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A Boy Named Silas

Share Your Story: Tell Us About Your Special-Needs Parenting Blog

By Alana Terry

A Boy Named Silas

The story of an amazing little tube-fed boy named Silas

Name of Blog or Site

A Boy Named Silas

Address of Blog or Site

boynamedsilas.blogspot.com

How Long It's Been Online

My first post, "What Really Happened," went live in December, 2010.

Why I Started

I started blogging when Silas was three years old. People who had known our family since Silas's birth were always telling me, "You should write a book!" At the time, I had three children, one who required round-the-clock tube feedings and several therapy appointments a week. Where was I going to find time to write a whole book?

I decided to start sharing Silas's story one blog post at a time, starting from the beginning. After publishing "What Really Happened" online, I received so much positive feedback that I just kept adding blog post after blog post, sharing Silas's inspiring story with one reader at a time.

How I Do It

When I first started writing the Boy Named Silas blog, I realized that I had way more to say than I first though. Memories came flooding back -- the good, the bad and the traumatizing -- and chronicling what our family went through when Silas was in the NICU helped me sort through the emotions and turmoil of Silas's first few months.

If you look at my blog, you'll quickly see that I didn't sugar-coat anything. Even though we are a Christian family, and our faith in God helped sustain us during Silas's NICU stay, we still experienced the entire range of human emotions that any parent who has a nearly brain-dead child on life support would be expected to feel. My husband and I love each other deeply and have a wonderful marriage, but raising a baby with health issues as significant as Silas's nearly tipped us over the breaking point on more than one occasion.

I am a positive person by nature, but sometimes life sucks. I try to write as openly and honestly about Silas's first few years with the same candor I would have if I were talking to my best friend. I've been told many times that people have been blessed and encouraged by the frank, nitty-gritty details of our struggles raising Silas. Some people come back to me after reading my blog and say something like, "I had no idea you guys went through this." And I realize that if it weren't for my blog, even some of my closer friends might not know about everything our family went through when Silas was a baby.

Thankfully, Silas has progressed and developed more than his doctors ever though he would. Lately, my blog posts about Silas have been much more upbeat, celebrating the fact that Silas (who has been tube-fed for his entire life) can now eat small bites of food. I realize, however, that not everyone reading my blog has so many things going right in their lives right now. I hope that by sharing Silas's triumphs as well as his trials, I can encourage my readers no matter what their situation.

Writing Silas's story has been a wonderful way for me to share about my amazing little boy. Some of my friends have come back from reading "A Boy Named Silas" and tell me that it encouraged them to write their own story. I tell them, "Go for it!" Life is fragile, life is precious, and life is meant to be celebrated and shared.

Authoring "A Boy Named Silas" has allowed me to share my life with an amazing group of followers, and give them a glimpse of my life as the mom of a boy named Silas.

Advice

  • Make sure your blog sticks to its purpose. I don't just randomly post holiday pictures on "A Boy Named Silas" unless there is a specific tie-in to Silas and his specific medical experiences. Be selective.
  • Be honest. As an Internet writer, it's easy to pretend to be someone you're not. Instead, share your struggles and your joys as realistically as you can to give your blog a close, intimate feel.
  • Never break trust. If you are writing about a certain person, make sure you get permission. Nobody wants to go out to coffee with a blogger friend and wonder if they're going to show up in the next post unexpectedly!

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