Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Congenital Heart Defects Have Meant to Our Family

What has CHD meant to our family?

It's meant a heart broken ~ beyond comprehension. Who could understand a heart so defective that it can't support life?

It's meant innumerable hours at the computer, researching, learning, writing down questions for the cardiologists.

It's meant a steep learning curve. Medical terminology, equipment, and skills I never dreamed I'd need to know.

It's meant more time than can be measured spent in prayer. Asking for healing, for wisdom for the doctors, for clarity in decision making, for peace, for comfort, for joy in the journey.

It's meant more Dr.s visits than I can count. 3 different doctors before he was born, and close monitoring by the cardiologists after.

It's meant hospital stays.  Some long, some short. Each one bringing separation from the other children, and filled with uncertainties, setbacks, complications, and finally...improvement.

It's meant lots of new folks in our lives. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, ultrasound and echo techs, therapists, and nutritionists. All coming together for the good of our son.

It's meant struggles. Watching our son, machines breathing for him. Wires and tubes, needles and probes. Not being able to hold and comfort him. Feeding difficulties and developmental delays.

But most importantly ~
It has meant our faith has grown. As we have watched God answer prayer after prayer. As we have watched a precious, fragile little boy strengthen and grow.

It has meant we have a new-found appreciation for the little things, the things we often take for granted. Things like holding a baby and rocking them. Things like rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking.

It has meant joy. Every step of the way God has been by our side ~ often He has carried us. No matter what we have faced with Jethro, we have been thankful and there has been joy.

It has meant daily experiencing the grace and faithfulness of God. Seeing our older children step up to the plate and care for their younger siblings...to love them and hold things together when it's all falling apart. To watch Jethro make each milestone...each victory hard won. To see him happy and 'normal'.

I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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