He had a strong kick and a strong punch, and was very good at commanding my attention.
I was grateful that he was of compact size (6 pounds 4 ounces), but even as a wee one he was all muscle. A strong, fearless young man with an indomitable spirit was what I knew I had on my hands. And I loved him so much.
The first thing one of the nurses said when she saw him was, "My, he's got big hands and feet!" And he did.
These were some of my first reflections as I was thinking about my son this morning. Today is his fourth birthday and he's going to have a great party with a cake that his Mawmaw made for him. I'm also going to put together a "Year of Ian" photo album on my Facebook page.
He is such a wonderful child. I know every parent says that. And yes, every child is wonderful, but what I mean is, for all of his might and strength and feistiness, he is also incredibly loving and gracious and patient with others and warm-hearted. These are qualities that I pray will only intensify with time, along with his other attributes of strength and resolve.
He really is all BOY. There was never a dull moment with him even when I was pregnant. He kicked and moved in a way that hurt. Often. He craved junk food, especially buffalo chicken tenders with ranch and good burgers. Not a whole lot of vegetables. And Coke. Oh, the amount of Coke that I drank that summer/fall of '05 is frightening. Coke flat. Iced Coke. Frozen Cokes. Vanilla Coke. 12 packs. Yikes.
I was not supposed to get pregnant with him at all, since I had been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and was told after seeing a condition-confirming ultrasound that there really was no way I could get pregnant until that was fixed (and then they gave me this short list/timetable of treatment options). I decided to trust the Lord and a mere two months after my diagnosis (after being told I would need to do about a year of treatment) I found myself pregnant with my sweet Ian.
The day before he came was a Sunday. I woke up that morning with consistent contractions that were about ten minutes apart. I knew I was in labor. They were still fairly mild enough that I felt I could continue with my day. So we went to church, then afterwards was my baby shower at a nice Mexican restaurant. I contracted that whole time, but it was really nothing unbearable. I enjoyed my food and my baby shower, and that evening I sent my husband to the store to pick up one of those massage mats that go in chairs. The contractions were much more intense by then, but I decided to go the sleep-on-the-massage-mat route and just go to the hospital the next morning. I slept on the couch that night, and every time I felt a contraction coming on I just turned the dial up to max and breathed through it until it was over. It worked, and I managed to get some sleep.
I woke up around 5-something, and my husband and I decided he would definitely stay home and not go to work. I got up and went to the bathroom, and my water broke on the toilet. That was a new sensation for me since my water did not break with my oldest son. It felt like Ian had punched or kicked as hard as he could and I jumped. It was pretty much over after that. The pain was too much for me to handle and I could not get off of the toilet. My husband ended up calling an ambulance, and I was pushing in the ambulance. Better yet, IAN was pushing in the ambulance! The EMT's kept telling me to be calm and "whatever you do, try not to push. We can deliver this baby here, but we don't want to have to do that." I agreed as best I could but I knew I was doing nothing except groaning! My SON was the one pushing!
Long story short, we arrived at the hospital at 7:11. He was born at 7:19.
I think I may have pushed three times, or twice. The doctor on call walked in as I was pushing and rushed to get his gear on. He almost missed the show!
Looking back, I laugh every time I think about it. What an adventure!
What follows below is what I wrote about three months after Ian was born.
Ian Michael Bradshaw is a beautiful little baby boy. He was born November 28, 2005 at 7:19 A.M. We arrived at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital at 7:11 A.M. We almost didn’t make it! It was an eventful morning, a few days after Thanksgiving and a few days before my birthday, which is December 1st. I was so happy to finally meet this little guy who had been kicking my pelvic bone into a frenzy for several months. It was just the two of us; Ian’s dad and big brother didn’t even make it to the hospital until sometime after 9 A.M. Daddy was upset but I reassured him that everything happened the way it needed to and the Lord’s plans are always the best for us. We both fell in love with Ian all over again, for we had already fallen in love with him instantly when we first saw him over the ultrasound. I of course was in love the moment I found out he was there. What a blessing he has been.
At five weeks, Ian was already bouncing up and down on his legs. He could hold his head up on his own once we got him home from the hospital and he was off of the bili-bed. He first smiled at me on January 31st, in the backseat of the car. That was exciting. He has the prettiest smile. And the cutest sneeze. And the most darling fingers and toes. And scrumptious cheeks. He is absolutely wonderful, and we all love him so much. I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me this beautiful baby who was blessed to be born into so much love. He lives in a home with a family that loves each other, with parents who are in love and love each other, and a big brother who loves him. He lives in a peaceful, joyful, harmonious, love-filled, God-centered home.
On February 8 (or around that date), Ian discovered his foot. It was the cutest thing. He wiggled his toes one way, then the other, then he reached out with his little hand and grabbed his foot! It was obvious he was concentrating really hard. Trying to get his body to cooperate with what his brain wants to do is a new activity. The same thing happens when he talks. It is clear that he has so much to say, but his mouth has not caught up yet. I have a feeling he will be talking at an early age, though. He is doing everything else early—bouncing, sitting up with little support, holding his head up on his own, holding a bottle with little support, reaching for objects, putting one foot in front of the other. He is so much fun.
Ian is an Irish-Gaelic-Scottish form of the name John. It means “God is Gracious.” Michael means “One who is like God,” and “Enlightened by God.” I’d like to study the meanings of his name a little bit more, but I know that the Lord blessed us in the Year of Grace with Grace, showing his grace toward us. He prospered us in preparation for this child, and that was gracious. He continues to prosper us and extend his grace toward us. He has also enlightened us in this last year. Ian is a prophetic picture of what the Lord has done in our lives spiritually. He is an immense blessing.
I’m so excited to have two beautiful boys who will grow to become strong, valiant, mighty warriors of God.