New Year’s baby 2005 symbolized hopeWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
The Bruhl family was dealing with a lot when they were blessed with the birth of son Joshua, the first baby born in Lucas County in 2005.
Shortly before Joshua came into their lives, Laurel and Steven Bruhl’s baby son Nathaniel died suddenly and unexpectedly.
“[Joshua] ended up being our little symbol of hope and rebirth in our family after losing his brother Nathan,” Laurel said.
Laurel also had high blood pressure during her difficult pregnancy. Labor was induced at Mercy St. Anne Hospital on Dec. 31, 2004. Meanwhile, her grandmother was passing away at a hospital in Lima.
“My grandma was actually on her deathbed the night [Joshua] was born and I was very close to my grandma,” Laurel said. “I just remember thinking, ‘Grandma’s leaving and I can’t go see her.’”
Laurel said her infant’s potential status as first baby of 2005 wasn’t on her mind until the nurses at St. Anne informed her.
“[The nurses] kept coming in going, ‘It’s always Toledo Hospital, but you might be the first; right now you’re the first,’” Laurel said with a laugh.
“We weren’t planning on it. We really thought he’d be there Friday night (Dec. 31).”
Joshua was born at 6:18 a.m. Jan. 1, 2005, an hour and a half after his great-grandmother died.
Laurel said within four hours of his birth, the media were there. Her best friend recorded all the Bruhls’ TV appearances for them, which Joshua still enjoys watching.
“He loves watching the day he was born,” Laurel said. “His birthday usually gets overshadowed with the holidays so at least it’s a fun thing for him.
“He started life with a bang. … He started off right,” Laurel said.
After Joshua’s birth, the community rallied around the family, Laurel said.
“We just had people calling the hospital and calling our home and leaving gifts on the steps,” she said. “They saw us go through the grieving with Nathan and everybody was excited to see Josh there and healthy.”
The hospital released Laurel and Joshua so they could attend her grandmother’s funeral, where the baby continued to be a symbol of hope for the family.
“We sat up front and the uncles who are never emotional are sitting there, looking at him and crying,” Laurel said.
Laurel and Steven, a cardiologist for Mercy, now live in Bowling Green with their children. Joshua will turn 9 this year.
The third-grader enjoys Legos, reading, history and playing on the computer, Laurel said.
His siblings Laurel Emily, 12, Ethan, 7, Alexa, 6, and Michael, 3, aren’t jealous of their brother’s former “celebrity” status, Laurel said.
“He’s our sweet funny computer guy.”