A and A
Originally Written 7/21/14
Nothing prepares you for the sweet sound of hearing your baby cry for the first time and embracing them on your body; it truly is an out-of-this-world moment, one that any parent cherishes. My sweet little Adeline entered this world on October 21st, 2013 at 5:04 PM and my life forever changed.
October was an extremely busy month for both the Conley and Baker families. I would often hear “hopefully Adeline will be born on this day,” in hopes that it would coincide with a family member’s birthday or anniversary. I quickly snubbed those comments and insisted that she needed to have her own day when she was ready. Unfortunately, I did not get what I hoped for; Adeline shared her day of birth with the words “Aaron, your cancer has returned.” In fact, Adeline and Aaron not only shared this day together but more specifically shared their moment in time together.
Adeline was supposed to be born four days prior when I was induced for the first time. I knew I would more than likely have to be induced so I attempted to strategically plan out the timing of the induction so I could be out of the hospital and at Aaron’s appointments Monday afternoon. My induction was scheduled for Thursday, October 17th. Eventually, my body rejected the Pitocin, and Nick and I rejected the hospital beds so it was decided we would go home and try again Monday night after I got back from Aaron’s appointments. Unfortunately, I did not make it until Monday evening. Saturday night I received a call from my midwife informing me that my labs indicated that I would need to come Sunday and be induced again. I was heartbroken; I knew this meant that for the first time since Aaron was diagnosed with cancer, I would miss an appointment – something I did not take lightly.
Sunday morning came and I was induced again. Sunday morning turned into Sunday night and the induction was starting to look very familiar. My family had come up Friday and was planning on staying until they had a new family member (the luxury of owning your own business.) Sunday night my family decided to visit me and keep us from going insane. Aaron sat down and I knew by the look on his face something was wrong. He simply stated, “Emily, I think I found a lump.” Terror struck over me, I did not want to be hearing this, and I most definitely did not want to be dealing with it while attempting to prepare myself for childbirth. I tucked it back in the “I’ll deal with later” part of my mind.
Late Sunday night I started making more progress and by 11 AM Monday my water was broken and I finally went into labor. Throughout labor, I had been talking with my mom and Aaron and had made a plan that regardless of what was happening on the baby front I wanted to know immediately when they had the results of Aaron’s scans. I knew his appointment was around 4 PM and typically took no more than 20 minutes. His doctor had a track record of being on time, so when 4:30 PM rolled around and I had not heard from my mom or Aaron I had a gut feeling something was wrong. I called them, no answer. I called my dad, no answer. I just knew something was up, how were these people not answering the phone calls from the lady in labor!! At that moment in time, I realized I had a bigger task in front of me than worrying about something completely out of my control – I had a baby to bring into this world! Roughly 30 minutes later, my sweet little Adeline arrived and for that moment everything was perfect.
By 6 PM everything had sunk in and I realized we still had not heard from our family. Nick finally received a call and when he decided to walk out in the hall instead of talking to my dad next to me, I had my answer. And with that, I embarked on the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life. I cried for a moment and then realized there was not a damn thing I could do about Aaron’s reoccurrence. I decided at that moment in time that the little baby that God had blessed me with was going to do more for me and our family than she had bargained for. She was the high to our low, and by simply being present was the calm in our storm.
I’ll never forget the midwives making rounds and repeatedly asking me if I was okay or if I had a plan for dealing with the emotions that lie ahead. If I was ready for that moment when I would be at home and everything would sink in. Two pediatricians informed us that both Nick and I were “way too calm” for first-time parents. Looking back, I realize that being calm was the only thing I could control; everything else was in God’s hands.
Adeline and I were released from the hospital shortly before noon on Wednesday and the rest is history. She spent the first week of her life visiting the hospital and clinic, both for herself and Aaron. In the month of November and December, she spent a lot of time in Albia, helping everyone cope, gently reminding us that everything happens for a reason.
The fact that I gave birth and was told my brother’s cancer returned all in a day’s work blows my mind and often moves me more than I’ll ever be able to express. There is no doubt that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Babies truly are a blessing from God and arrive when you need them most. I know that Adeline was sent to me to help me through Aaron’s reoccurrence and for that I will forever be grateful for God’s timing.