When we went back into Jack’s room he was so swollen from all the fluids. His little face as so red from laying face down for several hours during surgery. It seemed like he had a million things connected to him. More than before surgery.
At one point I’d asked the doctor how long recovery would be. He said it would vary, but best case would be seven days. We could be home in seven days. It seemed like a long shot from the look of my sweet baby. I hoped it wouldn’t be long though.
Sunday we sat with our baby a lot and talked with so many various people coming and going from his room. There was a breathing tube, a feeding tube, and other tubes that monitored a million things.
Sunday night I decided I needed to be with my other kids. Jack was doing well, and I was reassured that I could call any time, and I would also get a call any time anything was going to be happening. It was so bitter sweet. I needed to see my other kids. I needed to hug them, and let them know that I loved them.
Monday was great. I got to play and hug and be with those littles that really didn’t know what was happening. They had been shuffled to friends houses and with family, and had dinners brought to us. We had so much help and love. It’s still overwhelming to me today.
As I was sitting folding laundry I got a phone call from the hospital. They had taken Jack’s breathing tube out, and he was doing great! I was so excited they let me know. I knew they might try Tuesday, but he seemed ready so they went for it. It was a huge milestone. To get out of the NICU he had to be off the breathing tube.
Monday evening I went back up to the hospital. It was nice to be back with my baby. He was doing well. It was so wonderful to see his cute little face again. It was so covered up from the breathing tube. He did have the oxygen tubes still, but those were so little it seemed like no big deal.
Tuesday was a special day. I was alone that day, and the nurse let me know I could hold my baby boy again if I wanted to. He had a drain in his head, and so I had to hold him a very specific way in order to not hurt him. I hope I never forget that moment. Gratitude was mostly what it felt like. Looking at my baby boy and knowing he was a miracle. I knew that I had been given a gift. Our prayers were answered in the way we hoped they would have been. We were lucky. I was holding a little boy who God had great plans for.
Tuesday also brought a lot of waiting for doctors to approve him to be put in the recovery area instead of NICU. Once the doctor was out of surgery we finally got the good news that he was ready to go! It was so great to not have to be kept in the NICU. While it’s a very, very sacred place to me, it’s not a place I wish to stay long. I’m grateful that we were only there 3 days. What a huge blessing and miracle that was.
The last few days
Jack was moved to the recovery floor. In order to go home, he needed to be able to drink a specific amount from the bottle. He forgot how to suck, so we had to kind of reteach him. He could only do it a few sucks at a time, then he’d be so tired. He’d lost a pound in those 3 days, and so getting him to gain some weight back was essential as well.
The rest of the week really was filled with feeding, swallow tests, and eventually his stitches even came out. I remember my husband and I had gone somewhere and we came back and the nurses had put little blue socks on Jack’s feet. It was so fun to see him wearing clothes – even if it was just socks.
I could make a huge list from the time I was in my bedroom when this entire thing started to the day Jack was released. As time passed, I saw the miracles. I even found out about more miracles months and months after. Back ground miracles.
One of the last miracles though, was that on Sunday November 22 we got to dress our baby boy, and wait for what seemed like an eternity for the doctor to check us out and give us all the information we needed for all the doctors he’d need to see to verify various things. After just 8 days in the hospital, we were going home to be a family of 6 again. Jack had come out basically at the best possible scenario.
Last week we celebrated Jack’s 7th birthday. He has always been a crazy fighter, and still is. He is strong physically and mentally. Jack loves being a brother and is a great friend to his siblings, and neighbors. First grade has been treating him well. You would actually never know he’s had brain surgery (besides the really huge scar running right up the back of his head). He has no side effects at all from the surgery.
We were told when he was 4 months old that he may never have side effects. He was so tiny when he had the surgery that if there was any damage the brain would most likely compensate for it somewhere else. Isn’t that amazing?
This time of year, we’re all usually spending the month being grateful. My heart just bursts with gratitude a little bit more than it used to. Jack’s miracle day is next week. I’ll be forever grateful to have him. I’m forever grateful for the help with babysitting, dinners, prayers, thoughts, cards, food brought to us at the hospital, and will always be grateful that my last encounter with a generous man was him bringing my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and their family to see us at the hospital. Before leaving he handed us some money. He told us it was for meals while we were there. He passed away just a few months later.
The generosity of other people never ceases to amaze me. I learned that at some point in our lives we will all need to be humble, and ask for help. In return, you’re allowing someone to serve you. Make sure you take the opportunities to help and serve others as well. It brings us closer to God, and it brings us closer to each other. There isn’t a better way to get to know someone, really know them, then when we can fulfill a need they have.
Giving and receiving of service is essential for all of us. Humility must always be involved. Miracles are real. They aren’t just found in Scripture. They happen all the time. Do you see them? Look for the miracle that you’ll have today. They’re there.