3 minutes into my shower, I have my first contraction. It was long and painful. Time to hurry up this shower and get a move on. I get out, and I have another one. I sit on top of the toilet seat, trying to catch my breath. I didn't know these were supposed to come so fast, and so hard, so soon.... I start getting dressed. I get another contraction, hurts so bad I cant bend over to pull up my pants. I yell for Ryan again (poor guy... as if his nerves weren't already shot), and he helps me to pull up my pants and stand up.
We head to the car. Another contraction. I get in the car. Another contraction. Holy crap. Im going to deliver this baby soon! Driving to the hospital... in Tampa rush hour traffic. Not so fun. Contraction after contraction. We finally get there... Ryan valets, and we rush inside. Sign in. Im taken back to Triage. My mom gets there shortly after. My contractions are long, hard, and coming fast. Ryan pleads with the nurse to hurry. She checks my cervix. Im 4cm dilated. THATS it!? But Im having contractions every other minute! And they are lasting 30-40 seconds long!
Im rushed to labor and delivery. Im hooked up to all kinds of machines, and due to the intensity and quickness of the contractions, but slow progression, I ask for an Epidural. It wasn't fun but it was worth it. Completely.
The next 7 hours are easy. I cant feel a thing. I sometimes shake when I have a contraction, but I only know Im having one because a machine is telling me so. Braydens heart beat sounds good and strong. I am feeling great. Lets get this show on the road!
4 hours later... Im only 5cm dilated, with intense contractions every other minute.
9 1/2 hours into labor, and they cant find Braydens heart beat. When they find it again, its at 50. Down from 150. The nurses flip me on my side, and give me oxygen. My visitors are told to leave the room. My mom and Ryan stand to the side, looking so afraid. I ask whats wrong, and they keep telling me to breathe as they unhook me from everything, and begin upping my epidural.
Before I know it, Im hearing the my Doctor run in, as the nurses start running and wheeling me down the hall, yelling at Ryan and my mom to stay where they are.
Whats going on? Why cant they come? Whats happening? I close my eyes and start to pray.
Im taken into the Operating Room. Im picked up and put on a steel table, where my doctor slices open my stomach. They didn't even have time to turn on the over head lights, so I am able to see the reflection in the glass. While she is cutting me open, my arms are being tied down. I keep asking for my husband.. where is he? Why am I alone?
Within seconds my baby boy is being pulled from my stomach. Hes purple. God, I wish they had turned on those overhead lights so I couldnt watch what was happening.
Brayden doesn't cry. He wasnt moving. I scream "Why isnt he CRYING!?" No one answers. The entire delivery room is in silence, and a nurse is stroking my hair. My OBGYN tells me "They are doing everything they can honey."
Doing everything they can? But whats wrong? Whats wrong with my baby? Where is my husband? Why isn't Brayden crying?
I then hear nurses and doctors say the word "Resuscitation". My heart goes into my throat... and I begin to pray out loud as tears stream down my cheeks and puddle into my ears. "Lord, please.... Take me. Don't take him. He was so strong. Why is this happening. Please take me and not him. I will never ask for another thing for the rest of my life. I cant go home without him. You cant do this to my husband. He needs this little boy. Please Lord. Please."
And then I hear it. A faint tiny whimper. I yell "Is that him crying?" The nurse stroking my hair still, replies with a smile "Well, thats not a nurse crying"... I cry more. My baby boy is crying. Apgar score is a 1. I continue to pray, and cry. A doctor says "Hey mom, look at your baby boy"... I look over, and see his tiny beautiful perfect face as the doctor runs past me with him in his arms. The Operating room door slams, and my baby is taken away.
I am being stitched up. I am still crying, praying, and asking as many questions as possible. No one is answering me. Ryan comes in, and sits by head. He kisses me with tears running down his face, telling me he loves me, and that hes sorry he couldnt be with me. They wouldnt allow him to. He says he got to see Brayden in passing in the hallway. We know nothing.
I am then taken to a recovery room. Ryan is with me, and my mom comes in. Shes crying. Ryan is crying. Im crying, and no one seems to know whats going on.
Finally a nurse calls the NICU and tells Ryan he can go there. 5 minutes later, I get a picture message on my cell phone that my mom was holding for me. Its a picture of the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in all my life, hooked up to a million machines, with a text from Ryan that says "Hes perfect".
2 doctors come in to talk to me. The cord wrapped itself around Braydens neck. The cord also became clamped somehow. We are lucky he is with us. Recent Apgar score is a 7, and getting better. He is alive. He is breathing.
As the night progressed, Brayden did a complete turn around. Wide awake, strong, breathing, moving, alert... just perfect.
My beautiful baby boy. The only thing in my life that matters anymore. The breath in my lungs. and the truest miracle Ill ever know. I will never be able to thank God enough for this blessing. For the rest of my life, everyday, everytime I look at my baby boys sweet face, I will say thank you. It wasnt my baby boys time. He is with us, and he is as healthy and beautiful as ever.
Brayden Ryan Provenzano was born on February 4th, 2011 at 5:30pm. He weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. He is the most beautiful thing I have ever laid my eyes on. He loves to eat, and is growing and changing every day. He loves staring at his daddys face, and knows mamas voice. He makes the greatest facial expressions, and absolutely HATES having his diaper changed. He is the biggest blessing and miracle his daddy and I will ever know.
My baby boy. Hours after his arrival.
Perfect gift from God.
My whole life.