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1/9/02 (Page Two)
Michelle's Mom Day...



I 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 didn’t sparkle or play music. It didn’t light up. But when I checked it five minutes later, there was one blue line. And a very, very faint second pink line.

Fortunately I got in to the doctor right away, and I found out that I was indeed pregnant. I drove to Brad’s office and told him the news. We sat in my gray Honda Civic, the first car we bought together, and cried tears of joy.

That was the beginning of "the moment."

Now 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 son’s birthday, and push play at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001.

I 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.

Brad 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."

After 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 wouldn’t be just the two of us any more. "We" would be three.

After convincing the nurses that I wasn’t 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 I’ve 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.

Brad 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.

Then "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.

My son, Ryan Glenn Sutherlin, was born.

I 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 that’s what you look like. I’ve 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."

My life changed as I stared at Ryan. My dreams about my little boy were now reality. He had beautiful blue eyes, his daddy’s nose, hands and feet, and my mouth and chin. There’s no mistaking it.

I counted his fingers and toes and I examined the rest of his 8 lbs 6 oz body. Thank you, God. He was perfect.

In that moment, I became Ryan’s Mommy, my most important title of all. It doesn’t 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 can’t get him to stop smiling.

These 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. It’s simple but beautiful. Ryan came from my womb and has landed in the middle of my heart.

Michelle Sutherlin is a friend of Omar’s. They became friends and co-workers at the University of Oklahoma. She is a staff writer for The Norman Oklahoman, but that title isn’t so important to her anymore. She prefers the title of Ryan’s Mommy. If you would like to get in touch with her, her address is

Ryan and Ryan's mommy.

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