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    Posted July 2, 2014 by
    Warwick, Rhode Island
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Raising a special needs child

    A Different Life

    As a 27 year old Special Education Teacher, life was beginning to get a little easier. I was single and making great money - teaching, bar tending and working with children with different abilites durning summer recreation camp. I had my own place, a new car, and was going out at least 2-3 times a week with friends.
    All that changed right before I turned 28 in August of 2007. I was pregnant and as things progressed it got complicated. I had to have frequent ultrasounds, my baby wasn't moving, my baby wasn't swallowing, my amneotic fluid was too high, and on it went.
    Andrew Robert was born on 2/6/08 - 5 weeks early - by emergency c-section because my water had broke. I was allowed a brief glimpse of my baby boy before he was whisked away to be intubated and brought to the NICU at Women & Infants Hospital in RI.
    We spent 103 LONG days and nights in that NICU and there were countless numbers of ups and downs, but we survived and on May 19th, 2008 Andrew came home. He was trached and ventilator dependant. He would only ever eat through a g-tube. He was unable to make any significant movement on his own. But he was strong, a fighter who knew his Mama and would do what he needed to do to survive.
    In the more than 6 years since Andrew's discharge we have had many changes, but have stuck it out together. Andrew has a 2 year old brother, Shamus, who is a typical toddler. He will be starting 1st grade in the fall at his home school, which was a feat in itself. He is working on getting a Tobi C12 eye gaze computer to help with communication. There have been a number of struggles and accomplishments to get us to where we are and we would love to tell more!
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