went to bed, without telling Brad what had transpired. The next morning
I woke up after Brad left for work. I took another test (yes, I really
am that prepared) and sat on the bed. The stick, across the room,
sat near my sink. It didnt sparkle or play music. It didnt
light up. But when I checked it five minutes later, there was one
blue line. And a very, very faint second pink line.
I got in to the doctor right away, and I found out that I was indeed
pregnant. I drove to Brads office and told him the news. We
sat in my gray Honda Civic, the first car we bought together, and
cried tears of joy.
was the beginning of "the moment."
fast forward through about nine months of morning sickness, swollen
ankles, baby showers, strangers touching my belly, the bliss of having
doors opened for me and things carried for me, a strange creature
kicking me from the inside out and dreams of what was going to take
place on my sons birthday, and push play at about 4:30 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001.
woke up with an unusual feeling in my belly. Even though I had experiencef
lots of strange feelings in the last nine months, I wondered if this
was a contraction. After several hours of the pain, I was convinced
that labor had begun about two weeks early.
and I had for months planned an OU-Nebraska football watch party at
our house that day. So being the true Sooner fans that we are, we
had the party anyway. We even left at one point during the game to
go to the hospital to get checked and see how my labor was going.
Even though they sent us home, they confirmed that our son would be
born sometime "soon."
only two hours of sleep the next night, at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday,
my contractions got closer and a lot more painful. Brad and I left
for the hospital at about 2:30 a.m. It was a surreal feeling when
we left the house because we knew the next time we would be home,
it wouldnt be just the two of us any more. "We" would
convincing the nurses that I wasnt going home this time, getting
checked in, having pitossin administered (a drug that jumpstarts contractions
to speed up labor), and managing through two hours of the worst pain
Ive ever felt, I got an epidural. I was once again a happy camper.
I even toyed with the thought of naming our son after the doctor who
took my pain away.
and my best friend Michelle sat by my side the whole day until it
was time to push. I pushed for about an hour it would have been
shorter, but I had to wait on the doctor.
"the moment" culminated at 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, 2001
in an emotional feeling of extraordinary accomplishment, relief and
the strongest feeling of love that you can imagine times 100.
son, Ryan Glenn Sutherlin, was born.
looked at him as his tiny body emerged from mine. I watched as the
doctor wiped him off and then laid him on my chest. I watched as Brad
cut the cord that had attached him to me for the last nine months.
I watched as his eyes caught mine for the first time, as if to say,
"So thats what you look like. Ive been imaging you
for all this time. I could hear your voice, feel you move, and know
of your love, but I wondered about your face."
life changed as I stared at Ryan. My dreams about my little boy were
now reality. He had beautiful blue eyes, his daddys nose, hands
and feet, and my mouth and chin. Theres no mistaking it.
counted his fingers and toes and I examined the rest of his 8 lbs
6 oz body. Thank you, God. He was perfect.
that moment, I became Ryans Mommy, my most important title of
all. It doesnt matter what else I do with my life. All that
matters is what I am to him and to Brad.
Our little family of three has been home for a couple of months now.
Ryan is 12 lbs 3 oz and in the 97th percentile in his age for his
height. He loves his bath, he loves his bink, he loves to sleep on
his back with his arms stretched out above his head. He makes happy
coos and gurgles, he looks at us and follows us when we move around
the room and he smiled at us for the first time the week before Christmas.
Now we cant get him to stop smiling.
may seem like trivial things to some of you, but to me, they are everyday
signs of the grace of God. I still am in awe and unbelievable amazement
of this person who He sent us.
Love is inadequate to describe the overwhelming feelings I have for
my son. But I know as we gaze into each others eyes that he
can see my love for him. Its simple but beautiful. Ryan came
from my womb and has landed in the middle of my heart.
Sutherlin is a friend of Omars. They became friends and co-workers
at the University of Oklahoma.
She is a staff writer for The Norman Oklahoman, but that title isnt
so important to her anymore. She prefers the title of Ryans
Mommy. If you would like to get in touch with her, her address is