Friday, August 12, 2011

Something Beautiful

The CICU is a scary place. Doctors and nurses scurry around, constantly checking levels, changing meds, and fixing problems. Lights flash red and green and orange everywhere as alarms and reminders go off. And the beeps, oh the beeps. It isn't long before you start hearing those beeps in your sleep.

Part of what makes it so scary is that everything is life and death. We've been there a few times when we've heard them call a "code blue," and I can't even begin to describe the feeling that those words produce in my stomach: trembling fear, pain to think of someone else going through that, and relief that it wasn't our Caden.

I am still amazed by the number of wires, tubes, lights, medications, and computer screens monitoring rates and rhythms that are attached to our son. He is surrounded by a spaghetti of tubes that are overwhelming to even think about untangling. I can scarcely fathom how the nurses are able to put the right medicine in the right tube to get it to the right place . . .

Yesterday I finally realized, however, that all those scary things - the alarms, the lights, the wires, the screens, the medicines, syringes, and beeping  . . . they've all become beautiful to me. Because they are the very things God is using to keep Caden alive.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." -Ecc 3:11
So while I wont pretend it's not still gut-wrenchingly painful to see my son laying on his bed attached to a million machines, with his chest wide open, and a machine breathing for him . . . I've discovered that not only is the CICU a scary place, but it's also a place where miracles happen. Where we pray for pee, and Caden is a peeing machine. Where we pray for peace, and we have peace, even in the midst of circumstances that are worse than anything I could have imagined. But we have peace, and that's a miracle, an answered prayer.
And who would have thought something as gruesome as an open chest could be so beautiful? Because I can look at my son, and see his heart beating. And know that each beat of that tiny heart is a miracle, a chance for God's glory and grace to pour out on us anew.
And this? Seeing these beautiful eyes looking at me is nothing short of amazing. Caden opened his eyes for the first time since surgery, and we were both there, AND I had my camera. And I realize that his eyes being open doesn't mean much medically about his condition, but I will tell you that it did a world of good for my mama-heart.
Hey little buddy, just keep fighting and let your heart get strong . . . we are right here beside you, and we love you so much more than you can even imagine. Your mommy and daddy, and literally thousands of others all across the globe are rooting for you and praying for you and can't wait to see lots more of those beautiful eyes!

40 comments:

  1. tears. those eyes are the most beautiful eyes i've ever seen, becca. and God timed it just right so you could capture them for all of us to see, as well. thank you for being so strong and photographing EVERYTHING. xoxo

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  2. My eyes are pretty leaky right now. My goodness, Becca, I think his eyes are the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. I know your heart is the most beautiful thing I've experienced. What an amazing, incredibly well-written, uplifting, in the moment post. LOVE you... PRAYING... God is good...

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  3. I'm sitting in the court waiting room with a family and I just got up and showed his picture to every person here and asked them to pray. All around me lawyers and families and court clerks are praying for your Caden.

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  4. Tears are flowing. How great is God to time it perfectly for both of you to be there when he opened his eyes! Oh and those eyes. Beautiful eyes. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Praying constantly!

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  5. PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD!!! :D :D :D

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  6. Thank you, Jesus. Those sweet baby eyes looking right at his Mama...thank you for sharing. He is such a beautiful miracle!

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  7. oh Becca! Tears of praise! For Caden and for the work God is doing even in you guys. Wow. So amazed. Continuing to praise for your tough little fighter! Another cool thing--caught Cate praying for Caden twice this morning already--it's incredible to hear it and makes me realize that Caden is even affecting my daughter's prayer life!

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  8. Beautiful little boy! I am praying for you and your sweet family!

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  9. OH! He is such a little doll - love seeing his sweet eyes open! Thanks for sharing that picture... looks like progress to me, and I know you were thrilled to be there at that perfect moment (and I'm glad he got to see his Mama's face!) We are continuing to pray and believe - meanwhile, God is working miracles!

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  10. What an awesome God! I know that God wanted you both to see those beautiful eyes together. I continue to pray for healing, strength, and peace for Caden and your family. God has begun to work a mighty miracle in Caden's life and will continue till he is completely healed!!

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  11. This melts my heart. What a beautiful little boy. I have been following his incredible story since day 1. Such a fighter! He brings tears to my eyes because I am so happy to see he is doing better! We will all keep praying. You have truly inspired me. I too am a photographer, and the fact that you can still capture these images and post updates truly amazes me. You have motivated me beyond, and I thank you!

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  12. Well, you certainly know how to bring tears to one's eyes. But, they are beautiful tears of understanding and joy. :)

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  13. Sorry, I forgot to put my name. :)

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  14. Hi Becca,
    At birth is when we found out about our son's bicuspid aortic stenosis. While he didn't require immediate surgery, he was in heart failure two weeks later and needed valveoplasti. And again at 6 weeks.

    Our second son was born with a brain malformation. Both of these conditions were "anomalies." When my second son was two he was dehydrated due to increased seizures so we went to the ER. He was admitted. They didn't attach him to any of the machines to monitor his status, it was a routine dehydration visit. He died that night (we think due to a grand-mal seizure, but didn't perform an autopsy). If he were attached to the machines, he may have been able to be resuscitated.

    Thank god for technology, and yes, they ARE beautiful noises that you hear, keeping him alive and letting you know that your beautiful baby is safe and sound. Believe it or not, you will miss those "safe" sounds when you finally get to bring him home.

