Brianna (Bri-yaya) DOB 4-8-1992 19 years old

I’ve written about  11 of my children and now Bri.  I’ve been waiting for her to write her part, but for now I’ll post and she can add later.

Me very pregnant with Bri

Brianna was the first child born. It took 7 infertility surgeries and TONS of medication for the doctor to tell me there was no chance I could get pregnant. The meds were making me crazy so I told the doc I wanted to get off everything and just be done. One last blood test revealed I was pregnant. He hugged me and told me that this was my miracle child. It was a difficult pregnancy – at one point I was admitted to the hospital and they couldn’t find my pulse. My sister can tell you the story better since I don’t remember, but apparently I let the ER staff know that inducing a miscarriage was not an option. When Bri was born they whisked her away to NICU and for 7 hours I didn’t know what was happening with my daughter. She was on full life support, born with a lung disease among other things, and I was told she wouldn’t live through her first weekend. I camped out on the hospital floor until a nurse took pity on me and let me use the nurses showers. I had been released from the hospital but I couldn’t bear to leave my daughter knowing the first time I held her, she wouldn’t be alive. Remarkably (another miracle) she turned the corner on night 3. It was a rough couple months but she came home smiling and nursing like a champ. I was also told that due to her lungs she’d be very limited in what she’d be able to do. Also with such a high volume of oxygen, she may be developmentally delayed. I decided to just treat her like a normal child. She’s played soccer, hockey, taken ice skating lessons, baseball and everything else she could possibly do. She took private horseback riding lessons and by high school was captain of the dance team. She’s run several 5K races as well as MMA training. In 2010 she graduated high school with 47 college credits. So, I’d say she is quite a success story!!

Bri was 4 when I had the next child (amazingly without infertility!) so I had a long time to just enjoy her. Some of my most fond memories are the ones of she and I those first few years. She’s grown into the most amazing woman and as I sob and write this, I don’t have words to express the depth of my journey with her. Not that I love any of my children more – they all have a special story – but Bri was a unique experience from the very beginning.

We’ve run races together which I absolutely love to do with my kids as they get older. One of the most meaningful things Bri’s done is travel to races with me. More than my husband or friends. She was at my first half marathon and nearly every one since. She’s the one I call on my cell phone when a training run is kicking my ass. “You can do this Mom. Look at everything you do. This is nothing. I’m so proud of you.  Make this run your bitch!” She gives me the encouragement I hope I was able to give her since she was born. She is the first of my journey in parenting in which I”m certain I made the most errors. She was also the first in the accomplishments that have been the greatest joy and greatest heartache of my life – my children. She is amazing!!!

Brianna at 9 days old hooked to every machine possible. First time I held her.

Me and Brianna when she was 2 years old 1994


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