How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad


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It can remind us we’re alive. And it can also steal a little bit of that aliveness away.

I’m sitting, right now, in a surgery wing and my infant son is about to go under the knife. Something we thought would go away has only gotten worse. It’s time to confront it. And hopefully, after today, everything will be okay.

I’m hoping one of you have some wise words on how to deal with this because I feel like a caged animal. I debated sharing this at all. Meanwhile…

A good father I know is fighting.

Some parents are really doing it. Themselves. Every damn day.

So, what importance is my pain to you? We are all in the thick of it, aren’t we? I’ll take whatever wishes, love, thoughts, prayers, curse words, answers, stories and visions you’ve got.

Because it’s no fun when a constant becomes a variable in the equation of living.

What can you add today?


98 Responses to “Pain”

  1. Arya's_Mom says:

    When I was pregnant with my little peanut, I had an awful pregnancy–“morning sickness” for almost the full nine months. Heartburn that wouldn’t quit on top of it. Then came time to deliver and I had to be induced, it took over 32 hours, and they almost forced me to have a C section because she was turned and it was difficult to get her out. I was relaying my “awful” pregnancy and delivery to an acquaintance, who sympathized then non-judgmentally said she was on bedrest for three months, her little peanut was early and had to be in the NICU for weeks, and that she had to have several surgeries to correct some things after that. I was really humbled, and remembered that I may have it bad, but sometimes others have it worse off. But even more than that, even though things can seem bad, there is a light, there is that sunrise once you get through. And it’s hard when you’re a parent, because sometimes you have to be that light for your little one when it seems dark. And sometimes faking being strong for them actually makes you feel a little bit stronger for real. Healing wishes for you and your little one.

  2. Eric says:

    Hang in there dude. I have no idea the circumstances of the surgery, but I hope all goes well. Best of luck!

  3. Carol D says:

    What can I add?? Not much. Just that I know this is the most helpless feeling a parent ever has.
    I pray for your son – that all will turn out the way it needs to.
    I pray for you and Avara – that you will have a peace about this that you really can’t explain.
    And I pray for Finn, that he will not experience fear for his brother, but more love for him.

  4. Laurie says:

    I’m so sorry you guys are dealing with this! I really hope the little guy will be ok!! Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way!

  5. Michael Dietsch says:

    My son had two surgeries in his first 13 months of life. Luckily for us, it was a simple congenital abnormality, and the surgery is so routine it’s a cake walk for the doctors who do it. And it’s something we believe is now taken care of for good.

    But it was hell on us, his parents. And when we took him in and saw other kids who were also undergoing surgeries, I felt such sympathy for families with kids who have chronic health problems that require constant care.

    At any rate, I have some idea what you’re going through, and how helpless it makes you feel. Wishing you all well.

  6. antia says:

    sorry, all I can offer is sympathies.

  7. I’ve been there with a not well infant, waiting it out to see what to do next, making those tough decisions. I’m so sorry and keeping all of you in my prayers today.

  8. Praying for you and your family Charlie. Sending tons of positivity your way…

  9. Jennifer says:

    My winter was filled with emergency room visits when phoebe was seizing and our last 5 years have been filled with both love and extreme loss.

    Let the certainties in life be your constant and my hope is that this operation brings your son’s body the relief it needs.

    All my love to you and Avara, Finn and of course Arden.


  10. All the love. All of it.

  11. Johnny T says:

    What can I add? Nothing. Because I’ve never been to that place before. Pain? I’ve been there personally. Fighting? Been there personally.

    Pain is an inevitability in life. Suffering is an inevitability in life. Fear, worry, confusion. All of it. It’s part of what makes life, well, life.

    The good thing is in knowing that regardless of who we are, what race, sex, religion, height, weight, musical preference, we are never alone as someone has been there before, and we can be there for someone who comes after.

    As for wishes, my best wishes to the little one as I’m sure it’s not easy on him. Best wishes to the medical staff involved in his care, and best wishes to you as you pace and wait.

