Nine years ago on the 28th day of August my life changed forever!
I lost every self centered desire that had been tucked away inside of me and for the first time in my life I experienced real pain... a pain like I had never known. This hurt didn't come from the 15 hours of relentless labor, it came later after the dust of childbirth had settled. This beautiful day took an unexpected turn, one that we hadn't seen coming and could never had prepared ourselves for.
My husband hadn't left my side for the entire 15 hours, he didn't even leave to eat or rest. I worked hard physically to get this little bundle of joy into the world and when he arrived I couldn't have been more in love with him. He was perfect and he was part of us! I knew that I would love him but I couldn't have imagined that it would be this deep of an emotion, it was as if my pain receptors had left my body and now existed in this tiny little baby. I could handle anything when it was done to me but if my sweet little one had to suffer, then the pain seemed unbearable..
My brother-in-law sat by my side while my husband left to shower and get food. It was in those next moments that I came to understand true fear for the first time in my life.
I waited for the nurse to bring me my sweet baby boy back from the nursery, but instead she returned by herself. I will never forget the way she gently sat down beside my bed and put her hand on my arm.
It seemed as if the words came out of her mouth in slow motion, it took a few moments for me to put them back together in mind.
"I won't be able to bring you your baby to you... there is a problem. His heart rate is very low and we need to keep him on monitors." The next thing I remember was Jason's comforting hand on my shoulder and him asking me if I was O.K. He seemed to understand the words before I did and as I looked into his eyes I realized the severity of what she was saying.
God had already set into motion loving support for us even before the nurse had entered our room. A dear friend of ours felt the need to get up and leave in the middle of evening church service to come and see us at the hospital. She was not only a very dear friend but she had worked several years in the NICU at Women and Children's. While my head was still spinning and even before Todd had arrived back at the hospital Marie was there, loving on me and checking on my little one.
My poor husband returned to the hospital to find me in the middle of the hallway in a wheel chair sobbing the words, "There is something wrong with our baby!" I don't think I had ever felt such comfort through his arms as I did that day." We had just entered into a new journey together and there was no one that I needed more that day... and every day since!
The days that followed were filled with so many prayers and tears. We struggled not knowing what was wrong with our perfect little boy. He had test after test run and was tied to monitors with alarms blaring every few seconds. I didn't know what motherhood was suppose to feel like but I was sure that it wasn't suppose to hurt this much.
His test began to come back normal and no one could determine the reason for his extremely low heart rate. Infant's heart rates should be around 120 beats per minute and our baby's was only 70.
There was also another dimension that only added to the heartache of this day... August 28th is the birthday of my angel sister Teresa. My first child was born on her birthday and it was a beautiful reminder of her and an honor for me. My sister however died from a congenital heart defect...and now my son not only shared her birthday but the potential for a heart condition as well.
We feel so blessed that God answers prayers! My little boy was able to leave the hospital with only a heart monitor that he wore for the first 6 months of his life.
He is now a healthy, vibrant, full of life, sweet little gift to us.
Todd Christopher Bramlee II
You are the most extraordinary, kind hearted, loving, and generous creatures I know.
Sweet little boy thank you for teaching us all what unconditional love really looks like.
I am so proud to be your mama!