Today on Walking Forward,

We have a birthday.
Today isn’t just any day in our families, our friends, our hearts. Today is the fourth birthday of our beloved little Prince Cody.
On this day we remember that hectic day four years ago.
It all started like this.

It was early 2011, my senior year in high school, I was nine months pregnant with my little one without name at the time. It was a Thursday, last day of the first semester and also a half day for students.
That day I had scheduled to take my driver’s test (in hopes of finally getting it)

Skip ahead to my driver’s test time:


I was feeling anxious but also started to feel cramping, my dad brushed it off thinking I was just too nervous and to relax, he took a picture to remember “the day I passed my license test”.

Skip ahead to taking the actual test,
my palms were sweating, knees shaking, body unsteady, breath was rapidly increasing– for those of you who don’t know, I get anxiety attacks quite easily–As you can imagine, I failed.
cramping pains increased

My dad drives me home and has an hour talk with me in the parking lot about how many people fail before they succeed as the wonderful father he is and to not beat myself up over it.

Approx time: 2:05pm

cramping pains continue to increase, I head to the bathroom and have ..well for the lack for other words, diarrhea. Pain does not cease, bent over in pain i lay on my bed trying to control my breathing.

Approx time: 2:30pm,
Texting Tyler’s mother about having pains but not too painful, not too concerned

skipping ahead, 3:27pm,
bent over in agony, cramping coming every 5 to 7 minutes, dad is downstairs watching tv, my dog is laying next to me. suddenly, the pain has moved to my lower back. Realization hits me. My mom walks in at that moment and I call out to her desperately, she runs upstairs and immediately knows what’s going on but is unsure because my due date is still 2 weeks away.
I call Tyler– no answer

Ob/Gyn on the phone tells us to take me to the hospital–this might be it.
I call Tyler again–No response

fifth phone call to Tyler, he’s in a daze and sounds half asleep.
“I’m in Labor!
the other line is quiet
“…Do I have time to take a shower?”

My parents grab my pillow, Duffel bag and other belongings to take to the hospital. we rush to the car and on the way to the hospital get every single red light, pain increasing and coming every 4 minutes(about five traffic lights)

Arrive at hospital and get rolled in a wheelchair, the pain is unbearable, up to Labor and Delivery.
Sister and a friend arrive, Tyler’s mom arrives as well–yet no Tyler.

Rolled into a room for vitals, My belly is too small for the strap that checks baby’s vitals, forced to hold it up.
Baby is under stress, heart rate dropping at every contraction.
I’m put on an IV bag (the nurse makes a mess of my blood on the floor and needs countless paper towels to clean it up)
contraction pains stop, baby is still under stress.
I’m put on oxygen and turned on my left side for 10 minutes.
no changes.
no Tyler

Doctor arrives with forms to sign proceeding with emergency cesarean section.
My blood pressure spikes, my body begins shaking uncontrollably.

still, no Tyler.

Tyler’s mother frantically trying to reach Tyler and yet no response, I am informed only one person can be in the delivery room with me so I choose my mother.

suddenly, urge to pee is unbearable yet bathroom is occupied for what seems like eternity.

finally, bathroom is open, I rush and finish with my business, I look at myself in the mirror and panic.
Trying to stall the situation as to not get my body cut open, knocks on the door signal me to hurry up.

I open the door and Tyler comes walking in nonchalantly, scrubs are shoved in his arms as I’m directed to the operating room.

This can get frightening

I’m given an anesthesia shot on my spine and spinal block anesthetic to numb my lower half then instructed to lay down, almost immediately, the subway I ate earlier comes back up, the anesthesiologist just barely catching it.
Suddenly everything is happy.

More people come in and begin setting up, giant curtain is put in front of me so I don’t see the blood and guts.

Tyler walks in, head to toe in scrubs and is given a chair to sit next to me, the procedure begins.


Tyler looks over the curtain and sees a baby, “wait there’s two babies in here?”

suddenly a tiny cry is heard and I know it’s the moment I’ve been waiting for.

A tiny baby swaddled four times is given to me, he’s warm and smells of new baby (something you must experience for yourself to understand) his eyes are closed and has blonde peach fuzz on his head.

Tyler and I decide on Cody Matthew Gates.

Since then, my life was never the same, I slept whenever Cody slept, and he was probably the best baby I could ask for. I gave him countless cuddles and nursing him brought me nothing but joy.
Fast forward four years, Cody’s been through more than anyone could imagine and continues to be a loved and happy boy. He’s determined and hardworking, funny but most of all, he’s our special gift from God.


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