|Sweet Jude...still swollen from surgery|
This is Brandon tonight writing in Jude's room while Mandy sings to him :)
The sadness in our situation tends to hit home for me about once every seven to ten days. Yesterday was one of them.
I dropped Mandy off at the hospital around 11am and ran a few errands. I felt like I needed a little time on my own getting a few things done. After going to the bank and Verizon I arrived at the hospital around 12:30pm. There was a lot going on and Jude was having a tough day. He still wasn't making the kind of progress the doctor's were hoping for and he seemed to be in more pain than normal. Fifteen minutes passed and Jude wasn't settling down. He was scrunching his face a lot... both his anger and "I'm pooping" face... hard to know which sometimes.
The nurses began doing a sterile procedure so we moved outside Jude's room to talk with the PICU doctor. Looking in I could tell that Jude was gagging now. They had just begun giving him pedialyte through his NG tube that morning, the first liquids he had had directly into his stomach since the heart surgery on Friday. There's not much that compares to watching your baby gag and eventually throw up. Painful! Thankfully Jude didn't throw up this time but he continued to gag some off and on.
Feeling uneasy and frustrated while hearing the update and seeing how Jude was doing, I decided to go down to the cafeteria and get lunch once we finished the update from the doctor. I picked up my traditional bowl of soup (green chile and chicken yesterday :) ) and a few tacos then made my way to the outdoor patio.
Once I sat down to eat lunch, I received a text from my brother wondering how I was doing. While I was replying I got some clarity on what I was thinking and feeling. Normally I see Jude as a strong, little man, a fighter who keeps persevering day after day by God's grace. He's endured so much and it amazes me how he keeps going. I know in some measure he keeps fighting because of so many who pray for him. What a strong, little guy!
What was different today was that I just felt sad for him. I thought of what he's been through and what he was enduring and I felt pity. I began to sob some, stopped and took a few bites of green chile soup and then sobbed a little more. I sat there for a few minutes staring at the grass through tears.
While sitting at the table and eating a little more of my lunch, my mind drifted off and pondered how painful it must have been for the Father to watch His Son - His one and only Son - go through immense pain and loneliness on the Cross. Pain and loneliness on a cosmic level, beyond anything I'll go through. It didn't comfort me that much in the moment but I sensed I was not alone in the experience, that there is One who understands. I wasn't alone at that table either. I never am... and neither is our little guy. Thank you, Father, for never leaving or forsaking me.
Tonight, we are thanking the Lord that:
- Jude has begun taking breast milk again
- he has needed less support on the ventilator
- he went from virtually no urine output on Saturday and Sunday to healthy, normal urine output the last two days :)
- we are cared for by you who read about Jude and pray for us
- continued progress to Jude in his feeding, healing, peeing and breathing
- strength and perspective to continue on and enjoy this chosen path for us