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The Proudest Day of My Life

May 20, 2014

Eighteen years ago today I experienced the proudest day of my life….that was the day my oldest son Cody was born.

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Me with my firstborn son Cody

Cody’s mom had been experiencing concerning symptoms three weeks before she was due to deliver. Two days before he was born we were intending to go to the Arboretum in Lisle, IL for a beautiful spring day after her morning doctor appointment. The doctor said she had to go to the hospital immediately for a premature delivery as there were medical concerns with the pregnancy. We packed and went to the hospital. That night Cody’s mom and I colored pictures in a coloring book and watched Saturday Night Live with Jim Carrey as host to try to relax.

The following day the medical team began to induce labor.

At one point during the labor we heard crying in the neighboring delivery room. It was apparent to us that there had been a loss. It made us aware of how fragile life was and that there are no guarantees. Mother and child are both at risk in labor and we were sobered by that awareness. I was worried, and even a little afraid.

Labor progressed the rest of that day and into the next. I got updates to our waiting families as often as I could.

Cody’s mom did such a great job and was so heroic in my mind throughout the entire labor and delivery. She was very courageous. I stood by helping any way I could, but feeling mostly helpless in the process. She had the hard work to do and she handled it all very well.

Cody was born at 8:10am on May 20, 1996. I remember the time because I was expected at work that day at 8am, but couldn’t call in because I was in the delivery room and had to call later in the day to let them know why I wasn’t at work. Cody was OK. The doctor said he was a 9 on the APGAR scale, a test to register the health of the baby, indicating he was almost perfect on a scale of 1 to 10 and that a score of 10 is very rare. Cody’s mom was exhausted but OK too.

I was so happy and thankful Cody and his mom were both OK. I loved them so much and felt such a sense of instinctive protectiveness for them that I did not anticipate. It was overwhelming.

I remember when I finally exited the delivery room and saw my mom and dad waiting outside and told them “It’s a boy!”, my mom started crying tears of joy and relief. I was so proud to be a father. I was so proud of Cody’s mom.

I followed Cody to the room where they brought the newborns. I was so protective of him and didn’t want him out of my sight. I had heard of mix-ups of baby’s in the hospital before and wanted to make sure we got the right baby and I’d hardly seem him to get a chance to recognize him and bond. In the nursery room the nurses attended to Cody. He was such a beautiful and healthy baby boy.

It wasn’t long before they permitted us to start bonding with our new bundle of joy and I spent many hours with him talking to him, taking pictures and video recordings.

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Me proudly holding my firstborn son, Cody, the day he was born

My mom and dad soon got to see Cody too and they were so joyful to behold and hold that boy.

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My mom joyfully holding her first grandchild, Cody, the day he was born

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My dad proudly holding his first grandchild, Cody, the day he was born

When the doctor, Dr. George, came in to check on Cody he told me, “He’s the best boy in town”. He really was.

And I was the proudest dad.

And, I still am.

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Cody the day he was born

Happy 18th Birthday, Cody!

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