I embarked on a journey 4 years ago that I never imagined for myself. Completely unexpected, I gave birth to my twins prematurely at 24 weeks. Robert weighed 1 lb 9 oz, and Claire weighed 1 lb 5 oz. They both had a very rough entrance into this world, and unfortunately Claire wasn't strong enough to stay with us longer than 5 weeks. Robert spent 6 challenging months in the NICU before we finally got him home. He suffered bilateral grade IV brain hemorraghes, and therefore has cerebral palsy and many other health and development issues. Robert, Claire, and their 1.5 year old sister Paige made me a mom, but Robert made me a Steel Magnolia Mom.
Being the mom of a child with special needs means I lay in bed after a long day with a sore back, emotionally exhausted and worrying about what exactly our future will look like. But I aso lay in bed and think about the huge smile and hug Robert gave me as I tucked him into bed. He has a sweet soul and a loving heart. It has its ups and downs, and a support system like Steel Magnolia Moms is so important to me. We share in the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs. It's a group that has been life changing for me, from forming lifelong friendships with other moms that "just get it," to online resource sharing to help us navigate this journey. A group that none of us thought we would be in, but now I can't imagine my life without it.
I am doing Ragnar because I am able. I am able to walk, to run, to do things that Robert cannot do. He pushes himself daily and is the hardest worker I know, so I am pushing myself. I have more confidence in my abilities than I ever expected. Together with 11 other Steel Magnolias, we will be running relay style 200 miles from San Francisco to Napa Valley, each doing 3 legs over day and night. I can't wait to get out there with my other Super Steel Magnolias, to prove that we can do anything we put our mind to! We will be overcoming the ups and downs of the hills of Napa Valley as a team, one foot in front of the other.