It dawned on me last night, as I listened to a friend talk about how they chose their baby’s name on a podcast, that I hadn’t shared how we came up with Brady John’s name. I even looked back at my earlier blog posts to make sure. There’s a brief mention of why we chose John, but otherwise, nothing. Like most stories, there are two sides. In this case, I’ll share mine and my husband’s.
To the person who doesn’t know what happened to my son,
You didn’t just make the worst mistake by asking me how he is or how he’s doing. I know you think you did. This has happened before, many times. This isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last time. And trust me, it is far from the worst thing you could have said. The worst thing you could have said is nothing. Think about it, tons of people know what happened to my son and won’t ask about him. You, on the other hand, care enough to ask about the most important little person in my life. You looked at me and thought, “Ah, it’s been a while, the little man must be here!” I know my answer wasn’t what you were expecting, but I’m not mad you asked.
This story is of the first time Brady showed himself to us after he left our earthly world. It happened in the early morning hours after he had passed away. Jeff and I had spent a few hours at the hospital with Brady, and then had made the drive home. I don’t remember it at all.
When we arrived at home, it was still very early in the morning. Probably sometime between 4 and 5 AM. We knew we needed to call our families, but we weren’t quite ready and it was just really early still. We decided to try to get some sleep. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know sleep is near impossible. We had only slept for maybe an hour and a half before we were called into the hospital, so our bodies and minds were exhausted.
I mentioned in my post on Brady’s last week of life (here) that on our last night with him, he had given us some reassurance before we left. I call it his way of saying “goodbye” now, but if I would have known that at the time, I would never have left his side. Brady reassured us. He had this uncanny ability to settle his mama’s fears, and make me feel that everything would be okay.
Brady’s last day was so tough, between his infection and his lungs, he’d had a really rough day. They typically would want his oxygenation up above 87%, but due to his “sticky lungs” (or Hyaline Membrane Disease, if you’re wanting to be technical) it was hard to keep his oxygenation at that level. The nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists did their best, but Brady hovered in the upper 70s for most of the day.
I’m sure you can all tell by now that I think my son is seriously amazing. This story is one of the things I go back to when I think of all the ways Brady seemed to defy everyone’s expectations from the very beginning.
I think Brady was only about 4 days old when this happened. I only know that because of the time-stamped photos I have on my cell phone. My record-keeping wasn’t the greatest for the first few days of Brady’s life. For the first 3 days of life, Brady had to be positioned midline, so there wasn’t a lot of creativity in how he got to lay in his isolette. It’s another precaution they take for babies born so prematurely, to prevent brain bleeds. After the first 3 days, Brady got to try lots of new positions, including some tummy time.
If there’s one way that Brady was not like his daddy, it was in his particularities. Jeff is pretty chill about most things. And I’m particular, so we can say that this is probably my contribution to our little man. Sorry, little buddy.
Once again, I’m so grateful that we had the amazing nurses that we did. They spent so much time with him, and always filled me in on the funny and particular things they noticed about Brady. I remember coming in one morning for my normal visit, and getting a rundown immediately from Diane on Brady’s most recent likes and dislikes.
It’s amazing how a baby can show so much personality when they are only days old. Not only did Brady show us his awesome little personality right away, he also showed us which parent he took after right away. That’s right, his daddy.
I hear women complain all the time about how they carried their baby for XX amount of weeks, only to have their child turn out exactly like dad. I felt the opposite. I was THRILLED that Brady was just like Jeff.
On Saturday, April 29th, we got to walk in the March for Babies to support the March of Dimes. My little sister, Christina, had text me a few weeks after Brady passed away, and asked if I would want to do the walk and raise money in honor of Brady this year. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and a way that we could continue to honor Brady’s memory year after year.
Many of you know that my husband and I bought a new house right before Brady was born. Jeff and I hadn’t been looking for a new place at all until we found out we were pregnant. It became abundantly clear that we needed to move when we started cleaning out the guest bedroom that would’ve been Brady’s room – there just wasn’t enough room for all our stuff. We had a 2 bedroom townhouse, and it would’ve been busting at the seams.
With everything that happened with my pregnancy with Brady, we had a lot of questions about what future pregnancies would look like, and whether we would be willing to take on the risks associated with any future pregnancies. We had always been hopeful we could find a way to reduce our risks and still be able to have children in the future. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make more babies with this stud?