41 years ago today.....i woke up with severe back pain......9 months pregnant (first pregnancy) and oblivious - sent Michael on to work not thinking my BACK would hurt if i was in labor....nooooo, it would be this huge bulge in the front that would be tightening! About 10:30, i called my mom. She suggested i come to their house - and that i call Michael to come back home. She's thinking this is labor. She was right! The night before this - we were on 3rd row at an America concert - i waddled into the concert hall and worried most of the time that the loud music might disturb my sweet baby snuggled safely under my heart. He danced around all during the concert.....i kinda think he loved "America" - especially "A horse with no name". Back to Friday morning.....drove myself to mom and dad's and she had me in the recliner and began to time the back aches. Sure enough, they were coming about every 5 minutes. After a call to the doctor's office - and it was my doctor's day off.....hated that - wanted Dr. Griffin to deliver Shawn- we were told to head to the hospital. To my surprise, Dr. Griffin got the call that i was in labor and he came down - on his day off- to be there and deliver Shawn. They got me all settled into the labor room.....hooked me up to something that would help the labor along.....only to find it wasn't helping. I couldn't have an epidural until i dilated to a 5....i was stuck at 3.....and i can tell you.....it HURT. I remember squeezing Michael's hand so hard with each contraction that HE was hurting. It was really awful. I also remember hearing the girl in the room next to me....she was screaming! That afternoon, Dr. Griffin ordered an X-ray - he couldn't understand why things weren't moving along. He came back in and told us - this is a BIG baby! That is why things aren't going as planned. FINALLY, early evening, i finally got to a 5 - never could i imagine i would BEG for a long needle to puncture my spine, but i DID. And oh my goodness.....it was like heaven. No more pains......RELIEF. At some point i caught a glimpse of me in a mirror. DARK circles under my eyes.....not a pretty sight! That evening, about 9 or so, they got me to the delivery room. They put a mask over my face and assured me everything would be okay and with that, i was out. I can still remember the coldness of that room....how bright the lights were....how excited and scared emotions ran through me at the same time. I was going to get to meet my sweet baby finally! When i woke up, i remember they held Shawn up - but it was from a long distance away. They were whisking him off for a bath and taking me into recovery. It took Dr. Griffin an hour to deliver Shawn.....10 pounds, 7 ounces - born at 10:13. Michael said he will never forget seeing Shawn in the bed they put him in - that he FILLED the bed - and stuck his feet up and out and that his toes were "stretching" - i guess he had been cramped inside me for so long - it must have felt SO good to stretch! Black hair - lots of it - fattest little face - eyes squeezed tight because your cheeks were so big....cutest baby boy and the size of a 5 month old! I didn't get to hold him that night =( The next morning, i remember being on the phone with my boss at work - telling them about Shawn's birthday. In comes a nurse with the sweetest little bundle - i quickly hang up the phone and take the precious gift in my arms for the first time. Oh my goodness, looking down at this child of ours....and then the girl in the room next to me says "i think that's my little girl" - Well sure enough....the nurse grabs the bundle from me - i will add the little FIVE POUND bundle i was holding - and hands her to my roommate. She leaves the room and in she walks with my 10 pound 7 oz baby boy. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I grab my son and hold him tight to my chest.....he brings that little head up and looks me straight in the eye.....Hello momma.....Hello sweet joy of our lives. From that moment on.....our lives were changed forever. As i have always said, we were children raising children! I hadn't the slightest clue what i was doing as a mom. SO many things we messed up through the years.....but i will tell you one thing i know for certain..... We did MANY things right - Because that baby boy grew up to be a precious man....wonderful daddy....sweet son. We have been through roller coasters of emotions as life played out before us.....but what a SWEET gift you are to us Shawn. We are SO very proud of you. Through daddy's bout with cancer, the hospital, recovery, you have been there at every turn for us.....taking such good care of us. You are such an awesome daddy.....the relationship you have with Avery is so precious.....she's blessed to have a daddy that loves her beyond measure. Your career has just grown and grown and your creativity continues to amaze us. We have seen you through so many stages of your life...Through greatest joys and deepest sorrows, and we have watched your heart soften and grow so much in the past few years. We pray each day for God to mold you and make you HIS.....and we are so thankful to see HIS work in your life! We love you Shawn Michael Corley.....so very much. We are so thankful to be your mom and dad. You are our first little gift God sent us. Thank you for loving us and caring for us the way you do. Happy Birthday Shawn.....we pray every single day for God to send His richest blessings on your life, on Avery's life.....we can't wait to see the gifts He has ahead for you both. Love you with ALL of my heart....momma.