Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Overwhelmed

I don't really know how to describe how I'm feeling right now except overwhelmed. I thought yesterday was going to be the hardest day of my life, and it certainly was . . . however, I could definitely feel a tangible peace surrounding me that I know was a gift from God and a result of all of the thousands of people who were lifting up prayers for us and our precious son. Surgery and waiting through surgery was gut-wrenching and awful, but we were surrounded by people who love us and love Caden, and Jayci even visited in the waiting room a little too. She told everyone "brother is a little sick," which I only wish was the whole truth about his condition.

I think, however, that Adam and I had some false expectations about the outcome of surgery. By that I mean that we had talked about and prepared ourselves (well as much as you can do that) for him not making it out of surgery. We had cried and prayed and surrendered those fears to the Lord. But somehow in my mind I thought that if he just made it through surgery than everything would be fine. And then to hear that his left ventricle was still not working right and that he might need another open heart surgery . . . I could just feel my heart and strength crumble.

The truth is that the only way we are making it through this is by God sustaining us each step of the way, and I am confident that He will shower us with the grace we need to make it through this next step . . . but I'm just not quite there yet.
We are overwhelmed, too, at the outpouring of love and support we have we received from family, and friends, and even strangers. We have been reduced to tears countless times (granted, that's not hard to do these days) at the realization of how loved and prayed over we are. Last night a friend even organized a candlelight prayer service for Caden at my parent's house, and I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart to see my little girl praying for her little brother.

We are overwhelmed at how hard it is to see our son like this (warning: the pictures are graphic, if you're squeamish, I would not scroll down and look at them). Because he was so swollen from surgery, they left his chest open - so you can see his heart beating. And there is literally NOTHING we can do but entrust him into God's arms and trust that Jesus is holding him when we can't. This post-surgery fragility is terrifying. Every beep, every machine, every phone call makes us jump out of our skin at the thought that something is going or has gone wrong.

Adam went to morning rounds this morning while I stayed with Jayci, and they said he did as well as can be expected last night, considering he just had major open heart surgery. His heart went in to a different rhythm called junction ectopic tachycardia (JET)at around 1am.  The surgeon happened to be called in for another patient and was checking on Caden when his heart went in to this rhythm.  They tried to fix this by cooling him off a little, from 36-37C to 34-36C, and starting him on a mild sedative that also helps the heart beat in a normal (sinus) rhythm.  However, these measures didn't work so they ended up turning on the pacemaker to fix it. The doctor assured us that this was more of a speed bump than a setback, which we're glad to hear. But again, scary stuff. He was able to go down on several of his meds as well as his ventilator, and is even taking some breaths on his own. They did up his pain medication a little because he was moving around a lot and they wanted to make sure he wasn't feeling any pain.

*again, be warned that these pictures are rough. TRUST ME, I know -- it is hard for me to see too. REALLY hard. And every time I close my eyes I can't help but see Caden and my own heart aches - I would do anything to take this away from him and to heal him and make it all better. But I can do nothing. Except pray, and do my best to continue walking faithfully beside him and trust that God is fighting for him.
 
So basically, he is doing ok, but still in a pretty sick and critical state. PLEASE keep praying for him that everything will go smoothly as they try to get levels evened out and everything back to where it needs to be in order for them to close up his chest etc. Continue to pray that the left ventricle will be healed so he will not need any additional surgery. Pray for Adam and I that we will be covered with His grace as we walk through this next week or more that he will be in the CICU before he can be moved to the step-down unit (where we can stay with him). If everything goes perfectly we will probably spend at least another month in the hospital, so pray for strength for us (and sweet Caden) through that, and also for wisdom and discernment in juggling that with parenting Jayci and taking care of ourselves and our marriage.

Today we are resting in Exodus 14:14 . . . and can feel your prayers covering and reviving us and healing our son's tiny little heart. And we are encouraged (even in our discouragement) to know that we have an amazing army behind our little man cheering for him and praying for him and encouraging him and loving him well. We are overwhelmed.

60 comments:

  1. Continuing to pray for y’all and sweet Caden. Love you!!!

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  2. for once in my life, I am speechless. But NOT prayerless. Thankful for God's precious Word.. Psalm 34:18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. (The Message)

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  3. What a beautiful verse to cling to right now. Continuing to pray for all of you!