  12. We’re here for you and your family Charlie. All the best to the little guy.

  13. Eric says:

    I’m pulling for you, I hope all goes well. Sending positive thoughts your way brother!

  14. Jason says:

    It’s long been said that if we were to all write down our life’s problems and toss them in a pile, we would run as fast as we can and pick them right back up after seeing what others were dealing with. It’s never been more true than today after reading your blog and the accompanying links.

    Charlie, as others have stated as well, I will be praying for your situation. I pray for the doctors to have wisdom, your son a complete and speedy recovery, and for you and your wife the strength and will to see the silver lining in the storm clouds.

  15. Dada Mike says:

    Your pain is important to me precisely because “we are all in the thick of it.” I’m not the praying type but I’ll give it a go for you, brother.

  16. I wish I had more to give you other than I know what you are going thru to some extent. Both of my sons has hernia operations when they were just a few months old. They both came out ok, but it was hard to see them have to go thru it. Big hugs!

  17. Kimberly B says:

    Healing thoughts. I hope all goes well, and that he recovers quicky. Hang in there.

  18. David Kepley says:

    Words from others never help me as much as their love and listening. The best advice is to keep talking about it and don’t let it fester. I’m praying for you and your family.

  19. Hang in there, bud. You’re living my worst nightmare. Not sure what the procedure is, but I hope for a positive outcome and swift recovery. Reach out if you need anything.

  20. Sending you love, Brother.

  21. I’ve been there too and it’s an incredibly vulnerable moment that you can’t quite explain to others who have not. This is where you put faith and trust in the doctors and caregivers and channel all of the positive, healthy vibes you can possibly muster. Your friends, family and community are with you and the funnel cloud of support is growing. Sending hugs.

  22. Faiqa says:

    Lots of love you, your wife, your children… I’m definitely praying for you. The most underrated quality of us human beings is our emotional fortitude. We are far stronger than we could ever imagine. I hope that you will not need to find any more strength than you’re using now, but if you must — know that it’s there. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Seriously.

  23. That “caged animal” feeling is so heart-wrenching, as if your very soul might burst. Look in your reflection when you get a chance, right now if you can, I guarantee your eyes will not turn away. You will recognize that man of courage and decency and you will go on. You are steel and tears and fear and resolve. You are beloved and so is your son.

    Peace to you.

  24. Megan says:

    Charlie – You, your family, and little Arden are in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of positive, health vibes coming your way!

  25. Kat says:

    Such a helpless feeling. Big prayers for your whole family and a successful, quick, thorough and painless surgery.

  26. Chris says:

    I have nothing in the words of wisdom department but I am thinking of your family and hoping for the best possible result for your little one. You always have an ear in me, my friend.

  27. Chris Green says:

    Many prayers for all of you today Charlie.

  28. Jason Greene says:

    Sorry that the little guy is going through this. My prayers are with you. Not just saying that to be nice, but they will be with you.

    My daughter had a minor surgery when she was an infant and my oldest son was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 3. I get it. I know the feeling. Watching my son get pricked with needles and shoved through MRI machines over and over again sucks. There isn’t a worse feeling than watching your child need care and have it be in the hands of someone that doesn’t love him as much as you do.

    You’re not alone. Fatherhood is a beautiful world, but it can suck at times. You’ll get through it. After tears, prayers, and curse words… you’ll get through.

  29. Lorne Jaffe says:

    Charlie, you’ve got the world sitting there with you. We’re all here for you and your family

  30. Chris says:

    Prayers for Arden and your family while you all go through this. Praying also for the doctors and nurses caring for him while he is in the hospital.

