If a picture is worth 1,000 words, picture this ….. A mother and father desperately waiting day after day to do just one thing, hold their sweet baby boy after his first open heart surgery. These were long, heart-wrenching days.
In the hospital, there is no real concept of time. You don’t see the sun come up or go down. Hours turn in to days and days turn in to weeks. This is partly the reason I had to title this post, “Post Op Day ?”. The days have kind of blended together, and also so much has happened so slow, but so fast.
Once Kaden was extubated, they said, “ok you can hold him now”. With tears of joy streaming down my face, I was able to prep a chair close to his monitors so the nurses could move our son’s delicate body to my arms. This one moment was worth the prior 1,000 hours of pain.
As he slowly came to, our desires to see more of his personality and manorisms grew. His voice was so hoarse that I actually just wanted to hear him cry. This may seem like an odd desire… I didn’t want him to be in pain; I just wanted to know he was still himself. We were unsure how or if the surgery would affect him developmentally.
Nate just wanted to hear “dada”. And what dad wouldn’t, right? But these two have a special bond. Kaden and I are always together and have a deep bond through nurturing and affection, but when he sees his father, he lights up. I have never seen anything like it. It’s beautiful. Well, Nate got to hear those words too.
As each day passed, Kaden got progressively better. The doctors were astonished with how strong his vital signs were throughout this process. Even in and out of consciousness, his heart remained strong. Even with the irritation of all of the tubes and wires sutured into his body, Kaden proved to be a fighter. These days were hardest on us. He didn’t appear to be ok, but the doctors consistently reassured us he was doing great.
These days also had us thinking about so much. There is so much pain in hospitals, physical pain and emotional pain. If I had a dollar for every tear we witnessed and every child we heard cry over the last few weeks, I think we could resolve world hunger. I also appreciate the feedback we got from our last post. Being transparent, that is just who we are. We are not a couple who focuses on the negative circumstances, but it is natural to feel them. I have read about people going through tough stuff, and making references to wrestling with God…. But isn’t it wrestling with ourselves? Wrestling with our own thoughts? If one thing is apparent in reading Kaden’s story, God is faithful. He is reliable. He is consistent…. Let me repeat, God is faithful!! He is reliable!! He is consistent!! It has been hard fighting this battle, but in the end we wouldn’t change a single thing. Nate said these first seven months of Kaden’s life will be the crux of his story.
Kaden was released from the ICU on Monday to the Base Cardiac Floor. The goals here were to monitor feeds, manage care, and continue healing. Kaden made a quick recovery here!! He has literally had a supernatural appetite, quickly taking to his routine with bottle feeds and baby food.
Kaden was released from the hospital shortly after these photos were taken. We can only thank Jesus for this immaculate healing.
We will be in Boston for a week, anticipating our family being back together. Our final follow up with cardiology is next Tuesday. We will provide the details on his heart after this appointment. Keep praying!!! We couldn’t have made it to this point without our family and friends. Thank you Jesus for those you have surrounded us with. We see your loving arms in our community.
Nate & Erica