This has absolutely, hands-down, been the greatest day of my entire life!! I wish I could truely express the overwhelming feelings of thankfulness, joy, peace, relief, excitement, anticipation, and fulfillment that I have experienced today. If I weren't so old and out-of-shape, I could have turned cartwheels down the PICU hall all afternoon.
As I mentioned earlier, Dr. Stewert was thrilled with the outcome of the surgery. While, I could tell he was wanting to remain "cautiously optimistic", as any professional surgeon would, he couldn't help but looking like a kid on Christmas morning as he peered over Ned's bed for hours after the surgery. He just kept repeating (mostly to himself I think), this is "un-freaking-believeable". He also told me that the outcome was more than he would have dared to even ask for. I later thought, "not me, if you had any idea what all I had asked of God lately, this outcome may not shock you at all?" All I have been able to do all day is drop my head and say, "thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you....a million times over".
We had planned on staying in the hospital tonight becuase we expected his stats to be really unstable following such an invasive surgery on such an already tenuous child. The medical staff had prepared us for what they truely believed would be a really rocky recovery, if recovery was even feasible. We have really seen today that the staff had reached a consensus that Ned's chances of coming through the surgery without major complications were slim-to-none, so it was basically a party in our room all afternoon. However, his little stats have not only remained stable since the moment he was wheeled back in from the OR, but they are better than they have ever been and they are already working on weaning him off of the conventional vent. As usual, God provides over and above what we need and desire. All I was asking was that he be able to survive the surgery, but God has allowed Ned to be the all-star, super-hero child of the PICU. We may still have some battles to face with weaning, blood pressures, eating, and the last bowel surgery, but we feel like we have cleared the top of the mountain. Not so much even because Ned is doing so much better, but because when we continued to cling to and trust in God, He took us to heights that nobody thought were attainable. We have been blessed beyond measure and in a miraculous nature....today we have been able to rest on the mountain top in the arms of our Savior that carried us through our darkest hours!!
I wish I could begin to thank you all for all your prayers and do some justice to the gratitude I feel in my heart to each and every one of you. You will never know (until we all get to heaven), how your prayers affected our lives and the life of our child. In fact, last night, I couldn't sleep, but was too tired to pray so I asked God to wake up others to pray for me. If any of you were awakened....that's my fault? If at anytime I can ever repay you for your love and kindness, please know that I am so ready and willing to return and give back the blessings I have recieved.
When I got to talk to little Ned today, I told him, "you have already built such a living legacy." I can't wait to teach him about how the Lord used his life to touch the lives of others in the name of Christ and for him to really be able to take in all the goodness that was bestowed on his little life. I am always trying to teach my Sunday School kids about what I call foundations of faith. These are the times in your life when you knew, that you knew, more than anything in the world, that there was a real and personal God doing a work in your life. These foundations of faith are there for you to lean on in times of struggle so you don't crumble under the pressures. I can look back now and see how God was preparing Travis and I for this journey for at least all most 3 years. I am so thankful for the work He has done in and through our family. I am thankful that he reveals Himself to us before He takes us through difficulties so we know we can lean on the power of His presence.
Last thought for the night....I looked at his little body this afternoon, so pink now, and I thought to myself, "you were labled a reject, not worth saving. Doctors told me to scrap you and start over. But I knew then that you were a blessing in disguise and you were so worth saving!" That's how we all are. We're all a bunch of labeled rejects, nothing to offer, and not worth saving. But God looked upon us and loved us in His fatherly way and knew how beautiful we could be (they way He created us to be). And He did what any loving father would do, He gave all that He had to ensure our safety and security though salvation. It makes so much sense when it's put into perspective doesn't it?
Love you all!
Betsy, Travis, Jack & Ned