  31. Rach says:

    I’ve never sat in a waiting room waiting to have my children returned to me happy and healthy but yesterday I watched my 5 year old daughter fall from the monkey bars and choke on a piece of food. As I ran to her in what felt like slow motion, desperately trying to remember all the information from my infant CPR class, she started to turn blue. I squeezed her belly, I swept her mouth, I shook her, pleaded with her and screamed for help in that primal desperate mom voice. I must have done something right becuase after the longest 30 seconds of my life, her limp body started moving again, color returned to her face and she started crying. Probably the best cry I’ve ever heard and I just sat there in the wood chips beneath those monkey bars hugging her and thanking anyone who could hear me for the fact that I could still hold her in my arms and comfort her tears. I hope all goes well with your son today and that he is back in both of your arms again. My heart goes out to you both.

  32. sabrina says:

    I’m sitting here in a hospital reading this post while my 3 year old sits in my lap slowly waking up from a procedure he had done. Its one of many he will have as long as he’s here. There are no words of wisdom to get thru these times. Just have faith and believe that there is a reason for all of this. Hang in there.

  33. Elan Morgan says:

    My heart’s with you guys today.

  34. James says:

    Both my children have had surgery. My daughter is going into pre-op next week for her second eye surgery. My advice is to trust the doctors, learn everything you can about post-op care, and take your son’s lead. They are tough and it is way harder on you than on the kids.

    Be strong. Our family is sending positive thoughts your way.

  35. Tough situation Charlie. Watching my 1yr old be wheeled away was probably one of the toughest experiences of my life. Except for the fact he was stoned out of his gourd on Versed and laughing at everything.

    Hang tough. Think about golf until it’s over. That’s what I do. No, I’m not normal.

  36. Cort says:

    Know the feeling. Had to watch my three year old boy get out under for surgery. Watching him lose consciousness was awful. But being there when he woke up was ten times better. Hang in there, Charlie.

  37. Robin says:

    Hugs, I can offer a big hug.

  38. kelsey n says:

    When my son was 8 months old he contracted necrotizing fasciitis… i know right… a tiny percentage of the population even knows what that is (flesh eating bacteria is a more common name), let alone picks it up and it’s big and bad and scary. 3 surgeries, a bedside debridement, and 2 weeks in the hospital later and he is a healthy happy 14 month old with a wicked scar. (Chicks dig guys with scars right?) The anesthesiologist told us children do much better with adults in regards to anesthesia because they don’t have the co-morbidities adults do that can cause all those side effects. Hang in there, it’s a scary road to be on, but everything will turn out okay!

  39. Been there. It’s a terrible place to be. I still remember these many years later handing my tiny 6 week old son to a surgeon and watching him carry him through doors I wasn’t allowed to pass through. He was too small for a gurney. Somehow, it was worse seeing him carried.

    We were told he would need surgery after he was born, but they wanted to wait at least 6 months to give him time to grow. Things took a turn for the worse, so, despite his bronchitis and tiny size, suddenly they were forced to operate.

    I was so scared for him. I would have done anything to spare him that. It was excellent for my prayer life.

    Everything went great. He recovered very quickly & with no ill effects.

    I can imagine what you’re feeling. I encourage you to breathe and embrace your concern. Don’t fight it. It’s not going anywhere until your little one is back in your arms.

    But, know he’s going to be ok. He’s going to heal more quickly than you could, and he,fortunately for him, he won’t remember any of this.

    You, however, will never forget it. And, you’ll be a better father for having felt what it feels like to fear for your little one.

    I will be praying peace and healing for all of you, and wisdom and skill for his medical team.

  40. Jenna Ali says:

    My daughter was born with VUR, a condition in which the bladder doesn’t do its job of holding pee and the urine backs up to the kidneys, causing infection, scarring, and you know, fun stuff. She spent her first and a half year battling painful infections and getting scary, violating, and painful tests. She had her first surgery then. It was so hard to hand her over and trust her little life in someone else’s hands, but we knew the medical team at CHOC was capable, and our surgeon top notch. Everything we could do, we’d done, and it was time to trust the doctors to do their work. She was great for two years after that, when growth and development dislodged the surgeon’s work a bit and the infections started to come back. More sad, scary testing that left my toddler feeling very violated, and one more surgery, and she’s now a normal, happy, healthy little girl, about to start kindergarten. The memory of all that she and we went through seems like ancient history now. In the end I’m thankful that of all the health problems we could have had, it was fixable. We have the technology! We can rebuild you! I desperately hope that what you’re facing with Arden is the same in that it’s a hurdle you can jump with the help of some skilled, professional medical badasses, and that this will soon be a fading memory for you all as well. Sending love and light and warm fuzzies.

