Today is Braeden's birthday. He turned 9. 9! I'm still in disbelief. He's the one that made Amy and I parents. The one who taught us about diapers, sleepless nights, and fevers. But he also taught us about hugs, silliness, and love. I'm not sure if I've shared the story of Braeden's birth before. If I have, sorry, this may be a repeat for you. But it's a great story and one that we love to remember often, especially once a year.
I think back to that day, 9 years ago, when I was at work. We'd recently relocated back to Houston due to Hurricane Katrina and found ourselves expecting. We hadn't fully committed to staying, we still wanted to return to New Orleans and the life we'd begun to build there. But then, suddenly, everything changed. It couldn't be just about Amy and I anymore. Nope, we would soon have this tiny little human who would depend solely on us. We had to start thinking about what was best for him. So, we made the touch decision to stay in Houston. It was back home for us, near our families and everything we'd grown up with. We were starting to rebuild. Amy had found another job and I was subbing and working as a teacher aide until I could find a position myself. We were staying with my parents and searching for an apartment. All was slowly settling.
May 5. We were still over a month away from the due date. We had plenty of time to plan. Right? To pack. To prep the apartment we'd moved into. To sort, wash, sterilize, and learn about all of the baby gear we had been blessed with. We had some time still. Wrong. I was working Extended Care when I received the call. Amy thought maybe her water had broken. Say what?! But she thought it might be a false alarm. I decided to head home early anyway, to check on her. Halfway home another call. Nope, this was the real thing. Forget heading home, we would meet at the hospital. It looked as though it was go time.
But things were to take another turn from our plans. He was breech. Yep. Breech. As I'd been he wouldn't turn and Amy wasn't laboring. So the decision was presented to us: c-section. What?! As scary as having a baby was, this tripled, maybe even quadrupled that. But here we were and there was no turning back. Not now so we moved forward, no other choice really. So anxious and praying we went.
After the surgery all seemed well. Braeden was small but not tiny. He was healthy. Sent to the NICU for monitoring since was considered pre-term. The next day all was well. Here was this tiny little thing that, just less than a day before, had seemed like some distant thing we'd been planning for. But he was here. Now. Soon we learned that he was having som eblood sugar issues, trouble maintaining it. He was pricked so much on his little foot for testing that he still bears a birthmark-like scar that wasn't there when he was born. We now began to worry. There was a chance that Amy would be discharged before him if they couldn't get it all squared away. Again, anxious and praying we moved forward, waiting to see what would happen.
Luckily all worked out and he was able to be discharged with Amy, stabilized and ready for home. So we packed up this little bundle of joy and headed home to our new life as a family of 3. Visitors came. More gifts were bestowed. Bags were unpacked. We started to settle into our new normal and Amy and I, so very naively, thought that not much has changed. This parenting thing didn't seem so difficult. Yeah, that didn't last long. Little man had his plans to teach us and train us as parents.
9 years. I don't know how I'll feel next year when it will be an entire decade! He's grown into such an amazing person. Sure, there are rough times, there always will be. But deep down he's a good kid. A loving him brother. A loyal friend. A close cousin. A devoted grandson. A son. Our son. The first one.
Happy 9th Birthday Braeden. I love you.
All is well, 9 years and counting, in Drosche Land.