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  4. Your road is feeling so similar to ours as we, too, had some false expectations and perhaps naively underestimated what the days following the surgery would be like.

    I wish I was less of a stranger so that I could give you a hug and let you know that, in some way, I know what all of this is like for you.

    I continue to pray for the wisdom of your doctors, for peace in your souls and for a slowly strengthening little heart in Caden.

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  5. We are continuing to PRAY - with every update, facebook post, and each time God brings you all to mind. We are lifting all 4 of you up and know that God is holding your sweet baby boy tight against His chest and healing him as we speak!

    I hope you don't mind, but I posted a blog about you guys. I have some great prayer warriors and I knew they would lift you guys up if I shared your story.

    http://erickabjackson.blogspot.com/2011/08/critical-prayer-need-stanley-family.html

    We can't wait to read the blog post from you about how wonderfully Caden is doing and that you're able to take him home with you! Praying with anticipation of that day!

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  6. sending a hug and lots of love your way

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  7. Praying for your little boy. I am a friend of Ruth Petrees' and she posted a link to this post on FB. Our first child, Amos, was born 10 weeks early, five years ago, and developed hydrocephalus and needed 2 brain surgeries for shunts.
    I know it's not the same thing, but I know the journey you are on. It is so tough to trust and to understand what is happening and why. But we experienced the same thing...God's sustenance and peace, and he did give us everything we needed at every moment. He will continue to do so. I am praying for your precious baby boy and hope that he recovers well and soon.

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  8. Hi! I'm friends with Kate Shepard and she sent your blog link to me. The short story is that my son was born two years ago with severe heart defects, and I know the pain you're feeling right now.

    I'm going to go back and read your posts to get a better understanding of your story, but please feel free to contact me if you want an understanding ear, albeit a stranger's ear, but an understanding one nonetheless :)

    Many prayers coming your way...

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  9. I am speechless myself...your strength and the strength of your precious Caden and family is awe inspiring.

    I am praying for all of you....extra, extra hard.

    Hugs,
    Dita

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  10. Oh my heart hurts for you.
    I am praying for your sweet man, a quick healing and so much strength for you and Adam, as well as little Jayci.
    Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

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  11. WOW! You are brave to share these pictures with us...and I thank you for that. Just so you know, I went to school with Adam, not sure if he remembers me or if the name rings a bell. And also...I am so sorry if you went to school with us and I just do not remember. :)

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  12. I love you all and am continuing to pray for you in this hard time! Love yall!

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  13. He is so beautiful and so loved and that's all you can do. Just keep loving him and we'll keep the faith for you.

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  14. I've been praying for you and your family faithfully and diligently. My daughter, Carla, went to high school with you.. and, she, too has you in her prayers. I hope you can feel our prayers and our love being sent to you.

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  15. I am praying so much for your family and your little boy.

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  16. Got a link to your blog through Tales of The Trees....sent a quick prayer up for your beautiful boy and family. Wishing you lots of blessings and love.

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  17. I love that verse. We are still praying for you, Adam, Jayci, and little Caden! He is so beautiful!

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  18. Praying for your family and little Caden.

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  19. We are praying and praying and praying without stopping. I think God allows us those "false expectations" so that we can get through one day at a time. Cling to him minute by minute. Your names are written on the palm of his hands.

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  20. Did they tell you that you can't stay? He is your love and your heart, if you want to stay, you can stay. If you need a break thats okay too. My husband always had to leave, he couldn't stay there all the time. I couldnt leave. Do whats best for you. This is about you and in my experience they'll do everything they can to help you. They won't make you leave.

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  21. Did they tell you that you can't stay? He is your love and your heart, if you want to stay, you can stay. If you need a break thats okay too. My husband always had to leave, he couldn't stay there all the time. I couldnt leave. Do whats best for you. This is about you and in my experience they'll do everything they can to help you. They won't make you leave.