  41. Strength and peace to you and your family. Sending good energy your way. Hang in there.

  42. Tim says:

    Hope all ends well. This is my biggest fear

  43. Oh no! Best wishes for a successful and painless procedure for your little one.

  44. Rese says:

    So many good thoughts and vibes coming your way!!!! Hang in there, all of you! We are so blessed as parents; times like these put everything Into perspective. Bless

  45. Dora says:

    My son came down with transverse myelitis when he was 7 years old and it broke my heart to hear him say it was the worse days of his life. He fully recovered before the doctors predicted he would and I am grateful that despite my fears of loss and his quality of life changing for the worse that we were with him at that horrible moment in his young life. I hope for the best for your little one. You know your child as well as his momma, trust your instincts, ask the hard questions, and make small goals for you all as things change for you all. All the best to you and your family and may recovery and health return swiftly.

  46. Carrie says:

    sending big love your way Charlie.

  47. Yuvi says:

    Hang in there buddy. You have prayers even from the other side of the world. Everything is going to be just fine.

  48. Jennifer K says:

    Just remember, the hospital and doctors aren’t going to subject your baby boy to surgery unless he REALLY needs it. It IS for the best and while it doesn’t make it easier to handle, it helps us understand WHY we have to let it happen. Be strong for your family, best wishes!

  49. Corey says:

    I’m reading this post while I’m sitting next to my wife and 2 1/2 week old son. We’re in the NICU unit. It’s freaking scary, man. The best advice I have is just trust that some things are beyond your control. Sometimes being okay with relinquishing control is the best thing you can do for your son. It may also allow you to retain your sanity enough to be a rock for your spouse if she needs you there with all your marbles stowed where they belong.

  50. Arsenio says:

    Best wishes for your son and family on a speedy recovery.

  51. Judy says:

    I feel your pain Charlie – having been through major surgery with both a child of my own (eyes) and a grandchild (heart surgery to repair coarctation of the aorta), I know how excruciating it can be. I don’t know the procedure you went through, but having held my child for the initial anesthesia and handing a limp body over to a nurse to whisk that child from your arms and out of your sight was probably the worst feeling I have ever experienced. The hour-long minutes you sit and wait, the eternal hours… They suck the life out of you and leave you with a hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach beyond explanation. But take faith – medicine is amazing. As you watch your child come out of their fog, slowly but surely brighten up and smile at you, the relief you feel is also like no other. And you will know what it is to be blessed. Kids are so tough. To think that a child with a heart defect that could have taken her life would become strong and healthy and have little more than a small scar as a reminder is more than amazing. You will look at your child differently from this day on, and love them even more – if that’s possible. Hang in there buddy – it will be okay. Besides, you have a very special guardian angel looking out for you all. Let him know you know he’s there. Hugs

  52. Kuleen says:

    Watching your child, helpless, and having surgery, is absolutely terrifying. Feel free to completely freak out over it.

  53. Kelli says:

    Spent 6 weeks in NICU with son after he was born and on a ventilator for 10 days. The first few weeks were celebrating tubes that came out…getting ready to have a scope and adenoids taken out in a few weeks (he’s almost 4) and people are “preparing me” for how to face it..haha – if only they knew the start we had! Scary thing is it never gets easier…you’ll always worry…you just make sure you’re informed and secure with the doctor’s you’ve chosen!

  54. Julie says:

    My son has had 2 sets of ear tubes and was sedated at 3 months old for an MRI… the doctors kept saying, don’t worry, “it’s routine.” I don’t care how routine the procedure is, there is NOTHING routine about your baby having surgery.

