Everly Jay: Miracle Baby

I have struggled with what to post/share and when.  Aside from this blog I try to keep most things pretty private.  But when a situation comes with so much information and there is an outpouring of love and support, the internet truly makes it possible to fill in everyone at the same time.  So here we are.

My girl, my girl, my sweet baby girl.  Everly has been a miracle since the day of conception.  After failed rounds of fertility treatments she was given to us by God and God alone.  We have awaited her arrival with hope, anticipation, excitement, guesses of gender, discussions of names and jokes about her being our Easter miracle.  We did not know that her birth into this world would qualify her as a true testimony of God’s power.

My labor was long, drown out and painful as many are.  Every ultrasound we had and appointment previous had only indicated that we were to expect a perfect, healthy baby.  Everything changed minutes before she was born.  I had a placental abruption. When my placenta became detached it became impossible to detect her heartbeat and she began losing oxygen and swallowing blood quickly.  Even a c-section would have been too long to wait.  The move was too dangerous and every second meant everything.  I was mostly unaware of the horror of the situation as there was a lot of confusion, a lot of doctors and a previous 24 hours of labor.  It became apparent to me when she was born and hoisted onto my chest.  In the only 22 seconds I have been able to hold my girl since her birth I could tell she was in bad shape.  She was born blue, lifeless, and the cord was wrapped so tightly around her stomach and her leg.  I tried to untangle her and couldn’t even get my fingers underneath it.  She was scooped away where a team of doctors worked so hard to bring her back to us.  She needed an immediate blood transfusion as she had lost so much of her own.  She soon became pale white and marbling showed up all over her body.  It was a sign that her little body had fought with everything it had, grabbing blood from all of her extremities and saving it for her most precious organs.  We were informed shortly after birth that she would be transferred to children’s hospital and it was the first time we heard a term that we have now used so much it’s lost it’s heaviness: cooling process.  When babies are born after being without oxygen their bodies are cooled to a very low temp to give them time to heal.  This is supposed to allow the brain some time to catch up with the rest of the body and also allows some other issues she might have to be spotted quicker and dealt with.  The minimum time they spend cooled is 72 hours.

After she was transferred our immediate concern was her breathing and her pain.  She had been pricked so many times it felt like the life was going to fall out of me. She was able to breath with very little assistance and the team at the hospital was quick to help with any of her pain.  Brain damage is a huge concern.  No one knows.  It was then we knew we needed every prayer in the book and also that this was going to be a much longer battle than we thought.  It is also where we started sharing the news.

Since then the outpouring of love has been overwhelming.  I did not know we even had so many people in our lives.  The calls, texts, messages and all of the offers for everything under the sun (laundry to dogs to food) has been nothing short of incredible.  I know I haven’t responded to many of you.  But I see you and I appreciate you.  I also know so many of you just want to know what is going on with our girl and that is why I’m here writing this.  Hoping it helps.

The tough part and short answer is: there is no update.  Everything they have been watching and monitoring is just that, watched and monitored.  We will know nothing about any permanent damage to her body and brain until she can be warmed up and we can see how her body reacts after some time to catch up with itself.  Many of the issues she has had, like seizures, could simply be side effects of the cooling process….or they could be something more.  Again, we don’t know. We are looking at Monday and hoping to have some answers.  Even then, they will most likely be small and her progress will be slow.

There is so much more to our story.  So much more I would like to share one day.  So much more I would like to therapeutically digest and type out like I have before to help people understand and to help myself go through the healing process.  But that is all for another day, another post and another time.  My emotions can not be described and they change every minute.  My love for my rock of a husband who has watched over our new baby girl since her transfer and allowed to me leave her side knowing she is in his watchful eye and care is immense and currently I do not have words for it.  My appreciation for all of the thoughts, offers, prayers and love is something that will take me a while to say thank you for.  But right now, as a family we are focused on the next few hours at a time.  That is all we can handle and that is all we can do.  As Everly has already shown us there are plans you just don’t see coming.

Before I finish I would just like to make it clear that we are believing as a family that Everly will make a 100 percent recovery and that this time in her life will be turned into a testimony of God’s awesome power.  We are believing that she truly will be our Easter miracle and as we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the grave, we are reminded that God has the power to do anything, including heal our baby girl.  So although right now the situation seems dire, the odds aren’t the best and the cold facts state that our life may look much different than we had planned…….we are believing for something incredible.  Thank you for lifting up my girl.  Thank you for thinking of us and adding us to your list of prayers.  Thank you for standing with us and understanding that all things are possible.  I will try and write another update later this week.

“You shaped me from the inside out.  You formed me in my mother’s womb.  Body and soul you are marvelously made.  You know me from the inside out.  You know every bone in my body.  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book you watched me grow from conception to birth.  All of the stages of my life were spread out before you.  The days of my life all prepared……….before I had even lived one day”  Psalm 139



Article by Brenna Cudzilo

Wife and world record holder of wing-sauce ordered with food not comprised of the words "wings, boneless, buffalo, et al.".


  1. Brenna, I am in awe of your strength and ability to write something so powerful and heartbreaking, I am speechless while reading it. we are lifting you, your family and this precious baby girl up in prayers! Much love to you ?

  2. My sweet girl. You know I am praying like never before and always here for anything you need. Love you so much.❤️

  3. Bren, you and Andy are a powerful pair and deserve only happiness after the challenges you have overcome. We don’t know God’s plan or why he chose this path for you but as a couple you two can do anything! Your little family has been in my constant prayers and my hope that your family is able to celebrate Easter at home with your sweet Everly. Always sending love….

  4. Brenna, I have cried so many tears and I just want to hold and comfort you. You have a strength like no other. I am in awe of your ability to write so eloquently at this time. I love you and your family and we are praying constantly. We are all here for you. Lord, please watch over Brenna, Andy and their family and lay your hands upon baby Everly Jay to bring her back to perfect health. In your name we pray, Amen. Brenna hold on to your faith and know that God will bring you through this. I LOVE you BIG. ❤️❤️❤️❤️????

  5. Many prayers coming from Aunt Cindy’s family in Rochester. May He continue to shine His light, give you strength and heal your sweet, beautiful Everly.

  6. Hi Brenna- I am Corissa (Baker) Goodenbery’s sister. God is so good. He will watch over your baby girl just as he blessed you with her!!
    My baby boy Jack he a very large left frontal lobe brain hemorrhage when he was born (we found out at 3 days old when he started seizing and were transferred to to NICU). The neurosurgeon saw his MRI from home and rushed to the hospital to do brain surgery. When he got there, he saw our little boy neurologically intact and alert. And by the grace of God he didn’t have surgery. When we left the hospital we had no idea how his brain was going to be affected, if he would ever walk or talk. He is a perfect and thriving 3.5 year old and you would never know everything he went through after he was born!! I will be praying for your family and your sweet little girl. God is good.

  7. Sending my love and prayers to this beautiful little girl and both families. I cant imagine what your going through, I to struggled with fertility and had 2 miscarriages and that’s not even close to what your going through. I’m sitting here in tears praying for the Cudzilo family and this sweet baby that’s truly a fighter.. may she grow up to be a strong warrior that she deserves to be.. love you all!

  8. “If God can lead you to it, he will lead you through it.”
    Sending big hugs to all of you. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Fred & Sue Sanders

  9. We are in agreement for you and our prayers for complete and miraculous recovery for Everly.

  10. Brenna, Maria Thompson just told me about you this morning at the Y. I just wanted you to know that I am sending you a big hug and will pray for your baby and for you and your husband and my friend Ricklan KathyDispenza, Mrs.D.

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