Sunday, February 5, 2012

Defying the Odds

I believe in miracles. If you had asked me this before I might have said that yes, they were possible but I have witnessed more in the last week to make me able to say that I am a firm believer. Dalton's surgery on Friday morning went off without a hitch. It was the most nerve racking 4 hours of my life, but when the surgeon came out to the waiting room to tell us that the surgery was successful and Dalton was doing well it was the most amazing feeling ever. We burst into tears, our prayers had been answered. No one knew how he would handle it considering the small size of the left side of his heart but he took like a champ. An hour later we were allowed to go back and see him in the CICU. It was not easy to see him hooked up to even more machines and lines coming out of him every which way. The breathing tube was the hardest, but watching his little chest move up and down gave me comfort knowing at least he was breathing. They warned us that when anesthesia started to wear off that he would get the shakes and it really scares parents. Understood. We decided to go home and try and get some rest. TRY being the key word.
I have been in a lot of pain since the delivery. And the pain was only getting increasingly worse, not the other way around. That night I was violently sick and we decided to go to the ER. As I was writhing in pain I kept thinking to myself, even though I am unable to pray right now for my son's recovery I know somewhere on this Earth someone is. It was such a comforting relief to know that for 24 hours our son was being prayed over.
Well, it turns out I have a bad infection that is causing all this pain and really I was making myself sick by continually being on the go, back and forth from the hospital. As I laid in the hospital just begging for an IV to take home with me, surprisingly they didn't go for it- I counted down the minutes to when I could come back and see Dalton. Jonathan's phone rang and it was a nurse from the CICU telling us that they were able to take out his breathing tube that morning. We were shocked! We were praying for a speedy recovery but this was mind blowing. This news just pushed me forward as I signed the discharge papers and headed home to sleep for an hour. By the time we got to the hospital they had taken out his foley, the drain line from his incision, and his arterial IV line. He was kicking butt and taking names. The nurses were as surprised as we were. While we were sitting there they told us that they were going to try and give him a bottle. I explained that the Doctors during my pregnancy had told me he would be unable to feed on his own and he would no doubt be on feeding tubes. The nurses said they had been given the okay but told us not to be discouraged if he was unable to take it. Mind you this is 24 hours after major heart surgery on a 4 day old, we weren't expecting much. The nurse handed me the bottle and I coaxed it into his mouth. All of the sudden he was sucking and swallowing on his own. Jonathan and I started to cry as this was no doubt the greatest accomplishment we had ever witnessed. It was at that moment that I wanted to be like "Ha! I told you so! ". I knew I had a fighter on my hands but now he was proving it to me and everyone around him. It was like God was looking down on us telling us we made the right choice keeping him and giving him a chance to prove a point. It was truly a miracle to witness and I think it was at that moment we realized, he was our miracle.
Leaving him that night we felt so confident that he was in good hands and he would only make a positive progression. And we were right. We got a phone call this morning that he had such a good night that they were going to move him to the cardiac step down unit. It was like Christmas morning! Cardiac step down means we are in private room with just us and Dalton, and we get to stay overnight with him. We rushed to get ready this morning so we could come hold our little boy, finally. Walking into a room with just the three of us was the feeling we have been waiting to have for 9 months.
He does have jaundice pretty bad but we are keeping him on one of those cool florescent blankets to help with it. As Jonathan and I sit here and stare in amazement that he has done this well we are so filled with love, worry, and anxiety. Anytime anything beeps within a 30 foot radius we look at each other and are stricken with fear. I always said I never wanted to be that paranoid Mom. Well, welcome to motherhood. It has happened, to both of us.
 The hospital is doing a great job though and will continue to teach us how to care for his incision and administer medicine. There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be easy by any means and we are not trying to say we are out of the woods with him medically- we aren't that naive. This is going to be a long journey and we have the Lord walking by our side every step of the way. Having the main concern in his heart taken care of no doubt gives us peace of mind. When it comes to the Trisomy 13 it is something that we are going to have to closely monitor and the symptoms may not show up until later, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. For now we are enjoying the time we have with him. Every time a Doctor says shortened lifespan I still cringe but for now I am continuing to place my faith where it has been this whole time, in the hands of the Father. We hope that Dalton has been able to show lots of people that with faith anything is possible. Please continue to pray for Dalton's continued healing and the strength for Jonathan and I to continue to be the best parents possible.

The video of Dalton taking his first bottle!
video

Dalton's beads of courage. A different color bead to symbolize each triumph he goes through.

