During her pregnancy, I was hungry for updates from her and devoured every snippet of news and every ultrasound I could get my hands on for the new baby. During around her 18 week ultrasound, she learned that she was going to have a boy... and she learned that he had a heart defect known as right atrial isomerism.
She was devastated.
As an older sister, I felt helpless. All I could do was cry with her and try to comfort her, but what could I say or do? All I could think was the worst and all I could hope for was the best.
After the initial shock of the news, I saw a side of my sister I had never seen before. After she mourned the idea of having a perfect child, she began to take charge of the situation by learning about the baby's condition and actively asking questions of the doctor and of the surgeon who would be attending to his care. The feedback that she would receive from the doctors was ever changing. Sometimes they would say that the baby had a 99% chance of surviving his first surgery, but then, at another check up, their estimate dropped down to 33%. It was an emotional roller coaster ride as the assessment of the baby's health changed at each visit.
We were hesitant to do the normal things you do when expecting a baby. Plans for a baby shower were postponed. But as it got closer to her due date, Barbara began preparing the baby's nursery and asked me to create a custom nursery display for his room. So, up until the day he was born, I created the following display for the baby:
Brady - that was the darling name she chose for him. I thought about Brady with every stitch I sewed and every stroke of paint I brushed. It was my way of helping her and sending good thoughts into the universe.
On July 19th at 3:32 p.m., Brady Charles Dauberman was born. I had the honor of being in the room during his birth, and it was the most amazing experience I had ever witnessed. My sister became a superhero in my eyes that day. And, just like the birth of her daughter, I fell in love with Brady. My heart overflowed with joy.
Brady has already undergone his first of many surgeries and is still in the hospital recuperating. Barbara has been right by his side, providing me with daily updates about his progress. Now that he is here, I can only for wish for him to have a speedy recovery so that he can be brought home and doted upon by the people who love him most. He will not have an easy life, but he will be loved and cherished. Until Barbara is able to bring sweet Brady home, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
"Children are the reward of life."
- Congolese Proverb