February 20, 2011
On Wednesday, February 16, my life changed forever. Really, it all began last May when Bryan and I surprisingly discovered that we were expecting – after almost a year of dreaming of a little one. The excitement and anticipation of our little boy’s arrival was suddenly met with a web of high-risk doctors, concerning test results and intense/constant measurements, ultrasounds and assessments. We spent a good part of our ten month pregnancy terrified. Even on the day of our delivery, I was scared that our little Brady would face a life harder than he deserved. But in our hearts, we trusted in God’s plan – no matter what it may hold – and dreamed of the day we’d get to hold our sweet Bman.
On Tuesday, February 15, Bryan and I had dinner with my parents, who’d come in town anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first grand child. I was nervous as could be, but enjoyed PF Changs with some of my favorite people. As I took a shower and dried my hair to get ready to go to the hospital, Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love” was on… I cried. It was one of those deep, scared, intense-love type of cries. The first of many.
Bryan and I headed to the hospital, got checked in and got the induction rolling. The next morning, things hadn’t progressed much, but my contractions were getting stronger and a little more intense. Convinced that I was there to impress no one, I asked for my epidural as soon as possible. Great idea. I didnt feel much, other than pressure, until about 2pm that day. Suddenly, things started progressing QUICKLY and Brady’s arrival seemed just minutes away. Doctors rushed about, the baby warmer/scale was turned on and messages were flying from our cell phones to let everyone know Bman was on his way!
All the sudden, I began to feel intense pain in my lower abdomen. Intense meaning – I cant talk, I cant move, I buried myself into the side of the hospital bed, white knuckled the bed rail and held my breath through each contraction. My epidural had given way to a “window” – an area of the body that the epidural suddenly cannot reach. I kid you not, it was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. If you’ve ever had a natural birth – my hat is OFF. You. are. my. hero.
Two epidurals later (that’s a total of three), I was in a happy place and working hard to bring Brady into the world. Almost 22 hours had passed since the induction had begun. My doctor smiled and said, “this little guy has a plan of his own.” And to the OR for a c-section we went. Everything happened quickly from there, my parents were rushed into the room to give me a hug. Bryan was given scrubs and I was prepped to meet our little boy. I remember the doctors rolling me into the OR, the lights were so bright above me and my arms were placed straight out to my side after I was moved onto the operating table.
My fear, excitement and anticipation overwhelmed me and I shook uncontrollably through everything that happened next. As the doctor’s rushed around me prepping me and each other to bring sweet Brady into the world, I closed my eyes and said a little prayer. I turned the palms of my hands up toward the sky (something I admire so much from my friend Gina) ready for the blessing God was about to bestow on our little family. I heard the doctor begin to list the high-risk concerns that had been discussed during our pregnancy. A million thoughts rushed through my head as Bryan came into the room and sat next to me. We were so excited, so scared. All the days of the past 10 months ran through my heart in a matter of minutes. And the calm of a mother’s love washed over me. After all our planning, worrying, celebrating, anticipating and dreaming, we were ready.
Our doctor got started and Bryan talked to me about our dreams for our little boy, who he’d be, whose eyes he’d have. I tried to listen to him. I prayed. I shook. My heart felt as if it were ready to leap from my chest. And suddenly, I felt an intense pressure and heard my doctor say “Dad, peak over the curtain and see your little boy.” I watched Bryan’s eyes as he stood to see his son for the first time.
My doctor stepped to my side of the curtain, pulled down her mask and said “Emily, he’s happy… healthy… and has long legs.” Just then, a nurse emerged with the most beautiful, purple, messy, amazing, perfect little boy I’ve ever seen. And I was forever changed.
Tears that I’d held in for months came pouring out, my body – numb from medication just shook. Bryan and I looked into each others eyes and with a word knew that somehow we’d made it to the other side. Brady and Bryan went to the nursery for Brady’s evaluations and tests. I was knocked out (all that crying and emotion had sent my blood pressure through the roof) and wheeled to recovery. My doctor came to visit me there and gave me a hug.. “it’s been a long road here… and he’s perfect. 8.9 APGAR score, long legs, just beautiful.”
Minutes later, I was rolled into the room we’d stay in for the next few days – greeted by our families and finally… our sweet Brady Ley.
A mother’s love is unbelievable. I thought I knew what it was while he was growing inside my belly. But at 7:21pm on Wednesday, February 16, my heart was cracked wide open. Brady is four days old now, we’re at home learning the ins and outs of parenting a newborn. He’s already picking up his head, stretching out his arms and legs, and opening his beautiful blue eyes wide to take in all the love around him. I’ve never loved someone so much. I’ve never experienced an absolute miracle and the pureness of unconditional, unabashed, unending love like I did four days ago. Our adventure is only just beginning. Never did I ever imagine I’d be so changed by 7lbs, 11oz // 19.25 inches of pure, sweet goodness.