Gratitude, Love, and Support

Thank you everyone for the phone calls, texts, and messages. As most of you know, Kaden was admitted back into Phoenix Children’s last week.

We have been a little silent since his last visit to the Cardiologist a couple of weeks ago. His heart function still looks very good, but he had fallen off the weight charts. He had been eating well and gaining weight, just not enough. His little heart has to work harder than other babies so his intake was not high enough to compensate for the extra calories he burned.

At that point we experienced some feeding problems that are common among 3-month old babies, and he just didn’t have the cardiac reserve to push his little body through. Our pediatrician and cardiologist felt it best to admit him to the hospital so he had the support necessary to quickly get back on the right track.

Kaden has perservered!! (As always) … Praise God! He received a blood transfusion on Friday which makes his heart happy. It gives him this added boost, and now he is doing great, trending with positive weight gain, and his intake per feed has increased. There has been some trial and error getting his intake and calorie count right. Thankfully, I have been able to be here with Kaden around the clock to work with his team of doctors, nurses, and nutritionists.

I always pray for God to give me His eyes, to see what He sees. And here I have seen so many children in the hospital without parents this week. There are babies and toddlers, big kids and little, without a visitor or family member here. The hospital has nurses and volunteers who I have seen love on these children, thankfully, but even that is just for a shift. It breaks my heart. I have cried, and also prayed for these kids. This has also made me so very thankful.

I am first thankful for our God, who picked me to be Kaden’s mom, who gave Kaden a powerful story, who has provided the guidance, peace, and resources as promised in His word.

I am thankful for my husband, this amazing provider and loving father. He has been able to continue to manage these roles through every challenge. He has allowed me to drop everything to be with our son, be his advocate, and give him the love and nurturing each child deserves. He has been this incredible emotional support to get me through the long hours in the hospital where hours turn into days and days turn into weeks, all while coaching soccer and still preparing for his next meeting.

I am thankful for our parents who have dropped everything to support us. Our kids hands down, have the best Gigi, TT, and Papadude around. This topic alone deserves it’s own blog, but any of you who know them, know what I mean!! We couldn’t have made it though this week without them.

I am thankful to our friends and family who are constantly praying and sending loving and encouraging messages. Each one means so much.

That being said, I plan to volunteer at Phoenix Children’s in this next season… anyone with me? Maybe find a local hospital or dream center in your area. There are children that need you.

 

Thanks for following… With love and gratitude,

Erica

Life and Love at Home

Kaden has officially been home from the hospital for two months. He has been under close watch from his pediatrician and cardiologists both in Phoenix and Boston, and he continues to amaze all people involved.

Kaden is a true success story. His last echocardiogram showed excellent function of the left side of the heart. (If you remember, the goal of the surgery in Boston was to restore some functionality of the left side). While neither his aortic valve or mitral valve are normal, his condition, aortic stenosis, is still in the mild range. He is gaining weight and has not required any supplemental nutrition or feeding tubes. This boy smiles constantly, as he should. At just 11 weeks old, Kaden’s results have exceeded all expectations. We are so blessed.

So today, we wanted to share a little bit about how life has been at home. Here are some photos from his recent newborn photo shoot.

We love spending time together.

We love spending time together, and Kaden has brought so much joy to our home.

He gets quiet time with Mom.

He gets quiet time with Mom.

And cuddles with Dad.

And cuddles with Dad.

Nate enjoys time with the boys.

Nate enjoys time with the boys.

While the girls are the best helpers.

While the girls are the best helpers.

Ultimately, all of our children are so very special.

Ultimately, all of our children are so very special.          (Jeffrey not pictured)

And we have lots of fun alogether.

And we have lots of fun altogether.

We continue to have hearts of gratitude, and are so very thankful for this journey thus far. Kaden is truly a fighter and has lived up to the meaning of his name!!

blog boxing

We know there are thousands listening, reading, and praying for our sweet boy, many of which are continually inspired to take spiritual next steps. Our goal is for that to be millions. Because of this we have started a fund, that may serve to pay for future surgeries, but our hope is that it can do so much more — We desire to use Kaden’s story to support research for congenital heart disease, raise awareness on the benefits of in-utero surgeries, and help families in similar situations. Several have already donated, and many more have asked. More information will follow.

