all the way to the big leagues.  Dreams change and I finally realized that my dreams may or may not have been his dreams regardless of the Autism.

Today, however, it is time to celebrate.  Someday I will chronicle the early years and the diagnosis and the sh$# we have had to deal with but today is a day to party (or par-tay as my daughter likes to say).  This has been an incredible 9 years.  Hard fought but a beautiful journey.  My son is getting better everyday and I hope some day to say he is recovered and this was all just a dream.  My dreams are different today then they were 9 years ago but I am blessed with a son who has taught me to be a better dad, husband, son, person!  Thank you Zak!  Mom and I love you and will always dream right along with you.

The luckiest dad in the world!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eileen May 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM

This made me ball! Happy Birthday, Zak! God chose the PERFECT parents for YOU! You are blessed! We love you and love watching your incredible mind and smile!


Tom McCaughey May 9, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Brian, I can surely understand what you are going through. I have friends who have Autistic children and I know what kind of challenge that can be. You really should write a book because your words, as written, are enough to get a publisher interested. Although I am lucky and don’t have a child with Autism, we had a major problem with the birth of our first child. I’ll talk to you later about that. So glad I read this post! Brian you and ZAKSMOM are doing a fantastic job!!


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