A Mother's Undying Love

I had always heard that childbirth was one of the most painful experiences a woman would bear, but in all, one of the most precious experiences she would ever face.

I had the awesome opportunity of experiencing both on June 11,1998.

It was a hot summer day, the sun was shining bright and there was joy and excitement in the air. The thoughts of bringing a baby into the world were more than I could take. I had so many hopes and dreams for the little miracle that was about to be born. I couldn’t wait to feel my newborn baby for the first time and hold this precious little buddle of joy close to my heart. I had already known what it felt to love her even before she was born, but I was about to meet the one that I had loved for the previous nine months and have a face to go with the undying love I had already had for her.

I laid there in the maternity ward waiting for the moment I had longed for the past 9 months, thinking of all the wonderful things that were about to change in my life. I was daydreaming in the midst of my labor pains about what it was going to feel like to hear my baby cry for the first time, to wipe away her tears, to watch her roll over, crawl, learn how to walk and see her first steps, to hear her first words spoken, to watch her ride a bike with training wheels and eventually get to where she could balance herself without the training wheels. To watch her play hopscotch and play underneath a water sprinkler, to watch the excitement and joy on her face as she achieved all of these things and to have her come to me for words of praise for all of her accomplishments. But most of all, I couldn’t wait to hear my child say “ I love you mom” and give me sweet little goodnight kisses on the cheek as I would tuck her into bed after a fulfilling day of play and learning.

She came into my life at 5:20 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. And she was 20 inches long. She was the most beautiful human being my eyes have ever seen.  I named her Brooke Leigh.  Little did I know at that time that this child I was holding in my arms would also be a child who would be dependant on these arms of love to hold her till she leaves this world.

I am a single parent and her new residence would be with a loving, accepting family that consists of my dad, my mom, my sister and me and her. We brought her home the day after she was born. My mother prepared the house for her arrival and she had everything in tip top shape for her living arrangements. The moment she entered the door for the first time, with her entered joy, laughter, excitement, and happiness. Little did we know that also down the road, our house would be filled with challenges, heartaches and tears.

For the first 3 months, everything seemed to be going fine. She seemed to be happy and healthy and acting as any other 3 month old would. Since she is my first child, I didn’t realize that she SHOULD be holding her head up and kicking her legs much more.  But she had regular check-ups and the doctors seemed to not notice anything wrong. Finally, my mother brought it to my attention that we really needed to get her checked out because something wasn’t right with her, something was a little off with what she should be doing at this point, we just could not figure out what it was. After a few doctors visits and my explanations of what I was witnessing with her, and them telling me that I was an over anxious mother, that some children are slower than others to develop, I just didn’t feel like they were being honest with me. I prayed about it and that I would find the right doctor who would notice her weakness and find us the help that we would need to get her some help and the rest of us some support that we needed. After a few weeks of constant praying, I found the doctor that we so desperately needed. We arrived in her examining room and she was checking Brooke out and almost immediately knew that something was wrong and she set us up with a neurologist who specializes in pediatrics. When we went to his office, we were not prepared for the words that we were about to hear him say to us. He explained her weaknesses with us and mentioned that it could be a couple of things, all of which being were very serious life threatening disorders. The one that stood out the most and the one he felt what it defiantly was, was Spinal Muscular Atrophy (better known as SMA). I asked him if this was something that could be cured and his response to me was NO. My mother asked him if it was terminal, and he said in a sad voice, YES. We sat there for what seemed like hours trying to soak in what we had just heard. Brooke was lying on the examining table with a BIG smile on her face and just as happy as could be. I grabbed her off the table and held her close in my arms, tears streaming down my face. I just found it hard to believe that the little girl I had delivered just 4 months earlier, was now faced with a life expectancy of 2-3 years. At that moment, I felt like my world and all the hopes and dreams I had for her were ripped apart. The doctor told me and my mother that he still wanted us to see a specialist at Oschner Hospital in New Orleans, La. He would be able to give her the correct diagnosis. She was diagnosed with SMA on December 15,1998. Basically what he told us was to go home with her and enjoy her while we still have her. There was nothing they could do.

Bringing her home from the hospital that day was so different than bringing her home the day that she was born. This was the day that challenges, heartaches and tears entered our door. All I knew to do was to love her with all my heart and care for this special child the best I could. I relied on strength and understanding from the good Lord above to get me through this new road in my life. He has been gracious to me and my family and provided for us what we needed to get us through these trying times.

Brooke has never sat up, never walked, never crawled, she will NEVER do the ordinary things that kids do. But the best part is, she can do so much more. She changed my life in a way so different than an ordinary kid can. She is one of the MOST precious individuals you will ever have the privilege of meeting. She has a tender, loving, giving, caring heart unlike any other I have ever seen. She has a grace about her that just melts you. The words that come out of her mouth takes your breath away. She constantly wears a smile and wipes away my tears with her weak little hands. She has a way of touching the hearts and souls of those she meets for the first time. So many lives has been deeply touched by this little angel sent from God.

I may never see my daughter go through her first heartache with a boy, never see her get married and have a child of her own, there are many things that I will never have the opportunity of experiencing with my child. But there is NOTHING I would trade for this in the world. I wouldn’t have my little Brooke Leigh Binning any other way than I do now. It is enough for me that I have had a child that has given and asked for nothing in return, a child who was so in love with me and even put me first even above herself, trusted me and my undying love for her, needed me to be not only her mother, but also her best friend, until the day she dies. When her time here on earth is complete and she has finished God’s purpose for her here, my love for her will continue to go on till I meet her again one day in heaven. There I will see her do all of the things that she was not capable of doing here and so much more. That is enough for me. Just to know that one day she will be perfect.

I owe everything to her for the way that she has touched my life and has given me the love that no one else could ever do. All the hopes and dreams that I had for her in the labor room on June 11,1998, never compared to the life and joy and love that she has given me and so much more. She taught me what it feels like to have an undying love for a child. Thank you for that Brooke Leigh Binning.