I have to start out by saying I feel like Nephi in the Book of Mormon..."having been born of goodly parents". While I have the utmost respect and love for both of my parents, I have also been blessed with very kind and welcoming in-laws. Since both of my parents have passed away I view Jake's parents as if they were my own. From the time that Jake and I were married they have treated me like one of their daughters.
Jake's mother has been especially concerned for Nathan's welfare following this decision that was thrown upon us. Her good friend from college, Pam, is Elder Todd Christopherson's secretary. Patsy contacted her friend and told her of Nathan's plight. After several back and forth emails, last Tuesday afternoon we received a call for an invitation to bring Nathan up to Elder Christopherson on Wednesday at 4:00 for a blessing.
While we were waiting in Elder Christopherson's office, Nathan started to get a little anxious. Elder Christopherson reached into a cabinet and pulled out a Phillipino jeepney collector car that he had picked up in his travels. He let Nathan play with it while we told him of Nathan's problems and what he would be facing in the future. Nathan adored the car and made many sounds for it while he was rolling it across the furniture and the floor. Now, Nathan has had many blessings in the past from health care professionals, his father and grandfather, and from his uncles. Most of the time Nathan is crying or fidgeting or pushing away from the men. This time, Nathan quietly sat on my lap stroking the car and didn't peep a sound through a very long and sacred blessing. I won't go into the details of what was said, but after a discussion on faith with my mother in law, I have learned that I need to open my heart more and to have faith in what was spoken of. At the end of the blessing I took the car from Nathan and placed it on the desk in front of us. Nathan let out this whimper cry that would pull at any one's heart strings. Elder Christopherson wasn't anymore immune to those cries than his parents. He told us that Nathan could keep the car if he would like. I tried to decline but he said that he would be going back there someday and that he would get another one.
This was an experience that I will never forget. What an increase this has been for my testimony. The way I felt that evening gave me a glimpse into what the parents must have felt in the Book of Mormon in 3rd Nephi when the Savior took the children and blessed them. I am grateful for the love and compassion that was shown to my family on that day.
We have chosen to have Nathan's jaw distracted again on Feb. 18th. He will be hospitalized for 2-4 weeks depending on how his little body handles the surgery. Nathan had a CT scan on his head last Wednesday before the blessing and the doctors found that his bones are dense enough to hold the distractors again. They also discovered a cyst in Nathan's mandible (bone)that is causing bone deterioration and could cause a tear in his cleft repair. Nathan will have that removed at the same time he is having the jaw surgery.
This Friday, January 22nd, Nathan is going to hit another HUGE milestone in his life. Our little baby is turning 2! I will post more about Nathan then.
1 in every 120 babies are born with a heart defect. What if that ONE was YOURS?
Our Little Man
We unknowingly became elite members of a world no one wants to be a part of on January 22, 2008 with the birth of our little boy, Nathan, but looking back we can't imagine life any differently. Nathan has had to endure 21 surgeries in the first 25 months of his life including open heart surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot, jaw surgery at 3 days old, 5 cleft surgeries and many surgeries involving his airway, ears, and eyes. He has a g-tube which he uses as his sole source of nutrition. In February 2010 he underwent a second jaw distraction as he was showing signs of right heart failure.
Nathan is our little hero; our witness that prayers are answered individually and that we couldn't be blessed with better family and friends to support us.
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same. They told me that my baby was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame"? I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong. It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved him for so long. I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice. I will give my son any chance. No matter what the price. I will learn all that I need To help my baby thrive. I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive! Will he need a lot of therapy? Will he gain the needed weight? Please God, help me do this. As I accept our fate. When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder. How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder. As another Angel earns his wings, I run to my baby's bed. I watch him sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss his head. I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why? Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways.... no matter how I try. And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day. My mind says savor each moment he's here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"! From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed. From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med. From wondering, "Will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands. With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands. For all who see that faded line. I look to them and smile. You see my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial. That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart). God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start). A heart mom is always a heart mom. Now wise beyond her years. For those who have angels in heaven, Our hearts share in all of your tears. Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for him (and no other). I will always embrace that beautiful day....... When I became a "Heart Mother".
~Stephanie HustedMommy to Braeden HLHS post FontanCarepage name: babyhusted
I "borrowed" this poem off of another blog. I'm not sure who the author is, but it truly touched my heart.(Original version found at http://garyandcamille.blogspot.com Thank you!) Heart Poem:
It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that she is just going for a visit. She is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."