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I was 24 years old and living on the other side of the United States from my (and Scotty’s) family. I was not only new to life growing inside of me, I was also new to life with a blind husband.

Scotty had been blinded two years earlier by a suicide car bomb while serving in Iraq. I was so nervous about being a new mom, and was battling feelings of total inadequacy. The thought that maybe we should not even have kids was always in the back of my mind. We had hardly survived our new life as it is. I was worried about what people would think of us, maybe it was our burden to carry, maybe we didn’t deserve kids because life has already been so hard.

I worried about the simple things that most new moms don’t have to think about like, how the heck are we getting to the hospital and back home? If I need something or have an emergency, my husband cannot just go out and run an errand for me, what would we do?

But there I was, pregnant with our first child. I faithfully went to all my OB appointments, knowing I wanted to have a natural birth. I had no idea what that would be like, but I knew I wanted to try it.

I remember May 11 2007 very well. That morning I started having painful contractions, more than just the Braxton Hicks that I had throughout my pregnancy. I felt change was in the air and so I began a day of urgency, running around  finishing up all the leftover preparations.  My due date was not until May 28th, so I couldn’t imagine that my first baby would be so early. I ran to Target, got a pedicure and came home to have dinner with Scotty. I couldn’t eat and I could tell Scotty was nervous, he called both of our moms. Everyone was reassuring us that the contractions would likely go away, and that there was no way I could be having a baby this early.

Well, little Grady proved everyone wrong! My contractions intensified and Scotty got really nervous. Luckily, we had amazing mentors and friends close by that graciously took us under their wing. Our friend Paula picked us up at 6 am and drove us to Langley Air Force Base L&D floor.  After checking in they advised me I was only 3 centimeters. What?! How could I only be 3 cm after going through this for over 12 hours?!

So the nurses sent us out on a walk. I came back an hour later at 8 cm. Not long after, I screamed at the top of my lungs “PRESSURE!” Then came a mad rush of medical personal into our room. An Air Force doctor, whom I had never seen nor met, came in and greeted us. After 20 minuets of pushing and thinking I was going to die, out came our little black haired 6lb boy.

Scotty was right there to catch him and guided Grady out into life with the doctor. There are only a handful of surprises left in our world today and we wanted the sex of our first child to be a surprise. Grady was all tangled in his umbilical cord, and was scrappy and screaming. Scotty laid Grady on my chest and before I could even see if he was a boy or girl, Scotty shouted, “its a boy!!!”

Through tears he picked up our new little boy and breathed in his scent, it’s all so real to me, even now. I can hardly write this without crying. Since Scotty is completely blind we always wanted our babies to go straight to him. Y’all, if I did not have to go through 9 months of pregnancy, hormones, and recovery I would have had a dozen kids just to see Scotty hold and breathe in our children for the first time, it truly is one of God’s most powerful gifts to me.  

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