Katie and Josh Butler have been married since 2012. Their fairytale romance began when they met during college. They hit it off immediately and the rest is history.
In 2010, they moved to Nashville and less than two years later, they started their life as a married couple. It didn’t take long for them to decide it was time to expand their family. Since Katie was a teacher, she wanted to time her pregnancy so that she could spend the summer at home with her baby.
In September 2014, the couple found out Katie was pregnant and they were beyond elated. Everything was progressing perfectly and they gave their baby boy the name Dewey. But things took a scary turn during Katie’s 20-week ultrasound. Their world turned upside down when doctors discovered via ultrasound that their baby had a rare, never before documented genetic disorder.
“In January 2015, we went in, and they told us there was some thickening of the neck and that the baby had club feet,” she explained. “Those were all markers for genetic conditions.”
As they continued to monitor Dewey’s progress, doctors didn’t know what to do, all they knew was that Dewey would be a “special baby”. Katie underwent weekly ultrasounds with her specialist but every week the results were the same.
Doctors were straight-forward but very supportive. “They said that (ultrasound) machines could only do so much,” Katie recalls, “and that we might just have a small baby. But as Dewey grew, things looked bad.”
With each ultrasound, his hands were clenched, and sometimes, it was very difficult to find his heartbeat. Eventually, doctors decided it would be best to induce Katie at 39 weeks gestation.
Dewey’s heart rate was dropping fast, so doctors performed an emergency C-section and found Dewey’s umbilical cord, which looked like it was only 20 weeks gestation, wrapped around the baby’s neck several times. Katie held him for a few sweet moments before he was rushed away to NICU, with his condition being extremely unstable.
One day while undergoing a G-tube surgery, Dewey’s heart went into an irregular rhythm and he passed away on the operating table after only 132 days of life. The couple was devastated. They were told that Dewey’s condition was genetic so having more children was probably a bad idea. Heartbroken and destroyed, Katie hoped for another child to love.
One of the nurses at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital called Katie and said there was an abandoned baby to be released from the hospital and he needed a family. He was staying on the 5th floor, just one above Dewey’s and he even shared similar medical problems as Dewey, but Katie and Josh didn’t care. The Butlers believed it was a miracle.
Braxtel had been deserted by his parents because of the genetic conditions he was born with, which were similar to Dewey’s.
The couple went to the hospital and met Braxtel a few days after that phone call and fell in love with him right away. Just two months later, the kind-hearted couple made the brave decision to officially adopt him.
Braxtel, now 2, shares the same medical equipment the Butler’s had used for Dewey. He needs a breathing tube and communicates through sign language. Losing and gaining a son has only made the Butlers expand their hearts, learn a lot, and strengthen their marriage. The couple also hopes to help others remember that there is a purpose to even the darkest of times.