Sunday, June 30, 2013


October 17, 2000 was the day that changed Randi's life forever. She was a typical 17 year old girl. She lived at home with her mom and stepdad who were big into church. She saw her biological father a few times a month. She had graduated high school early in June of 2000 and had already started attending West Virginia University. She was thinking of majoring in Visual and Performing Arts since she was a dancer all her life and was on the dance team in high school. She had lots of what she now knows were acquaintances. Randi was friends with the athletes, the emos, the preppy girls, and the skater crowd. She had two best friends, Adrianne and Lael, and a boyfriend named Ryan she had been dating for two years and was crazy about.
Randi in red and Lael in the middle

Ryan and Randi had been friends for a few years before they had even started dating so he was more than her boyfriend, he was her best friend. When her family moved 45 minutes away from her high school she didn't want to change schools right before her senior year of high school, so half the time she spent the night with Ryan and his parents and they would drive to school together. Ryan's parents and Randi were very close. There were times when Randi would go on trips with Ryan's mom without Ryan! She loved them and they really loved her. After she and Ryan had been dating for one year they decided to start having sex. Before they did Randi got put on the birth control pill, wanting to be as responsible as she could be. The first three months that they were sexually active there were no issues. The two were in love, having a great Summer together spending time with friends and family. Then in August Randi got a little sick and was put on antibiotics, she felt better in just a few days. Randi didn't realize that being on antibiotics caused birth control pills to be ineffective. She started college and life was great.

She started feeling sick again around the end of September but didn't think much of it. It wasn't until she couldn't sleep comfortably on her stomach anymore because her breasts were sore that she started to realize what was happening. This is when she realized that she had missed a period, maybe even two. She knew she had to take a pregnancy test ASAP. She called her best friend Adrianne and asked her to accompany her to get the test and stay with her while she took it. The two went to Adrianne's apartment and almost instantly the test showed a positive sign. Randi was shocked. Scared. Stunned. Adrianne immediately tried to comfort her by saying "Oh, those can be wrong. You're probably NOT pregnant. Don't stress out until we go to see a doctor." Although Randi appreciated her friend trying to keep her calm, she KNEW she was pregnant. She decided not to tell Ryan until she had confirmed it with a doctor and she made an appointment for 2 days later. October 17, 2000.

Over the next two days Randi was nervous, on edge & scared out of her mind. Ryan asked her numerous times if she was okay and she repeatedly said "Yeah, I'm fine" all the while lying through her teeth. Sitting in the exam room was the most stressful time of her life. The doctor did a blood test and a pelvic exam. After waiting 20 minutes the physician walked back in and said "Yeah you're about 10 weeks pregnant." Adrianne's head immediately snapped up and when their eyes met, they both had tears in them. The doctor talked with Randi about what choices she had but there was only one choice for her.
Randi left the doctor and went straight to meet Ryan when he got out of class. He was six months younger than she and so he had just started his senior year of high school. When she saw him she pulled him aside and told him she was pregnant. He thought she was joking. She showed him proof from the doctors visit....and he lost it. He started crying, telling her he loved her, but what were they going to do? She let him absorb the news for a few days and she told him she had made up her mind. She was having this baby and he could be as involved as he wanted. Telling her parents was super hard and surprisingly her dad took it better than her mom. But by the time she was 5 months pregnant and had found out she was having a baby boy her family had become very supportive. Ryan on the other hand had decided he was really young and basically felt trapped. After dating for two and a half years, Randi found out he had cheated on her. It was with a mutual friend of theirs, who knew they had been together for a long time and knew she was pregnant. Randi broke up with Ryan in February as soon as she heard and cut all ties with him and his family. He never tried to call, never came to her house. She heard rumors he and his family were questioning the paternity of our baby. This was extremely hurtful to Randi because Ryan knew he was the only guy she had EVER made love to. 
Randi's pregnancy was relatively easy, besides being sick from sun up to sun down. Her mom was fantastic and threw her a HUGE baby shower which helped her get everything she needed for her baby boy.
Randi went into the hospital at 11pm June 12, 2001 to be induced. Her mom, her best friend & her friend Lael were there with her. They didn't really start the induction process until 7am the next day. Randi says she knows why they call it LABOR, because its hard work! At 1pm she was seven centimeters dilated and decided to get an epidural. She started pushing at 3:00pm exactly and at 3:24pm on June 13, 2001 her baby boy- Bryce Andrew was born. Randi says: "I have said it a million times. If I ever thought I knew what love was before that....I didn't. Bryce was my very first True Love." Her family and friends enjoyed spending time with Bryce, but around 9:30pm that night she realized she needed to call Ryan. After not having talked to him for 4 months it was awkward but he came that night to see Randi and Bryce. His family came the next day and they were all trying to get along. She spent that summer taking care of Bryce and loving every second of it. He had colic so it was trying at times and she got barely any sleep. She went back to college in August and started waiting tables 3 nights a week to pay for Bryce's food, diapers, and clothes. Her mom was amazing and kept Bryce if Randi was at school or work. But Randi had Bryce with her any other time. Whether she was having lunch with a friend or grocery shopping, Bryce was with her. Bryce and Randi moved into their own house and they were doing great. She and Ryan tried a few times to work it out and be a family but it was always on and off. He didn't pay stable child support or see Bryce on a set schedule. After he graduated high school Ryan moved to Nashville (10 hours away) to attend an Auto Diesel School. While he was there Bryce and Randi flew down a few times to visit and make it work, but it wasn't. He ended up meeting a girl there and they became so serious that he moved her back home to West Virginia with him.