Taking his bottle!

I got this!

The proudest Daddy ever.


All gone!

Mommy, why haven't you been holding me the whole time?

I'm in love.

Aunt Katherine and Uncle Adam finally got to meet me! I'm crying because I wanted to see Lyla.

Aunt Mary Riddick came for a visit.

The new man in our lives. Sorry boys!

Daddy loving every second.


31 comments:

  1. Great post! Happy to hear Dalton is doing well.

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  2. So excited to hear about Dalton! What an amazing miracle!

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  3. Awesome News! God is good all the time and all the time God is good. What a testimony and miracle baby Dalton is from our heavenly father.

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  4. You just keep positive and pray!!. The Doctors are given a gift to help, they are NOT GOD and there is not a book anywhere with our date and time of Death. Dalton is a fighter and look him eating a bottle, you are holding him. He is amazing. Keep the faith!!!

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  5. Kara and Johnathan, I am so happy to here about Dalton successful surgery. I do believe in the power of prayer. You are not alone we are here with you and so is our almighty Father. You both have touch my life tremendously, and have set an example to so many. I pray for you, Johnathan and of course your miracle baby Dalton. May God be with you all today and every day.

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  6. Wow, what incredible news! I am praying for your little miracle, and I am happy to hear how well he is doing. He's absolutely adorable.

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  7. What a miracle your sweet Dalton is! I've been checking back over the last few days praying all went well with his surgery. Your little boy has been on my mind non-stop. What a joy to see this update tonight and to see the sweet video of him taking his bottle, it just brought me to tears. Our prayers continue for Dalton and your family. You 3 make such a beautiful family. xo

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  8. That is AWESOME! As a heart mommy I know how scary heart surgery can be and what it can be like afterwards. My son was in severe heart failure and it was not pretty afterwards. We spent 3 weeks in the ICU... it was only after that we could go to step down. SO SO happy to hear it all went ok and that he was able to come off the vent and drains so soon! THRILLED he can eat from a bottle! Trey had a feeding tube for months and it was just a pain. Definitely doable but just annoying! SO much easier if they can do things by mouth!

    I think and pray for your family throughout the day. Your story has touched me. Your faith is amazing. It was through faith that I have been able to get through what we've gone through. It sounds like you will be facing a lot down the road... keep up the faith. God does amazing things! I don't regret any part of our journey with Trey so far - it's been magical. God has really just opened my eyes... again! Always in my prayers...

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  9. Wow, God is SO good! Dalton is so adorable and a true warrior! Prayers continue from WV for all of you!

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  10. What a precious little boy he is. We have been thinking about all of you. I have shared your story with others. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey. It take a community to raise a child. Also just a reminder we are all on barrowed time. We are on Gods time. So enjoy every second with your beautiful family. Please continue to keep us update on how you and Dalton are doing. <3 from Arizona

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  11. OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN AND HE IS A BIG ONE.

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  12. Wow! I'm so glad to hear he is doing so well, and I'll continue to pray that he will exceed expectations! Enjoy every sweet moment with your boy!

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  13. oh my goodness! what a precious boy y'all have!!!! praying for him and praising God for the steps he has made! (I'm friends with gray and andrew)

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  14. Awesome news! Still praying for y'all.

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  15. You have been in my prayers since I have started reading your blog!!!! I am so happy for you all and boy is he a beautiful baby!!! Our family has been on the emotional roller coaster you have been on, and knows how hard it can be. You guys are so inspirational and have handled everything with such grace!!!! MayGod continue to bless you all!!!!!

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  16. So glad to read this great news!!! My 6 month old son is in surgery right now and this post eased my mind. You are a great inspiration!
    Erin Reimers

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  17. My heart is bursting! I have never seen prouder parents, as you should be. He is a beautiful, beautiful blessing and a testiment to God's grace and power! What an inspiration all of you are.-Sarah Morgan

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  18. Positively inspiring... just remember, when you feel as if you are drowning in fear, anxiety or heartache, your Lifeguard Walks on Water. Have you considered making the wonderful Dalton's beads of courage available for others? Your beautiful family of three has touched the heart and lives of so many and will continue. I look forward to being part of your little miracle thanks to your blog.

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  19. Amazing news!! I continue to pray for your precious Dalton, and pray for his mother's recovery as well. Your family is an inspiration to many. Thank you for posting the photos, as they are such a joy to see. Continued prayers and thoughts for you, as I await the next update of this special little boy<3 Love and Prayers..Marge Price, Newark, Ohio

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  20. He looks so awesome Kara!! I had jaundice when I was a baby too!! Still praying for him daily..so thankful for all the strength God has given him!! Love always, Cait

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  21. Amazing!!! What a handsome little man you have!! We are praying every day for Dalton!!

