Monday, August 6, 2012

Dear Jayden... Part 1: Birth

By Joel Brens
Dear Jayden...

It's taken me about a day or two to digest what has just transpired. To fully understand the how beauty and chaos can co-exist, we should start at the beginning. Your mom and I knew we were having you early. For one reason or another, mom's body was having a tough time responding to the pregnancy. Her blood pressure was high enough to raise concerns from doctors. At 30 weeks we were told that we would need to keep a close eye on your progress. A couple of weeks passed with no major changes. But when we got to the third week the high risk doctor saw that your blood flow in your umbilical cord was starting and stopping. That evening, Monday, May 10th we decided a couple of rounds of steroid shots and close monitoring would help set up a Wednesday delivery. While we were scared, we had a plan in place.  Having to work in the morning I went home, slept, and got ready for work the next day. Tuesday morning I remember as I walked into work how anxious I was to get through the day so I could get settled into the hospital.

Then the phone rang...


"Honey Jayden's heart beat dropped to 60 bpm and they have to take the baby. Please get here as soon as you can. I'm so scared"

"Ok baby I'll get there as soon as I can, I love you so much."

"Ok, I love you too. Please hurry."

I was stuck at work for 45 minutes. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life. The moment I left I texted as many friends and family as I could. I prayed. A lot. I broke the law driving like a maniac to the hospital. I sprinted from the car to the room, tears running down my face. (Daddy isn't exactly in the best shape, but you'd be proud how fast it was.) As I got to the room, I realized it was empty. Disoriented, frightened, and looking for answers I looked for someone to talk to. Luckily a nice nurse walking out of surgery found me and quickly informed me that I had "a happy healthy baby boy" and that mother and child were doing well. I swear the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. At 8:11am on Tuesday, May 11th you were born. 3lbs. 6oz. and 17.5 inches, you had some growing to do, but you were in stable condition, and that's all that mattered to me.

When I got the first glimpse of you about 15 minutes later, I cried the most wonderful, bittersweet tears I've ever felt. You were the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. While i was filled with joy, I was also felt great sadness. You see Jayden, the first person I thought about was my dad, or Pa, as he was affectionately known by his grand-kids. He was such an amazing human being, a genuine person who really made a great impact on so many people, especially me. When we first found out we were expecting, Pa was losing his battle with cancer. He was brought home to heaven a few months before we had you. As one door was closing as another was opening. I wish I could ask him for advice, seek his comfort, and share in the joy that you bring him. But I feel his presence within me and within you. It brings me much comfort. I look forward to the day you'll understand the man he was and how my parenting is a reflection of the love, compassion, and joy he instilled in me.

While I don't know what the next few days/weeks/months/years holds for us, I am thrilled to be your daddy. No matter what happens in life, no matter what path you chose, I just want you to take it on with fire and passion.  I love you so very much.


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