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About the Author: Hillary M. Ramos

I had absolutely no intention of becoming a stay at home mom. I actually have a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy, and I worked in developmental pediatrics in outpatient clinics for about four years prior to transitioning to be a full time stay-at-home-mom. People often ask me how I knew that I wanted to become a pediatric physical therapist. And I tell them the same thing every time…

I didn’t know.

I graduated high school with no clue what I wanted to study, but I ended up declaring a dual major in exercise and sports science and athletic training after a few friends and coaches from high school suggested that I check out the world of sports medicine, which I had no clue what that even was at the time. It wasn’t until about halfway through my undergraduate degree that I decided to even look at physical therapy school.

I graduated from my undergrad with that dual major as well as a certification and licensure and athletic training, and I still had every intention of continuing down the sports medicine and orthopedics route as a physical therapist.

However, while I was in physical therapy school, I met my pediatrics and neuro professor. Working with her in school completely shifted my perspective, and I fell in love with the world of developmental pediatric physical therapy.

Physical therapy school was quite a struggle for me. As much as I loved what I was learning, there were many, many times that I wanted to quit. This happened so much that my husband kept asking me, “Is this really what you want to do? I will support you regardless, but I want you to be happy.” I kept telling him…

“I want to quit many, many days, but I just, I feel like I’m supposed to be here. I can’t explain it.”

I graduated in 2017 and received my doctorate degree in physical therapy. I went on to work as a pediatric therapist in outpatient clinics for about four years. I also had my son soon after I graduated, which meant that for two years of his life, he spent more time in day care than he did at home.

That was rough.

My husband was traveling, I was juggling work and home life and battling with untreated mental health issues. It wasn’t until COVID hit and we were all home that I started to feel that strain, that tug, that I really needed to come home full time. When my husband got a new job in March of 2021, we were faced with a choice to either add more patients to my caseload and send our son back to daycare…or bring me home. So, we brought me home.

While there was so much peace wrapped up in that decision, I couldn’t help but wonder…

“What did I spend the last 12 years doing?”

It wasn’t that I didn’t love my job. I did. I loved all of my patients and their families. I learned so much. I just couldn’t help but wonder did I waste all that time? Did I waste all that school? All of those loans? Did I pick the wrong path?

I struggled with these thoughts for months. I wrestled with my identity and my purpose. I kept asking God, “why,” and I got my answer in October 2021 on a pregnancy test with two pink lines. An answer that became even more clear when my doctor walked in after my 20 week anatomy scan to tell me that our daughter had many complications and would likely be medically complex and have disabilities.

In a single moment, I realized that this was both the most painful moment of my life (so far) and also the one God had been equipping me for all along.

All that time, He was equipping me for this. For such a time as this to be her best advocate, to be my best advocate, to know the questions to ask, and the services to seek. There was not a single moment wasted. Our journey still carries the heavy weight of anticipatory grief due to a terminal diagnosis. There is so much unknown, but there’s so much peace knowing that He has equipped us, will continue to equip us, and that He goes before us.

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