    I just want you to know that your feelings are totally normal and justified.

    Sending you, your family, and your little man positive energy for a quick recovery.

  55. Melissa says:

    My Xander went under the knife last year and the waiting is terrible. Remember to breath and hug each other. If you need to… cry don’t hold it in. Once your baby comes out. Hug and kiss him because he is scared and tell him you love him and be strong for him. Changing bandages is hard but you can do it. You will be way too stressed to remember all their aftercare instructions. One of you should write stuff down and don’t be afraid to call the doctor/nurse with questions no matter if you think they are dumb. They are there for you. Lots of love to your and your family.

  56. Angie says:

    Bring a parent hurts. Sometimes the pain comes from so much love, sometimes it comes from fear, sometimes come from seeing them hurt, and sometimes, like today, comes from a mixture of all of the above. I wish I could tell you that the feeling of being caged goes away. It never does for one reason or another. As they grow your pain and fear grows too. I know I am not giving you great comfort but just know that I rather live a life with this kind of pain and having my children than living a painless empty life. Just one of their smiles makes everything go away. I hope baby Arden gets well soon. My heart and prayers go out to you and your beautiful family. Be strong!

  57. Melanie says:

    When my twins were born, one had to be taken to the children’s hospital across town for surgery 24 hours after she was born. So I was stuck in one hospital with one baby in NICU while the other baby was taken away into another hospital in another NICU, where she stayed for 2 weeks. I will never forget the moment they wheeled her in, in the transport pod, to say goodbye before she was transported to children’s. I wouldn’t see her again for 3 days. So I know that feeling of helplessness, guilt and despair and it is a feeling that no one understands until they’ve felt it. I follow your blog and know how invested you are in your children, so I know how you are feeling and it will be ok. It is infinitely worse for the parents, the babies won’t even remember it. All the best and love to you and your family.

  58. Damon says:

    I dont know who you are, but I can feel your pain. I fully understand what it is like to hand your small child over to the surgical team. Knowing what lays ahead of them. Its terrifying.. its heartbreaking.. it’s one of the worst feelings we can go through. My daughter was diagnosed at 2wks old with Tetralogy of Fallot. We we’re told that over time her ‘blue spells’ would get worse. Sure enough about 3months old her spells got significantly worse. It was time.. we scheduled the appointment, then nervously waiting.. To this day I remember the days leading up to the surgery, other than my wife, calling only my closest of friend and crying.. i was terrified. he cried with me, and prayed with me. The day came and I’ll never forget the moment my wife and i handed our sweet little girl over to the surgeons. The waiting room was the worst.. The weeks that followed were rough, as we learned how to take care of a baby that had just been under the knife. we had to watch how we held her, how we fed her, everything.. This all happened over 3 years ago. Joy is a happy, healthy kid. But i’ll never forget the nights spent sleeping(attempting to sleep anyhow) on the PICU floor.I put together a little video of our time at the hospital.

    Good luck,and God bless

  59. Keith says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family right now.

    When My little one is born we may have to do surgery right away and just the thought is freaking me out. I can only imagine what is racing through your mind today.

    Much love from one (soon to be) Dad to another.

  60. Jess says:

    It feels like the surgeon cut them so deeply that they cut us, and our pain for them, about them, because of them oozes out. It burn, aches, sears – it’s scary. You have placed your child into someone’s else’s hands, and you feel helpless. Spiraling out of a false sense of control, you pray, and then curse at god, the universe, and everything else.

    I’m so sorry to tell you this, but you’re completely normal. Those feelings that, as a man you might have been told to stuff down? – those are normal, and they hurt, and they’re scary.

    Take a walk, burn through those fight-or-flight hormones raging through your body. I had to run up and down the stairs in the stairwell to work through mine.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers.

  61. Oh, Charlie! I am sending you and Avara my best. I have an inkling as to how you may be feeling, having watched my daughter get wheeled away for a procedure when she was a baby. Just know he is in good, capable hands, and this moment will pass very soon, and you’ll all be home resting together, glad that today is behind you.