Blessings,
Nate & Erica

Today is a New Day

Quick update…. The fight continues!!

Two days of rest and two blood transfusions did wonders for this little boy. Today is truly a new day!

Kaden has been eating, sleeping, and in his mommy and daddy’s arms most of the day. In fact, right now as he lies on my chest, he is even snoring just a little bit 🙂 We need to keep him in a calm, quiet environment so that he continues to heal, but all other activities suggest he is a normal, healthy newborn!

They began to ween him off his medications, and that process will take a few days. There is even talk of a timeline in which he can come home…. Will keep you posted!

Kaden

Learning Lessons from our Kids

The last couple of days have been a roller coaster of emotion, at least for Kaden’s family and I am sure for those of you following his story.

Our last post was about the positive result we received from the balloon procedure. The doctors were able to reduce the pressure through the aortic valve in half. In that first, fast week of Kaden’s life, the pressures in his heart were creeping back up past the severe range, and the procedure helped to reduce the pressures to a mild range. This result was better than expected as they didn’t take an aggressive approach. They also did not want to cause any leakage across the aortic valve, and they did not —- SUCCESS!!

Nate and I had thought watching our one week old baby being rolled off to get his second heart surgery was hard, but seeing him come back still under anesthesia and on a ventilator was harder. He was pale, not moving, and the only way we knew he was alive was because of the countless monitors he was hooked up to that showed a heart rate and oxygen moving through his still, little body.

Our expectations were that the anesthesia would wear off in a couple of hours. Nearly 24 hours later, we were still waiting. It was here when I was reminded of an important lesson through Kaden.

The doctors were set to remove the breathing tube at 1:30pm the day following the procedure. He was still sedated, but extremely irritated with the tube down his throat. He looked as though he was screaming and crying only you couldn’t hear anything because the tube went right between his little vocal chords. It was so hard to see.

As 1:30pm rolled around, Kaden literally pulled the tube out himself. He self-excavated. He had had enough of the pain and irritation and changed his circumstances. From a medical standpoint, this is never what the doctors want as there are obvious risks, but for this little fighter, he didn’t care. He was ready to move on.

I have heard people say that God teaches us lessons through our kids. Yesterday, Kaden was the strong one in the family. You should see the way this little baby handles pain…. The way he moves his little head as the nurses slowly remove the tape from his face, and the countless nasal swabs, blood draws, & IV lines he has had. He doesn’t cry.

Reflecting in this, I know pain is pain, and we all have our stories… But I also think we all have our circumstances we can change just by “pulling the tube out”.

Thanks for sticking with our family, and praying for Kaden. We will keep fighting.

 

Blessings,

Nate and Erica

 

 

Thank You | Don’t Stop

At 1pm they rolled Kaden out of his NICU room, out the double doors and onto the elevators. They pressed the down button and we went to floor 4. We arrived to hear once again all of the risks involved and before we kissed him goodbye we inked one last signature.

As we walked away we were both numb. Almost zero emotions because of the roller coaster ride we have been on the past eleven weeks.

As those things called tears are streaming down my face right now…THE PROCEDURE ONCE AGAIN WENT BETTER THAN PLANNED. PRAISE GOD!!!

They just wheeled him back into the room and over the next few hours they will be letting him recover, come to and get the breathing tube out.

Tomorrow we will report more but God continues to give us favor and this little boy is truly “A little fighter”.

This is tough stuff but nothing we can’t get through.

Keep praying DONT STOP as he rests tonight. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Literally over 6500+ people praying for him today.

