South Jordan mom tells story of opting against abortion despite pregnancy issues

Posted at 7:34 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 16:29:30-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah - Nadine Shelley's baby boy defied the odds of survival. Now, her family's story is inspiring mothers around the country.

"That's what's so amazing about it," Shelley said. "It's just gone so viral, and I didn't know that was possible. The whole point wasn't to be political, I wanted to give hope to people who may not have it."

The family's inspiring story came in aftermath of one of their darkest moments.

"The ultra sound technician said, 'are you wishing for a boy or girl?'" Shelley recalls. "We joked around saying we don't care as long as it's healthy."

However, the couple's worst fears came true, when the technician discovered Shelley's amniotic fluids, crucial to the development of a child's lungs, was leaking.

"My heart sank," Shelley remembered. "We had one doctor suggest abortion."

It was an option that Shelley never really considered. When the couple learned there was no risk for Shelley, they chose to move forward with childbirth. Despite criticism from some of her friends, and the odds of less than a 15 percent survival rate for her unborn son, the couple was firm in their decision.

"He had chest tubes, lots of IV's," Shelley describes the hospital room after her son Brayden was born, nearly two months early. "But slowly, he's getting better and better."

Shelley went three weeks after birth without holding her son, and her baby spent the next 76 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but the family is back home with their son in South Jordan.

"Even since I've been home, there's been so many personal Facebook messages from mothers gong through difficult pregnancies."

The messages came in response to a posting Shelley made just a few days ago. Using a photo of her son Brayden and a picture with a Harry Potter book opened to a chapter reading: "The Boy Who Lived," the mother talked about her decision to push forward with the pregnancy, to protect her son.

“I pulled hope from that story knowing that I was giving him a mother's love and protection by keeping him inside me as long as I could,” Shelley added.

In response, Shelley's had hundreds of comments and messages from moms all over the country.

"They are so heartwarming," she said. "It's so wonderful."

Shelley said that Brayden will likely be off the oxygen tube in the next couple months, and physical therapy will help him move his arms and legs more easily in the coming months. Other than possible asthma complications in the future, Brayden, will live a healthy, normal life.

"We were given such horrible statistics and went through such a hard time, but we would do it all again, he was worth it," Shelley said.