Although the correction of Ned's heart will be a huge blessing, it has been very difficult for me to approach tomorrow from a standpoint of anticipation. I would like to say that I am excited about getting through the heart repair, but the truth is that I am completely terrifed of the procedure. There are moments when I can come to a point of peace, but I can't stay there. I think it is because there are so many ups and downs and uncertainties right now that once I come to level ground, it is unexpectedly pulled out from under me again.
Today began on a great note. We met with the cardiac surgeon, Dr. Stewert, and he was walking us through the details of the surgery and giving us statistics on what we can expect for potential outcomes. I know many of you are wondering how those statistics play in Ned's favor, but I'm just not willing to put some of the potential poor outcomes into the air. The upshot is that it is most likely that he will return from surgery in much the same condition he is in currently with the state of his lungs and working through blood pressure issues. Then there are extreme cases from basically complete healing to some other really devastating outcomes. As we told Dr. Stewert today, we have spent too much of our time and energy caught up in the statistics we have been given regarding Ned's survival. We made the decision many months ago to ignore those statistics and BELIEVE that God was greater than that, that He was bigger than all of Ned's birth defects. We placed Ned in the hands of God and that is where he remains. It is difficult for me to leave him there. I want to be able to meet his needs, but I find myself at a place of completely inability.....as weak as I have ever felt. Almost too weak to lift up real and coherent prayers.
I don't know if it was because Ned's day wasn't all that great today or because I had the impending surgery looming over my head, but it was extremely difficult for me to leave his little bedside tonight. We had blood pressure issues all day, but seemed to have gotten the under control several hours before we left. Once that was cleared up, I was feeling pretty steady until our nurse told me that she hoped that Ned had a good night because they wanted me to be able to hold him in the morning prior to his surgery!?! While I have longed for and daydreamed about the moment I would first get to snuggle my sweet son in my arms, something about the urgency of needing to get that in prior to surgery has left me completely unnerved. I know it wasn't their intention at all, but I just felt like they were saying, "we want you to be able to hold your child before his surgery....it may be your only opportunity."
Ned will leave at 7:10 in the morning for his coarctation repair. The entire procedure should take 2-3 hours; however, the actual heart repair part shouldn't last more than 20 minutes. Please pray for little Ned tonight (if anyone is still up) and in the morning. I am just praying that God has already ordained and prepared this situation so that He can be glorified. I am praying for the doctors and nurses in his OR....that they will be given discernment by the Holy Spirit and that God will be in complete control of them as his surgery takes place. I am just praying the the power of God will be fully displayed tomorrow in the way we all respond during the surgery and the way Ned responds to the surgery. I am also praying that once we are past this, that I will always be aware of how God spared my sweet son and that it will motivate me to always be certain that I am teaching him how to live his life serving God. I have a much better understanding of how Hannah was able to pray to God that if she could only have a child, she would give him back to God. While, I don't have intentions of dropping Ned off at a temple, I do understand that Ned will have been saved for a purpose and that it is my repsonsiblity to ensure that he is groomed and prepared to meet his task.
Thank you all for all your prayers. Please keep them coming! Could you also pray for my friend Tricia today...her daughter, Cadenne, is linked on my blog. Tricia had a really difficult day in the hopsital. Cadenne is fine, but working your way through hospital changes can be really difficult on a mother and sometimes it is overwhelming when you can't mother your own child. She and her family have been extremely faithful to pray for us and I am asking that you lift her up on a day when she is struggling as well.
I love you all dearly!
Betsy, Travis, Jack & Ned