  62. Toia says:

    First of all, sorry for my english. I’m from Argentina. My 3 year old daughter, has a genetic syndrome. She had open heart surgery when she was only 4 months. By that time she was receiving oxygen via facemask, eating mostly through a feeding tube and very irritable, she was having a very hard time. Surgery lasted 2 hours, the longest 2 hours in my life. I put myself in God´s hands and it was so comforting. I suggest you do the same, you can never go wrong there.
    BTW, surgery went awesome, she never needed oxygen again, we burnt the feeding tube and all the awfulness went away. This moment shall pass, remember that and hold your wife´s hand until you can breath again.

  63. Pierre says:

    All the best and praying for you!

  64. Liz says:

    My daughter was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and we weren’t sure if she would survive. Surgeries at 13 days and 6 weeks. Waiting outside is extremely scary and time goes by so slowly.It will always be scary. It looks like she’s going to need ear tubes and I’m dreading even that simple surgery, even after everything else we’ve made it though.
    Kids are tough and your baby won’t even remember this time. They’ll manage his pain and you’ll get to shower love on him throughout his recovery. I’ve found it helpful to seek out other parents of children with my girl’s condition to “talk shop” with. I don’t know if this is applicable in your situation, but I recommend it. Stay strong.

  65. Meagan says:

    Oh man! From one parent to another, my heart just sinks for you. Please know that our family will hold little Arden up in prayer today that whatever is ailing his little body will be taken care and recover quickly. We’re praying for you – his parents and big brother, for peace and strength and for the surgeons working on his little body.
    Sending love and prayers all the way from Calgary, Alberta.

  66. Carissa says:

    I’m a former NICU mom. (we had a good outcome, baby came home, safe and healthy :)) I really feel for you. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, eating, drinking, coffee, nap, whatever that is. It’s worse if the stress makes you sick on top of worrying for your little fighter. If your immediate group offers help, take it! a load of laundry a play date for the big guy, a meal, take it… it’s hard on the ones who love you, to sit still and feel like they can’t help you fight, or lift you up a bit!

  67. Joshua says:

    My daughter was born over 10 weeks early 362 days ago. She spent 6 week’s locked in the NICU, most of that time under a sealed isolette, where we were only able to visit her for an hour or two a day. Most days. It was an hour drive each way and we had to figure out each time who to leave our two boys with each time. I feel for you, man. I understand the pain. You’ll get through it and it’ll just be a bad memory before you know it. I’ll be praying for your son and your family. God bless.

  68. Dawn Marie says:

    I add hugs and well wishes. You stress and worry cause you care. All will be well. Speedy recovery.

  69. Jeremy Istre says:

    Prayers for comfort for you and your little one brother.

  70. Sarah says:

    My son was admitted to the hospital not long ago for a short stay (he had a bad reaction to an anesthesia drug) and even a short stay was exhausting. Make sure you take care of yourself. When it is all over and you switch from the adrenaline filled survival mode to the point where you can really deal with things, cut yourself plenty of slack.

    And if you are dealing with a long term issue just remember anything can become your new normal even though it could take awhile.

    Praying for you.

  71. Dalene says:

    My daughter has had to go through numerous procedures and tests. She’s stable & hasn’t needed surgery (she might at some point), so I know how it feels to be sitting in the waiting room, helpless when you’re the parent & you want to give your child the best of everything – especially for them to be healthy & pain-free!
    Lord Jesus, I/we pray for this little one. Please pour out your wisdom upon the medical staff, pour out your peace upon these parents, pour out your healing upon this child, & pour out your comfort & unending lovingkindness upon them all. In Jesus name, Amen.

  72. Angi says:

    I’ve not been in that situation, but can only imagine how painful it must be to watch your little one going through it. Sending you & your son good wishes & all the positive thoughts your way.

  73. Holly Marie says:

    Hoping and praying for your little one.

  74. BusyDad says:

    All the well wishes and speedy recovery in the world to you and your family.

