The pains started about noon on Thursday, March 2nd, 1984, and they were coming about 12 minutes apart. We went to the hospital and they said I was not in labor. Seriously? I am 2 days overdue and the pains are horrible! If this is not labor, what would that pain feel like?
Later that night, the pains were getting worse and closer together. So, we decided to go back to the hospital. This time they kept me. This is where my journey as a mother and my son’s life journey began.
|Bradley with his maternal grandmother and maternal great-grandfather|
Robert Bradley Hall would not be born until Monday, March 5th, 1984. It was a LONG weekend. I ended up delivering him by Caesarean Section and was put to sleep for the procedure. So, when I woke up in my room, the first thing I wanted to see was my baby boy. Instead, a pediatric physician entered my room, and in front of many family members, he said, “Your son was born with a birth defect. His esophagus grew up from his stomach, but is not connected to the esophagus growing down from his throat. He will need surgery immediately to connect his esophagus together. We can’t do the surgery here, so he will be taken by ambulance to Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY.”
I just looked at the doctor in shock. I had no words. And, if you know me…you know that is a rare thing. I was exhausted, and this news just completely broke me down emotionally. Finally, words came out. “Will my baby be ok?” The doctor said as far as he could see, Robert was healthy in every other way, so he should be fine. I then said, “We are calling him Bradley…he will be called by his middle name.” The doctor smiled and said if I had any other questions, he would be down the hall.
It wasn’t long until I saw the ambulance leaving the parking lot of the hospital from the window near my bed. I was not able to go with him because of my surgery. It would be six days later that I would see my son for the first time.
My insurance forced me to stay in a maternity ward with 3 other women. So, while my baby was off enduring a life-saving surgery, I would be watching 3 new mothers feed and cuddle their babies. It was almost unbearable. The other mothers were so sympathetic to my situation. They would bring their babies over for me to hold, and as caring as that was, I think it made things harder. I wanted to hold MY baby.
Later that evening, a Saint Joseph nurse called to say he was out of surgery and it was a success! She also added he had pooped all over her…and that was a good thing! It meant he had no intestinal blockages, which is a rare thing for babies born with this birth defect.
I was so relieved, and slept the best that night than I had slept in days. It would be the next day before I would hear what Bradley had actually gone through.
Yes, Bradley’s surgery was a success, but not until God stepped in. When Bradley first came out of surgery, dye had to be run down his esophagus to make sure there were no pinhole leaks where the esophagus was joined together. As the dye entered this area, it gushed into his lungs and he was rushed back into surgery. At the same time, many of our family churches were in prayer for my son. Let me tell you, God listens! As they got Bradley back into surgery to correct the leaks, no leaks could be found. The dye was run down his esophagus again, and not even a pinhole leak existed.
The surgeon, Dr. Belin, could not explain it. He said, “Something happened between this floor and the surgery room.” The only thing that could have happened was that my son was healed by an even greater physician. Bradley was healed through the miracle of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I knew when I heard this news the Lord had a plan for our son.
|Bradley with his maternal grandmother and grandfather|
|Bradley eating his first birthday cake|
|Bradley playing Hide and Go Seek|
Bradley would endure problems from another birth defect found as he was an adult. This defect caused his spine to continue growing up into his brain stem. However, after years of MRIs and visits to the University of Kentucky Hospital, his neurologist believes the spine finally quit growing and the condition should not get worse than where it is currently. He does suffer with some back and neck pain from this condition, but he should be able to live a normal life.
However, we do believe this condition had something to do with the development of a stutter at the age of 18. This stutter has been a difficult thing for Bradley to deal with. Speaking on the phone, or ordering food through a drive-thru restaurant can be challenging for him, but his faith is strong! He leads his family with Christian values and is truly an example of how I want to live my life.
|Me and Brad|
|Brad and his beautiful bride, Carmen|
|Brad and his siblings...and his niece, Sophie|
Bradley may not have the ability to minister from a podium, but he has a strong ministry. Bradley is an amazing writer, and each week, he writes a Christian column about how he handles everyday life through analogies of the world today and stories from the Bible. These columns have made an impact in my life, and I hear quite often how they have touched the lives of others. And, thanks to social media, we can share these columns all over the world.
|Brad (left) holding some of his Kentucky Press Association Awards|
|My handsome son|
|Did I mention Brad was awesome at Photoshop?|
God had a plan for my son, and I believe this plan is far from over.
If you would like to read one of Brad’s columns, try using the link below:
May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.