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  15. Our God is a God of miracles and I think Caden is proof of that! His eyes are so expressive...he is so beautiful, Becca. Continuing to pray for Caden and your family!

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  16. Wonderful post and very hopeful. We will all continue to pray. It sounds like you have all the support you need; I'd like to share that Caden was me, at 5 months. I had tubes running in and out all over the place, for at least a month (total time of 3 months in the hospital) as I was recovering from spinal meningitis and the doctors were pumping penicillin through my head. I live a full life now, and so will Caden. You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

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  17. Caden is looking straight at his mommy and I can hear him saying.."its okay mommy, I'm strong and I'll be so happy when they get all these tubes out of me so I can give you a nice long smooch!"

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  18. saying prayers for your sweet little guy.

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  19. wow, there IS something about those open eyes! sitting at my desk at work, i scrolled down to that picture, and burst into tears! they are just so sweet and bring so much hope! and even with him hooked up to all those tubes and life lines, you can tell he looks a lot like Jayci :) he is absolutely precious and i don't go an hour without thinking of him and praying for him and all of you.

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  20. He is so beautiful! Those precious eyes looking at his mama brought tears to my eyes. My class is praying for him and they ask about him before I mention it during our prayer!! Love y'all!

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  21. How amazing! Sending many thoughts and prayers your way. I think about your family often and know that Caden is one strong boy with amazing will and strong parents to help him in his fight. God bless!

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  22. I love how God gives all of us these special miracles and Hope is reborn.
    Praying for continued healing and that many lives will be impacted because of Caden.

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  23. I have never met y'all, but saw a post about Caden on facebook and have been keeping up and praying ever since. Your strength amazes me and makes me re-evaluate my trust in God - or should I say my lack of trust in God. You and your precious baby are such an inspiration. It's a revival! Btw, his eyes are gorgeous and miraculous.

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  24. Hi, I am following your story via Becky and have tears just flowing. Caden is so beautiful, and those eyes, what can I say?

    Praying for all of you and will be cheering you all on from MN!

    God's blessings!
    Trudy

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  25. Your child's precious life has touched me so deeply. I have been praying for many times through out the day since Caden was born. I am a stay at home wife and mother, and your God given little Caden has been a constant reminder of the importance of God in my children's lives. None of us know how long we have with our children. Each day is special, and each day we must be treasuring and showing our little ones The Way, The Truth, and The Light. Thank you for your strength and testimony. I am better because of you.

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  26. Praising God for Caden's progress today. What incredible depth those wonderful eyes hold... Continued prayers-
    The Russell Family

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  27. I know we don't know eachother, but someday in heaven we will. Our family is praying for this precious little child of yours. (got to love the facebook connection for times like this)Know we are committed to pray for your family. He is beautiful!

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  28. I heard about baby Caden from a friend and have been praying for him. We adopted a baby girl out of the NICU. She had many medical issues including a hole in her heart. She is now 20 and going off to college. God is GOOD! All the time!

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  29. Oh that precious boy! The title of this post could be used to describe the post itself. Just amazing and the last picture of Caden with his big blue eyes - priceless. Thinking about ya'll today and loving you from the Boro - continuing to pray pray pray!

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  30. I, like so many others, have never met you all but have been on my knees for your family so much these days. I have no idea how I even found your blog but have loved reading how Father is using your family in ministry. As I read the news of sweet little Caden, I questioned so much, why?? (As I know you have) But I am comforted by the Lord's goodness and soveriegnty and the mighty plan He has for Caden! I can not wait to see how Caden's story continue to unfolds. Praying for you all!!

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  31. i just showed my two year old, ezra, the picture of caden with his eyes open and told him that baby caden was sick an asked him if we should pray for him. he said yes, and folded his hands, complete with a matchbox car tangled in his fingers, and we prayed for baby caden's heart to get better really fast! i don't think there's anything more powerful than the prayers of a child. we will keep praying!

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  32. I wept looking at the last picture with his eyes open. As if God was using the little fellow to say, all is well mama, all is well...

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  33. I'm so happy for you. What an amazing little guy.

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  34. So happy to see his eyes open! Praying for your precious one every day.

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  35. Oh those eyes! Keep fighting little buddy. We are all praying for you!!

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  36. Praying for you and yours. I cannot imagine going through what you are right now...and with such grace. There is such beauty in these photos. What a precious little boy you have. He looks so much like his sister!

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  37. I am in awe......such beautiful words and photos. I am praying for your precious son.

    Dita

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  38. Another gift and beautiful miracle from Jesus. We love all four of you so much!

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  39. I have yet to leave another comment dear friend since Caden's birth. It's not because I don't love you, but I have worried what to say. Please know that doesn't mean I haven't stopped praying since the first post I read. Your little boy is precious and such a gift from God. I'm constantly reminded in my own life that these children God gives us are never really ours. He has a purpose for all their days just like He does for us. I know He is using Caden and your faithful family to bring Him glory. I know He has BIG plans for Caden and for his sweet heart. Keep believing and trusting Him! And I'll do the same from KY.

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  40. Hi, you don't know me but a fb friend posted this and i've been following your story for a couple of days. Many, many prayers and happy thoughts i've sent to your little boy. He is absolutely beautiful. We have a friend who is going through something similar with their daughter. May God bless you all and continue to grant you so much strength to get through this and have an amazing life together as a family.

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