Meanwhile Randi had decided that she needed to change her major. Preforming Arts was not a stable enough major for a mom with a young baby. She needed a career where she could find a job near her family and make good money to support herself and Bryce. Her girl friend Lael talked with her about nursing. They both decided to go for it and got accepted to RN school at West Virginia University. Bryce started preschool and Randi was in her first year of RN school, when she began talking to James. He was a guy that was friends with Lael's boyfriend Andrew. The two mostly talked online and texted. He was in college three hours away in Charleston, West Virginia. They both liked one another but didn't want to have a long distance relationship. When Randi got the news that James had been accepted to the Master Physician Assistant Program at a school only one hour away from her, that was their chance to try and be together. Their first date was July 23, 2004.

The two have been together ever since. They fell completely in love and spent every spare second they had together. She waited and had Bryce meet James around Thanksgiving. She wanted to make sure she and James were in a solid relationship before she let Bryce get attached to him as well. The first time they met, was like magic says Randi. They were instant best friends. James and Randi moved in together after one year. Meanwhile Ryan rarely saw Bryce because he had a new girlfriend and baby. His girlfriend had gotten pregnant she told Ryan's mom "because I don't want Randi to have more of Ryan than I do." After James and Randi had lived together for a few months, Bryce started calling James "Daddy" all on his own. She asked James if he minded and his response was "That boy IS my son. I don't care if I didn't make him or not. He'll always be my son." Randi says that James has been true to that statement. Anytime the two would be out and James would introduce them he would always say "this is my son Bryce". It made Randi love him even more. She and James got married on December 22, 2006. Bryce stood with them while they said their vows, and swung from their arms as they placed the rings on each others fingers. They were finally a family.

A couple of weeks ago Bryce turned 12 and he will be starting middle school in the Fall. Randi and James have been married for six years and will have been together nine years next month. He is a Physician's Assistant at a family practice. The two have had two more sons. Isaac James is five and David Paul is two. Randi says that she is so blessed to have been able to be a teen mom, graduated with her RN-BSN, have married her best friend who is smart and successful, and be raising three beautiful boys. Ryan sees Bryce a few times a year although he only lives 15 minutes from them. He has joint custody of his other son so Randi is not sure why he doesn't see Bryce more than he does. She says she can see hurt sometimes in Bryce over the relationship he and Ryan share but she always tells Bryce that Ryan loves him and that she will do whatever she can to help him if he wants more of a relationship with his Dad. Whenever Randi says that, Bryce looks at her with his big blue eyes and says "I do have a relationship with my Dad. I see him everyday. His name is James." This makes Randi's heart melt. Randi says: "I live in a house with 4 crazy, loud, funny guys and I love every second of it. Dreams do come true."

Bryce, Isaac, and David

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