Just weeks before Brianna and Austin welcomed their baby boy into the world, Austin suffered a major brain hemorrhage. Everything changed and Brianna's world shattered in a matter of hours. But true love isn't just about "happily ever after." And this devoted wife's enduring love for her family after her husband's brain injury is truly inspiring!
Love Endures Through Husband's Brain Injury
In movies and fairy tales, love is all about a "happily ever after." But the reality is true love endures the happy, the sad, and everything in between. Because life rarely goes as planned, and things can change in a heartbeat.
For Brianna, everything changed while she was 9 months pregnant. She thought she and Austin would welcome their baby boy into the world together. But while she was in the hospital giving birth to new life, Austin was in another hospital fighting for his.
Thankfully, Austin survived. But between raising a newborn and her husband's brain injury, life as Brianna knew it changed completely. When Sara Endres of Endres Photography had the honor of photographing this special family, Brianna gave her permission to share their story of love triumphing over tragedy. And hearing this wife's unwavering devotion for the man she promised to love through thick and thin is truly touching.
Sara shared Brianna's amazing story on Facebook, along with the beautiful photos she took of this special family. In no time, the post was viral, and for good reason.
Read on to hear Brianna's touching words about what true love really looks like.
"Love is not the little things. It is not the phone calls, the dates, or even the memories. Love is knowing you would sacrifice things that you didn't even know you could sacrifice. Love is selfless.
Have you ever felt your life shake? Have you ever been hit with so much emotional turmoil to the point where everything around you becomes fuzzy and shaken? Your lungs feel tight and for a brief second you can't do anything. You are unable to move, unable to think, unable to even react.
I have. I experienced something I never thought I would experience...all while nine months pregnant with my first child."
Brianna Opens Up About Husband's Brain Injury
"Being pregnant is supposed to be one of the most amazing journeys you will ever embark on. You're creating a new life. You are experiencing unconditional love for someone you have not even met.
Austin and I were so excited to meet our little boy. To bring him home. To be a family. I never imagined as I went to sleep that night, that my whole world would be shattered within hours. I still remember my mother in law waking me up that morning. 'Austin had an accident' she said. All I knew was that my husband was in the hospital. The worst part? I didn't know why.
After a two hour drive to the hospital, I learned that my husband, the father of my child, the person I am so deeply in love with, had had a brain hemorrhage.
The doctors concluded (after running his tox screen and ruling out drugs) that this horrible event was due to his recent excessive energy drink consumption (a habit he had built when he started working longer hours and commuting).
Surgery was already in motion... and after an agonizing 5 hour wait, we got to see him. But while everyone was focused on the almost unrecognizable face hooked up to all sorts of machines and tubes, all I could see was his parents. I saw the light leave his mother's eyes as she saw her motionless son laying in that hospital bed. I saw his father break down crying as he held onto his wife. They didn't know if the life they created together would even wake up.
Watching this family -- my new family, who I have grown to love and be a part of, be so shattered and broken...that is the worst feeling I have ever felt.
The next day was round two of brain surgery. Following this were strokes, seizures, swelling, and more things we weren't prepared for. There was a moment, sitting by his hospital bed, just praying he would be okay, that I knew I would never give up on him. No matter how messy our life would become. I was going to be by his side through all of it."
A Beautiful Miracle After Husband's Brain Injury
"After two weeks of living in a hospital, wondering if he would survive or be taken from us, we made our way back home. The time had come for me to deliver our baby.
I'm not going to lie to anyone, it was so hard. I had planned on Austin being a part of this huge moment. Being by my side. Holding my hand. Being there to cut the cord. Being there to welcome our son into the world. It didn't feel right...
But a beautiful miracle happened as I delivered our son. Austin woke up.
I went about a week without seeing him. I thought about him every day. I cried as I looked at my child who looked just like his daddy.
When the baby was only a week old, I left him with my in-laws. I knew I needed to see Austin. I needed to tell him that our baby was here. To tell him how much we needed him.
Weeks went by. We chased him all over the state as more operations and procedures were ordered. I saw him every chance I got.
At a little over 2 months old, our son finally met his dad. A day I wasn't sure I would ever see. That was the day that my heart gained some of its happiness back.
True, Enduring Love
Some time after that he could finally come home to me.
Our life isn't normal. There are doctors visits and hospital trips- so many that I lose count. But we are here. Fighting.
I wake up every day to take care of our beautiful little boy and my husband. I prepare the meals, do physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I help him with personal hygiene. I help him walk. I help him with every aspect of his life. And in between these tasks I take care of our very busy eight month old.
It is hard, and I am tired, but we make the most of it. He isn't the same man I fell in love with, but I still fall further everyday, We are fighting to help him recover. To make his life better. One day we will get there. Until then, I will never give up on him. Because love is selfless, and I love him more than life itself."
Be sure to check out all of Brianna and Austin's photos at Endres Photopgraphy.
I had the honor of photographing a very real, and very moving session. She has allowed me to share her story. If you...Posted by Endres Photography on Tuesday, October 3, 2017
What a beautiful example of what it truly means to love someone in sickness and in health!