It’s amazing that a year ago I was in a hospital bed with my lower abdomen stitched together, Erik was probably sitting in an uncomfortable chair, and Brady was chilling out in her state of the art Giraffe bed.

Last year at this time is a very vague memory for me.  I remember being told that I had to go the hospital because of the signs of pre-eclampsia I had. I remember the time at Candler because I wasn’t on any drugs. I remember crushing up high blood pressure pills and eating them in chocolate pudding because I can’t swallow pills.  I remember hearing Brady’s heart rate decelerate and then 4 or 5 nurses rushing into the room to get things right again. I remember my doctor coming in the next morning and telling me that when he got out of surgery he would check on Brady’s heart rate again and that he “might” be sending me to Memorial just in case. I also remember him coming back 5 minutes later and saying that he had changed his mind and I that I had been transferred to the care of the perinatologists at Memorial and that I would be heading there by ambulance.

After that things get a little foggy. I was transferred to Memorial via ambulance. One of the paramedics happened to live in our apartment complex and had lived in the same row of duplexes Erik and I had lived in prior to moving to Pooler. I remember the weirdest things. Once I got to Memorial they determined that I did have pre-eclampsia and that it was pretty close to severe. They hooked me up to Magnesium Sulfate and explained to me that I would feel like I had been hit by a bus. An ultra sound technician came in to check out Brady and initially everything looked great. She was moving around, actually had the hiccups, and her heart rate was doing pretty good and all of her organ’s checked out. It wasn’t until she looked at the placenta that she realized something was wrong. Brady had reverse blood flow to the placenta and was measuring 3-4 weeks behind. They told me she was better off out than in. I wasn’t allowed to wear my glasses so I never got a good look at her when they showed her to me. She was wrapped up tightly with just her head poking out and she had a hat on so there wasn’t much to see. I remembering the wheel chair ride down to the NICU and washing my hands but have no recollection of really seeing my child for the first time. Considering the nature of the delivery we had no camera and there are no pictures documenting my first real glimpse of Brady. The next day is a blur because the bus finally hit me ( Mag) and I couldn’t open my eyes because I was seeing double. Eventually we went home leaving our tiny 1 pound 7 ounce baby in the care of her amazing doctors and nurses.

I share all this to remind you where we were a year ago so you will realize how far Brady has come in the past year. She is now right at 17 pounds. She is crawling, “talking”, pulling up on furniture and is just a joy to have around. She is one of the best babies I have ever come in contact with and people are constantly telling us how beautful and well behaved she is. She is in general just content to be where she is. Of course this does not include her playpen where she promptly stands up when she is put into it and hangs on to the edge and whines. Now that she is mobile she is not content to be contained in her playpen.

Brady had her follow-up eye exam a few weeks ago and passed with flying colors! She is a little nearsighted in her right eye, but other than that her doctor could not tell that she ever had eye issues due to prematurity. At one point she did. She did have ROP which is retinopothy of prematurity. I probably explained in an earlier post that there are 5 stages with 5 being the most severe. Brady’s eyes got to a 2-3 and slowly corrected themselves before she was released from the hospital. She doesn’t have to go back for another 2 years. It’s so exciting that she getting such good news from her doctors.

It’s been a very long time since we have written and I do apologize for that. Having a baby and a full time job takes up a lot of your time and for Erik it is a baby and two jobs. I can’t begin to explain to you how blessed we are.

Over the year I have had the privilege to get to know several women with babies born prematurely. They are some seriously awesome people. They all understand the struggle of raising a baby that was born too early and it’s just nice to have someone else to talk to.  Knowing them and their stories show me how blessed Erik and I were to have a fairly uneventful NICU ride. Brady had no serious issues other than being small. She sailed through the first month and a half or so until she got an infection which she easily recovered from. While other parents and babies had to overcome brain bleeds, PDA’s that wouldn’t close, breathing issues, and many other issues that come with prematurity, we dealt with none of those. Brady never had a spinal tap which from what I understand can be common, she never had a brain bleed which is amazing with the size she was when she was born and her breathing was never a serious issue we had to deal with. I don’t share this with you to belittle Brady’s NICU stay, but to show you how awesome God is. Many of the babies who have experienced all of those things still go home and are still amazing babies and turn into amazing children.

Brady turned one yesterday! I am sure you have figured that out by now, but it’s so awesome to write it. I think she had a good day and enjoyed her time with the different family members she got to see yesterday. We are having a party for her on Saturday where she will get to hang out with lots of family and get more presents, which she will leave behind to stand up on furniture. We should have just bought her a couch instead of fun stuff to play with. She got a cupcake which confused her and made her gag. She ended up playing with it so we did get some good pictures, but you can tell by her face that she was not impressed. The day ended with a very cranky baby who was tired and in need of some good sleep.

Thank you all for continuing to check out the blog. Erik has added some new pictures so be sure to check them out. Brady just gets cuter every day. We appreciate all the prayers that you have prayed for our family. Brady is such a testimony of the awesomeness of our God. We will try to keep everyone updated on Brady’s progress. She will be walking before we know it.

I am so thankful it’s a year later!