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  22. i found your blog through wyatt mobley's post on facebook. i just wanted to tell you that we are praying hard for your sweet caden and for your precious family.
    Ps. 119:50:
    My comfort in my suffering is this:
    Your promise preserves my life.

    www.themedlins.blogspot.com

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  23. Precious family,

    I found this blog through Ericka Jackson's facebook pleas for more prayers for you all. I am sitting on my bedroom floor in Indianapolis preparing to leave for India and I want you to know that in the midst of all these preparations you four have not ceased to be on my heart. I am crying with you and am confident that you will see His goodness in ways that only He can produce. I think of Psalm 145. You are tremendously blessed at this very moment and I pray that that becomes more evident to you -- even if faith is your only evidence for His lavishing grace toward you. When you're weak, be all there. There's grace for that.

    You are so, so loved. He is so tender. He knows what it is like to watch His only son suffer. He knows.

    Brittany DiSalvo

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  24. Oh sweet Becca ~~ my name is Dawn and I found you through Megan's blog. I will be praying for your sweet Caden and you and your husband and your little girl.

    My verse right now for SSMT is Exodus 14:14. I was stunned when I saw it on your blog. God is SO AWESOME!!! He is fighting for you sweet one and for sweet tiny Caden!! He loves you all so!!!


    Have a Blessed evening sweet one ~~ Dawn

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  25. hi becca. i am a friend of erin and wesley fielding. please know that there are countless people, all over the world, many of whom you will never know, praying for your sweet, precious caden and his heart to be healed completely. praying for peace for your mother's heart and for strength for your wonderful husband and for precious moments with your daughter during this heartbreaking time. i will be sure to share your story with everyone that i can and spread prayers as far as i can, god is holding your whole family. praying for an amazing testimony and an active, silly, energetic little caden to emerge soon. prayers, kelsey koslowski

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  26. I am praying for your beautiful, sweet baby boy.

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  27. I am a stranger, but am thinking of you. Hang in there. Go Caden!!

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  28. Adam, Becca, Jayci, and Caden, I am praying for you guys nonstop -- even in my sleep, honestly. I am familiar with the overwhelmed feeling from our time at Egleston, and we learned we had to take it one day -- one hour! -- at a time. Each day can be a constant rollercoaster with a dozen ups and as many downs, and you can't possibly handle a month's worth of that emotion, fear, hope, and uncertainty at once. God will grant you the grace you need for each moment but not all that you will need in the next month at once. He will be with you moment by moment, giving you peace, strength, endurance, perspective, and His abiding love. When we were in shoes similar to yours, I wouldn't even let myself look to tomorrow, for I would start to shake and cry thinking of what was ahead. But day by day, God was present and faithful and good, and He was enough. I am praying for your peace and rest in Him. And I am of course praying for Caden's LV.

    You have an army praying for you, and Caden's life is making a difference in his first week of life! That's a remarkable and wonderful thing. He is a gift to many, and we are all praying for him and are behind your family. At no moment are you alone. I would venture to say that there are no minutes in a 24 hour period where you and Caden are not on the front of someone's mind. You are covered in prayer and loved by many. I am praying that we will be able to carry some of your burden for you.

    The line of a song called "Grace Upon Grace" was a huge comfort to us: "All that You ask, Your grace will provide." There is nothing God will ask of you that He won't provide you the grace to do. Praying.

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  29. Continuing to pray for your family and for precious Caden. He is such a strong little guy and so lucky to have parents like you. The picture of the prayer service made me cry. What a sweet sight.

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  30. Praying for your family- that God will give you peace that passes all understanding- and for sweet baby Caden & his sweet heart.

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  31. Becca, I am praying for you guys and for little Caden. He is precious. And how adorable is Jayci praying for her little brother? Melts my heart. I had no idea any of this was going on... xoxo

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  32. I just heard about your story. I want you to know that our family is lifting you up in prayer!!! I know firsthand how scary it is to have a sick newborn, especially if you weren't expecting it (our first was supposed to be healthy but had a rare condition called PPHN - he was given 70% chance of survival & spent 5 weeks in the NICU). God is in the miracle business! We are praying, praying, praying for Caden!!!

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  33. I have been praying and thinking about sweet Caden and all of you like crazy, Becca, and I will continue to. Sending you and your precious family so much love! Xoxox

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  34. More prayers and love from an internet stranger.

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  35. Mrs Southern Belle blog sent me this way to read the courageous journey and pray for your family. My family and I will be lifting this family up in our prayers.

    Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
    Romans 12:12

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  36. Prayers from Canada for Sweet Baby Caden and your family.
    God Bless.

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  37. Praying for you in Dallas

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  38. We are praying all of you here in Brazil.

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  39. Praying for your sweet boy and you and your husband as God helps you navigate through this - He will not leave your or forsake you! He has you in the center of His will and there is such peace in that. One day at a time... know that there are so many people that you know (and those you don't, like me) who are praying. Peace to you guys.

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  40. Just a stranger... but I am fervently praying for precious little Caden and your family.

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  41. Just wanted to let you know I found your blog through a friend's facebook page, and I am praying for Caden and your family. I am praying for complete healing of Caden, and for strength for your family, that you may each come through this trial stronger as a testiment to God's love and provision.

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  42. Found your blog through facebook. Your love for our Lord is evident, your witness is amazing. Honored to pray for your little boy.

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  43. such a sweet precious baby. i am lifting him up to our heavenly father. heal this baby boy dear jesus!! and comfort both mom and dad.

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  44. I am praying for Caden harder then I have ever prayed for anything in the world. Every time I read your posts, my heart just aches and tears come to my eyes. What a sweet brave little boy!

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  45. Praying for precious Caden and your family! My little brother (now 22 yrs old) was also born with congenital heart disease and had many surgeries when he was young. He is now a professional golfer - God is Good! Trusting the Lord will provide you with comfort and peace during this time. He is in control!
    Jessica (Friend of Kimberly Chalk)

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  46. Always thinking and praying for you guys.

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  47. Know that MANY have been moved to pray for your precious Caden. The Lord ministered deeply to my heart through these verses when our baby girl (now 3) was going through her life-saving heart surgery:

    Psalm 22
    9)Yet you brought me out of the womb
    You made me trust in you
    even at my mothers breast.
    From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb, you have been my God.
    Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
    14) My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me
    My strength has dried up and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth
    19) But you O Lord, be not far off;
    O my Strength, come quickly and help me.
    Deliver my life.
    24) For he has not despised or destained the suffering of his afflicted one.
    He has not hidden his face from him, but has listened to his cry for help.
    31) They will proclaim his righteousness
    to a people yet unborn - for he has done it!

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  48. My cousin inlaw put a link to your blog on her blog, asking for prayers for your sweet little family. After viewing your recent posts all I can say is how deeply moved I am by your faith. Caden is so lucky to have such an amazing family! He looks so precious and an obvious fighter for sure. Prayers and big hugs from Oklahoma!

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  49. I am a long time reader of your blog, and you always leave me feeling inspired. Praying for your son and your family in Dallas, TX!

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  50. y'all are constantly in my heart and prayers... love you girl.

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  51. I found your blog through Tales of Trees (which I follow, not sure how I stumbled on it). Tomorrow, my son will be two weeks post surgery from his coarctation repair and PDA repair. He was two weeks old when they found defects. We were immediately airlifted to Jackson, MS where he had surgery within 24 hrs. This last month has been the most stressful of my life. Just know that its amazing how quickly we saw him progress after surgery. There were days when I just did not see him getting better, then 48 hrs later he was a different baby. My husband and I could not have made it through all of this without the support of our family and friends and most importantly our Heavenly Father. God literally held us up during those first 3 days after surgery. It was so scary. Sorry so long but wanted to let you know that you are not alone! I totally understand what you are going through and I am sorry your family is having to experience this.

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  53. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy, and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.

    Read this and thought of you!!

    Praying for you fervently!!!!!!

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  54. Another stranger touched by your story, and reliance on the Lord's strength and faithfulness. Fervently praying for Caden and your family. I am heavy-hearted for your family and am covering you all in prayer through the day and night. Trust in the Lord for He is good, faithful and trustworthy.

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  55. We are praying Becca! May you feel our prayers and those of so many others!

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  56. I've added my continual prayers for you Becca, Adam and little Caden knowing as you do that our Heavenly Father will provide the grace you need right now. Blessing to the whole Clan,
    Bevie

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  57. A message from your Brookline Street neighbors - Crystal and Teague - we are thinking of your family during this difficult time.

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