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  22. Dear Kara and Jonathan,
    I have been following your journey after finding out about you through the Green Family's facebook post. First, congratulations on your precious little miracle!!!!! Dalton is a beautiful little blessing from God. Second, I am totally amazed by you!!!!!!! Has anyone told you how amazing you are????? YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!! And if you forget that, please reread this post as often as necessary! I am a mom of 5, living in the burbs of Johns Creek. Whether you have one, five, or ten, being a mom is the most precious and difficult job God could give us as women. From the second we learn of their existence, we plan, worry, and prepare. Our lives change at that instant. And change they do, forever!!!!! But Kara, my mommy hat is off to you!! You have already faced so much as a new mom. Like the Green family and their journey, I am just in awe of your faith. It has truly inspired me to be better! Better at what? Well everything. To not overreact, to appreciate the small stuff, to praise God in the difficult times, to pray more, to surrender myself to God and what He has planned for me. And to say I'm sorry, because even on a good day, I'm not perfect. I guess my best "mommy" advice is to force yourself to take time for you. I know you want to be at Dalton's side as often as humanly possible, but you too need to rest. Strengthen your mind and body. God is with Him, he is in the best of hands. Trust that and take time to heal. You are super woman, no doubt, but even we super women need some down time. I will be praying for you all, may God bless you and keep you. And remember, you are AMAZING!!!!!!!
    In Christ,

    Mary Margaret Gregg

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  23. Kara and Jonathan, I am just so happy to read your posts. Thank you for updating when you can as I know how exhausted you are and how hard it is to see your baby hooked up to all those wires. Kara, take care of yourself so that you can heal physically, I know how hard that is when you want to be at your baby's side. Glad Aunt Katherine got to hold him, I'm sure she was dying to get her hands on him! :) My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all of you and I can't wait to watch your journey...

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  24. Your love is undeniable, and your faith is inspiring. Dalton and your family are in our unceasing prayers! -The Hines Family from Holy Family in NC

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are such an inspiration for all of us who have been following your blog. Dalton has been in the prayers & thoughts of so many. He is truely a miracal. We will continue to pray for Dalton & family. The pics were such a reward. Please keep us posted on his recovery. God bless!!

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  26. So excited for you! What a blessed baby you have! Praying for sweet Dalton and all those that are caring for him and you!

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  27. am still praying for dalton and i know he will pull through this and am also praying for his mom to get better too u are the most amazing mom i have ever met i know u don't know me but i have read all your bloggs and i love the story u have wrote about baby dalton he is a blessing too u and your husband and i will cont. too pray for him everyday.

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  28. Dear Kara and Jonathan,
    This is Sharon from CURE who stopped by on Monday to see you. I apologize for interrupting the conversation with your social worker, but just wanted you to know that one of our board member's friends, Rich Heise, asked us to check on you. Even though our journeys are different, (mine as the mother of a child who had cancer), we share the same hopes and dreams for our children...that they will live long, happy lives. You and Dalton will be in my prayers. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help while you are in the hospital. I am at Egleston on Monday mornings so will try to stop by again next week. Take care, and God bless you.
    Sharon Bryan
    sharon@curechildhoodcancer.org

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  29. It's Wednesday morning and I just wanted you to know that I am praying for your sweet Dalton! And for his parents! "My help comes from the Lord" Psalm 121
    Anna Henson (Gray and Andrew's friend)

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  30. well just to think how lucky i am to be alive and how much my parents worried over me i was so small when i was born (3 months early) the docs said i may not make it. well now iam 19 years old and now my dad says every day "i am so lucky u are here" ive put him thur alot of pain lately with trying to kill my self.well after i read about dalton and ur pain.i see how much pain my parents were in and now it maskes me want to keep living. your blog changed my life and so did you guys and dalton.thank you so much

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  31. Thank you for sharing your story!! What an incredible journey you have been on!! I found out about your journey the Monday you went into labor, and you have constantly been in my prayers!!!! Dalton is truly a miracle, and I know he is such a blessing. He is so handsome, and has so much sweetness!!! I can't wait to see how God will continue to move on his behalf!! What an amazing example of Life!!!! Thank you for sharing your family, struggles & faith!!!
    -Andrea Quinn
    awitherill@hotmail.com

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