On January 8th at 7:00 pm, we were getting ready to head to the hospital to be induced. I’m not going to lie, I was scared to death! I have heard many stories about the pain of labor. I tried not to think about it as I packed my bag for the hospital. I told myself all of the things that every first time mom does. “Women do this everyday.” “If it was that bad the world would be made up of only children.” It wasn’t helping. I sat down on the edge of our bed. Todd came up, as giddy as I have ever seen him. He smiled and said, “Are you ready?” I asked him to sit next to me; he did. I then asked him to do something I had never asked him to do with me – pray. I started bawling. I thanked God for this blessing. I prayed for a healthy baby and that labor wouldn’t be as horrible as I imagined. After I was done, I looked at my husband. His heart was broken. He has never been good with me crying or being scared and there I was sobbing uncontrollably! We got to the hospital and they checked us in. One of the nurses was rude. She said, “Why are you being induced? Just sick of being pregnant? You know in other countries they don’t induce women.” I told her that my doctor thought the baby was getting too big; she said nothing. I looked at Todd and thought maybe we were doing the wrong thing. All I needed was an excuse to go home and that was good enough. Todd said, “We are here and we are doing this!”
When the doctor started the meds to induce me, I asked our family to leave the room for a couple minutes. I had something to give Todd. Months earlier, I had written Todd a letter for this day. We gave each other letters on our wedding day and I find my self reading them all the time. I wanted to carry on the tradition. I gave him the envelope. On the front it said “For my husband on the day we become parents.” When he opened it, this is what he read: “Todd, today our lives will change forever. I wanted to make sure and write everything down so you can always look back, read this letter, and be reminded of this special time and how I feel, and will always feel for you. First, I want you to know how special these last four years have been. How happy I am we had this time together just you and me. It will always be one of the most special times for me. From falling in love with you, then getting married and buying our first home together. Also, all the fun we had from spending late nights at Sporty’s, watching Tigers’ games at Walden’s, or just snuggling up on the couch with Bubba and Annabelle. I have loved it all! I know we will do all these things once the baby is here, but I know it won’t be as often. Second, I have loved being your wife. You have been an incredible husband and friend. I have always felt loved and taken care of. I look back at our wedding day and know I have never made a better decision than the day I said yes when you asked me to marry you. Third, I want to thank you. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for this precious gift, our baby. Thank you for making me a mother. Mostly thank you for the wonderful dad I know you are going to be and the wonderful husband you have always been. I can’t wait for this new chapter in our lives to start. I love you. Love me.”
Twenty-six hours and two failed epidurals later, my doctor said that it was time to do a c-section. I was so upset. At the same time I was happy there was an end in sight. I could see Todd’s nerves trying to be strong for me but he was also scared to death. I was heavily medicated and I don’t remember much. I remember the doctor laughing as she was pulling him out. She said, “Oh, Shelly it’s a big baby.” Then I heard the sweetest sound…I heard a cry. She put him over the curtain and Todd screamed, “It’s a boy!”. The anesthesiologist yelled, “Oh my god, I guess 10 pounds!” My doctor laughed and said, “More”. Then I heard a nurse yell, “11 pounds, 1 ounce.” What? Are they being serious?!! Really?!?! His feet were so big they didn’t even fit in the squares on his birth certificate! I wanted to find the nurse from the night before and confront her on her rudeness. “I had an 11 pound baby, should I have waited until he was walking before I had him?” All joking aside, he was perfect in every way. He had a dimple on his left cheek and I swear he smiled at us immediately. Nash was born on January 9th, 2014, sharing a birthday with his grandpa in heaven. It was just as everyone had said – love at first sight. I was a mom. We were parents. We were a family. Life was perfect.