That Time With the Leia Costume
Last fall and winter combined to be one of the most difficult seasons that I have endured. When Judah stopped breathing October 12 I thought that it couldn't get worse. Some of you are chuckling already because we know that things can always get worse. Once transferred to a children's hospital Judah began to improve, he was off the ventilator and gradually downgraded to breathing oxygen through the lovely nasal prongs. Then he stopped smiling, wanted to sleep more often, and on October 21 he was struggling to breathe. The decision was made to put him back on the ventilator to give his weary body a chance to rest and heal. My heart was a stone. To see him progress so far only to go back on the ventilator pressed heavily on me. This time his time on the ventilator was increased, which meant more sedation, more muscle loss, and an increased risk for pneumonia. When the narcotic wean occurred it was so sudden that he went from twitching a finger to trying to sit up in bed. Hot tears flooded his face as he tried to swallow with the ventilator tube down his throat. Helpless. He continued on like that for three days.
On October 31 he went downhill quickly. His breathing was again labored, his oxygen numbers were too low. Judah's health was so fragile that we weren't sure if he would keep breathing. However, I promised my kiddos that I would meet them at my parents church for their Trunk or Treat so out of the room I went. We hadn't made it Facebook official, how badly off Judah was, but when I arrived at the church a dear friend read it on my face. This beautiful girl hugged me as I cried onto her shoulder. No words were passed. Just an embrace that I'm sure was straight from Heaven. After spending time with my little ones I went back to the hospital. My amazing husband had kept watch over Judah. The night shift was on duty and the charge nurse updated me on Judah. Pneumonia and it was worsening. His traumatized lungs and airways were giving out. I ran on to his room and collapsed into Mike's arms. We held his hand as I soaked his bed with tears. The doctor wanted to give him one hour. Sixty minutes to keep breathing. The respiratory team were pumping his body with medications to keep him going. And what did I do? I went into the bathroom, prayed that somehow God would be glorified through this, and donned my Princess Leia costume complete with those big beautiful hair buns. I walked the halls, praying, and taking pictures with staff and patients. I even hopped on Judah's bed and whispered that he needed to use the Force and that there was no dying when your mom is Princess Leia. Bonkers, I know.
One hour turned into two, which became four. Still breathing. Eight hours. Twenty four. Still breathing. Hours turned into days as Judah grew stronger. He began to move and weeks later he took his first steps since being under a paralyzing agent. November 23 we walked into our house. And we tucked a very tired little man into his own bed. The first time in 42 days.
Whilst the 42 days were difficult to say the least, I would not replace them. During that season my heart had to lean into Daddy God like never before. If not for Him this journey would have been crushing. But by His grace He has revealed His faithfulness a thousand times again. If you are facing a difficult journey, take heart. Our good Daddy God is there with you. You are never alone, forgotten, or unloved.
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