For those of you who would like to hear the details about our son Jordan’s birth and why he is the inspiration behind this ministry name, here is a detailed account of what happened.
The Birth of Jordan
During my wife’s pregnancy everything went fairly well and as expected. Unfortunately, what looked like a perfectly healthy child after delivery quickly turned into a life and death struggle for about a week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Within minutes of the birth Jordan started grunting because he still had amniotic fluid on his lungs that didn’t come out during delivery, which is usually the case. The nurses kept trying to suction the fluid from his mouth and nostrils on the delivery table, but the grunting continued. Instead of being able to remain in the delivery room where Rachel could hold him and breast feed him, Jordan was scurried off to another wing of the hospital called the transition room and hooked up to a heart and oxygen monitor for observation. Concerned for his safety and not wanting to leave Jordan from my sight I accompanied him down to the transition room and left Rachel with the nurses in the delivery room.
In the transition room the excitement about Jordan’s birth quickly faded. Although the nurses kept telling us that they thought he would be fine and that in 4-6 hours he should be able to go upstairs to our room to be with us, that was not the case. At about 4:00 AM Rachel was released from the delivery room. The hospital had a room for us on the eight floor. I went and got Rachel from the delivery room and before going up to our room we went back to the transition room to see Jordan. We stayed there for about 30 minutes talking with the nurses and looking at Jordan. His respiration was extremely rapid and he made a continuous grunting sound with each breath he took. After realizing that he was going to be in the transition room for a while, and being completely exhausted, we decided we needed to try and get a few hours of sleep.
At about 7:30 AM Rachel and I went back downstairs to the transition room to see how Jordan was doing. We spoke with the hospital pediatrician and he said that although the grunting was a little better, he was still breathing too fast and they needed to keep him there for observation until it stabilized.
We kept going back and forth most of the day from our hospital room to the transition room to keep checking on Jordan while also keeping our families updated as to what was going on. Later that day we saw the hospital pediatrician again and he said that Jordan was still going to have to stay in the transition room because his condition was not improving like they had hoped. At this point we endured a second night in our room without Jordan being there with us.
The next morning, we met the doctor again in the transition room and Jordan’s condition was still the same. He was breathing too fast. He was taking anywhere from 80-120 breaths a minute. The doctor still remained confident that Jordan would be fine. He said that he thought time would be our best friend and if there was something else wrong he would shoot us straight and let us know.
As the day progressed nothing seemed to improve, but the hospital staff told us that they were going to move Jordan out of the transition room and into another wing of NICU called a Step-Down room – similar to a hospital room except he would be under continuous observation with monitoring devices. At that point, Rachel and I were starting to feel a little better inside that things were going to be alright until we went back to the NICU after going to get something to eat. Instead of being in the room we expected Jordan to be in he was in another room with an oxygen mask on his face and IV in his arm. Rachel and I were stunned and now quite worried. The nurse told us that Jordan started breathing faster and his oxygen levels were dropping off so they had to put him on oxygen. They also said that he wasn’t keeping the milk down that they were giving him so they had to put him on an IV. Because his respiration was so fast his body wasn’t able to process the milk they were giving him. He was now in a critical care room with three nurses on duty around the clock.
The hospital pediatrician that was caring for Jordan in the transition room met us in the new room along with the head doctor in charge of all of NICU. He informed us that Jordan would now be under his care throughout his stay in the hospital. The new doctor was very cordial and helpful. His reputation for saving babies has earned him international acclaim. He tried to comfort us and told us what they were doing and what was going on with Jordan. At this point Jordan had oxygen tubes up his nostrils that were taped to his face, he was on an IV, a plastic feeding tube went from his mouth down to his stomach, and his hands and feet were hooked up to a bunch of wires. At this point Rachel and I got very depressed and quite concerned for Jordan’s well-being. We stayed in this new room for a while and then decided we needed to go back up to our room to try and get some rest.
At around 10:30 PM Rachel wanted me to go back downstairs and get an update on Jordan. When I got there the nurses said that after we left his breathing got even worse. They had to increase the amount of oxygen he was given and the rate of flow. I was in a state of shock when I heard the news. Here was this child we expected to be better within hours after birth and now 2 ½ days later his condition kept getting worse. At this point I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I went back up to the room and informed Rachel of the news. She started crying.
After finally falling asleep for a few hours the phone rang around 1:20 AM. I woke up and grabbed it quickly. I was in a complete fog. The doctor in charge of NICU during the night shift was on the phone. I knew it wasn’t good. He proceeded to tell me that Jordan started doing very bad and they discovered he had something called pneumothorax. The medical explanation of this is a collapsed lung caused by accumulation of air or gas in the pleural cavity. Apparently he was breathing so fast that somehow air got on the outside of one of his lungs between the chest cavity and was causing it not to fully inflate when inhaling. The doctor thought an air sack may have burst to cause it. He told me that he had to perform a medical procedure where he inserted a needle into the chest cavity to draw out the excess air so the lung could re-inflate. I had a hard time conveying to Rachel what the doctor said so we quickly got up and went downstairs to see the doctor so he could explain it further to both of us. We were in shock when we got there. Jordan was lying on a table and breathing so fast and labored at this point that he was bouncing on the table. I began to expect the worst. If you sucked in your stomach and pushed it out as fast as you could about 120 times per minute you will get a little better visual of what we were witnessing. We were also given a list of things that could go wrong beyond this point and what would have to be done medically if he didn’t stabilize.