N8 + Erica

Would You Please | Hope

Friends and family near and far…we found out two days ago that they were going to do another balloon procedure. It will take place this afternoon. We are scared, anxious and a tad bit overwhelmed but ITS NOTHING OUR GOD CANNOT DO. We serve a big, strong, mighty and miraculous God that has been looking out for Kaden since the beginning. Kaden’s maker and healer knows what he needs in this very moment.

We HOPE this procedure goes as expected so we can take the next step in getting baby Kaden home.

Erica has spent the past few nights with Kaden and as you could imagine…it’s been tough.

They are doing echo now and from there they will get together and prep for procedure.

Our Ask: That the surgeon and docs and nurses doing this would have clear minds, gentle hands and that God would move through them as they help Kaden.

We will update later but would you please pray?

N8 and Erica

Praising God | Keep Petitioning

Friends & Family…I’m again sitting here with tears rolling down my face. After the last update they finished the echocardiogram and said “Nate call Erica and tell her to not use her 4 hour pass today to come see him after procedure.” I was taken back at first but quickly the cardiologist and surgeon said “WE AINT DOING A PROCEDURE CUZ HIS HEART KEEPS GETTING BETTER”

I started crying but told them it ain’t a surprise because over 5000k+ people are praying for him right now.

Plan is to pull him off meds and see how he does.

Keep praying and petitioning. God IS 100% in the restoration / healing business. His hours of operation are 24/7/365.

It’s a long ways from over but people are hearing this story in over 14 countries and God is doing rad stuff.

Fight Kaden FIGHT!

Dad

Transported | Procedure Day

So…we are exhausted and tired. I’m sitting in his new room at Phx Children’s Hospital watching them do an Echo. He is scheduled at 2:00pm to go into Cath Lab for another procedure. I’m crying as I type this on my iPhone but confident that our God is big. He’s mighty and there’s nothing out God cannot do. I know He formed Kaden and this is for a reason. No matter what happens we trust in Jesus. We will not waiver. When you go through tough stuff like this you get sick and tired of being sick and tired of being really sick and tired of people that complain about anything, have drama and can’t learn to appreciate LIFE.

Pray for the echo. I’m waiting for the news.

Thanks for being on this journey with us.

N8

Holy Waiting Game | Tick Tock

Quick update…

It’s been a very long and uneventful night. We thought this little fighter was gonna pop that head out early this morning but he’s just chillin and for some reason just doesn’t want to come yet. I could speculate on why but let’s just say he probably heard the gal next door that missed her chance for the epideral and screamed for four hours to finally push her little girl out.

After 1 hour sleep, Erica’s body just not quite getting into real labor…they are giving her an epideral and letting her sleep till she feels pressure and needs to push. When will he come? When he comes.

I’m gonna give him a quick little game day chat and make sure he knows what he needs to do.

The teams are still prepped but I’m sure it’s better that he could come today verses last night. Weekends supposedly aren’t the best time when you need an army of people on call/stand by to make sure he is well taken care of when he comes.

Stay tuned

The Time Has Come | Let’s Do This

Ok…

Here we go. 1am Erica thought her water broke. 1:02am she went back to sleep as she thought it was false alarm. 9:30am we called doc and went in to get checked. Her water did indeed break. They are admitting and getting us a room.

It’s been an amazing journey to watch God move and in the next 24 hours there will be lots of AHA moments as we watch God do his thing.

I will keep you all posted along the way but for now this is what we ask for in prayer (as docs, surgeons, nurses, multiple hospitals and specialists thousands of miles away prep)…that God would give wisdom, clarity 100% confidence in all who will be involved. He’s calling all the shots so it’s not time to waiver or squirm, rather just be still and know He is God and He can do far more than we could ever ask for, hope for or imagine. For Erica; that God would keep her safe, give her courage to trust and that everything would go better than planned/expected.

Kaden Lee…bro hang tight and may the world be touched by what is about to happen. I can’t wait to feel your heart beat, hold your hand, give you a little knuckle bump and check to see if I can see where the needle went into your side as it entered your body and into your heart to help you.

Here we go…let’s do this. United we stand as loved ones, family and friends from many countries…go Kaden go.

Dad