Again we went back up to our room and tried to get some sleep. I didn’t have any peace. I was expecting to get a phone call to tell us that Jordan didn’t make it because that’s how bad he looked. At about 7:20 AM we got another call from NICU again that woke us up out of sleep. They told us that they now needed to perform another procedure to put a catheter on Jordan’s artery. Since they had to keep doing blood draws from Jordan’s wrist area to do a blood gas it was getting too difficult to draw the blood. With a catheter on his artery they could draw blood easily. To put the catheter on his artery they had to go through his belly button. Throughout the day we kept checking on Jordan to see how he was doing. Thankfully, from that point forward his condition never got any worse. Throughout that day his condition just remained stable.
Later that day Rachel got dismissed from the hospital. The nurses were kind enough to let us keep our room until after 8:30 PM. When we left the hospital we checked on Jordan again and got back to our house around 9:30 PM on Friday night, March 6th. Leaving the hospital without Jordan was a terrible experience. It was even harder on Rachel. The thought of coming home without our new baby was not what we were anticipating. Rachel was crying on the way home. We both felt so terrible inside.
When we got home I ate some food and came up to my office. I wanted to download the pictures we had of Jordan so I could share them with our family and friends and print out some pictures of our family to tape to Jordan’s bed. In some of the grieving materials that were given to us by the hospital I read that many families do this and find comfort in supporting their children. I printed out 4 photos and wrote some comments on them with a dark black marker. One of them was a picture of our son Joseph with a huge smile on his face. I wrote over the top the following:
“Please Come home Soon Jordan! I can’t wait to play with you. Love, Your brother, Joseph.”
While I was doing this I was also praying and listening to a praise and worship CD from a band called Hillsong United. There’s a song on this CD that touched me in an incredible way like nothing else had during the entire ordeal we went through. The song is “Came To My Rescue”. Here are the words to that song that you can also listen to yourself by going to www.youtube.com.
Falling on my knees in worship, giving all I am to seek Your face,
Lord all I am is yours
My whole life I place in Your hands, God of mercy
Humbled I bow down, in Your presence, at Your throne
I called, You answered
And you came to my rescue
And I wanna be where You are
In my life, Be lifted high
In our world, Be lifted high
In our love, Be lifted high
I want to encourage anyone reading this that has doubts about a higher power in charge of the Universe that there is a God and He answers prayers. How else can you explain me purchasing this CD about a week before Jordan was born and listening to that particular song at that particular moment? I have witnessed far too many amazing events where I know for absolute certainty that our Heavenly Father has intervened in my life through His Holy Spirit. You should hear the song for yourself to get the full impact of what I felt that night after going through what we were going through. When I got done listening to this song I was weeping. A peace came over me and I was confident in my spirit that this song was a message to me personally from God that he came to our rescue and Jordan was going to be okay. And he was.
Rachel and I ended up spending almost all of our waking hours at the hospital with Jordan over that weekend. By Sunday afternoon Jordan started to make some remarkable improvements. They were feeding him the breast milk Rachel was pumping through a feeding tube and with each feeding he was able to keep a little bit more down. They were also able to slowly back off on his oxygen. By Sunday afternoon they had the oxygen backed off from almost 40% at his worst to 21%, which is what you and I breathe. Then they started backing him down from the air flow.
On Monday morning I called the hospital to get an update. The nurse told me that they took Jordan off of all the oxygen and air flow, they took out his IV and they moved him to a new room where we could hold him and Rachel could breast feed him. He was still breathing slightly faster than normal but much better than he was at the worst of the crisis. His body was also getting fully oxygenated on its own.
On Tuesday I called again to see how he was doing. The nurse told me he was doing great and that she thought Jordan could go home. Around 12:00 PM we got a call from the head NICU doctor. He said that he was signing the release order for Jordan to go home. He said to come and pick him up. Wow! What a relief and what a blessing!
Since that entire ordeal Jordan has been perfectly healthy. You would never know that he ever went through what he went through. Rachel and I are so incredibly thankful. This new child is a precious gift.
The one thing we learned through this experience is that we were not alone. While our story may touch you personally, there are thousands of little babies and families all over this country and around the world dealing with circumstances like we went through. In some cases, they are far worse. We were blessed to be able to take Jordan home and he is alive and healthy. Many babies don’t make it or have lifelong disabilities. Many parents are dealing with trials and struggles emotionally and they don’t have a support network either. Without my faith in the Most High and His Son Jesus Christ, I don’t know how I would have endured this. Life is something that needs to be celebrated. It is a precious gift and each and every day is special in its own way. I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing this story with you. The pictures I’ve included speak volumes.
Jordan Today Happy and Healthy! Praise Jesus!