  75. Titania Jordan says:

    Been thinking and praying about you guys all day.

  76. jana says:

    My son stopped using his arm one day at about 18 months. He was in pain and crying. The cause wasn’t visible on scans or xray’s. It was a week before the doctors could see the problem. The week included ER visits, bone scans, x-ray, IVs, a febrile seizure and fevers over 104 for much of the time. After a week of hell, he got had yet another x-ray and clear as day, there it was. A bone infection in his left shoulder. He had emergency surgery that day. The worst thing in the world is seeing your baby in pain. You will get through it. I promise. It is scary, it sucks, it’s painful, you want to scream, but you will get through it. Wishing you love and a speedy recovery for your sweet one.

  77. neal says:

    Hope all works out, Charlie. Nothing tougher than these moments, but the resiliency of kids never fails to amaze me.

  78. juli d says:

    Sending happy thoughts your way. Hope everything goes well!

  79. Tammy says:

    Hugs and prayers for you, having your child operated on is the most helpless feeling and I pray the time goes quickly and he’ll be back in your embrace 🙂

  80. Danel says:

    Hey Charlie. It’s my first time to comment on your blog, although I’m a regular visitor. =)

    I’m a father of a now healthy one year old who has been through a LOT.

    When he was 6 months old, he got a rare infection that gave him a severe case of pneumonia. Doctors said it was TB, but even THEY weren’t sure. They had to stick a big needle through the side of his chest into his lungs to extract the liquid so he can breathe properly. I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t bear to be in the same room with him when that was being done. I went out into the hallway and sat on the floor, weeping like a baby for my son whose cries I could still hear from outside. It was… the most painful day of my life, I think.

    He had to go through another major surgery that required a tube stuck into his chest to drain the liquid. It was really, really painful, seeing so many tubes stuck to his tiny body… Every second I was wishing that I could take his place, but I couldn’t…

    We could only hope for the best. There was a point though, when it was very difficult to hope. It was the point of utter uncertainty, when we had no idea if he was getting better or getting worse. We decided to stick to our hope that we would be together forever, no matter what happens. It helps to believe in something, you know?… That’s what kept us going. I refuse to believe that we were sent here to experience happiness, only to be stripped of it when our those who matter to us are taken away. There HAS to be a better ending than that…

    So there. Haha! I wrote the longest comment. I hope everything goes well with your son. Godspeed!

  81. Alex Fiser says:

    ~ POSITIVITY & well wishes to your family in this tough time.

    Your son will get through this !

  82. Melanie H. says:

    Hang in there. Pray and have faith that all will be ok. I know right now your biting your nails and hate the fact you cannot control what is going on and that drives you absolutely insane. Have a good support system and don’t forget to hug your wife she feels the pain with you. Focus on the task at hand. Be patient. I know that is easier said than done. My son was born with Hydronephrosis (a blockage in his bladder) and it terrified the hell outta me. But, 11 years later he’s a happy kid. (Not always healthy but, for the most part he is). So just hold your wifes hand and help her with whatever she needs because your in this together. You are not alone. Your child is doing what he needs to do and that is get healthy. Peace dear man, and prayers your way.

  83. JeninCanada says:

    My only advice is lean on whoever you need too, whenever you need to; whether that’s family, friends, God(s) or whatever, dont’ be afraid to ask at these tough times for what you need. I’ll be sending thoughts and prayers your way and hoping for a quick update.

  84. Karen Bermel says:

    Lifting your family up in prayer. God love you all.

  85. Steve S. says:

    My son was born a little over two years ago. The pregnancy seemed normal and we were looking forward to welcoming a new member to our family. When the labor began a blood clot got into the umbilical cord and when we got to the hospital they discovered our baby’s heart rate was half of what it should have been. The doctors performed an emergency C-section and our little guy was rushed to the NICU. They estimated that he had not been getting an adequate oxygen supply for about 20 minutes and they weren’t sure how much brain damage had occurred. He was sent to another hospital and they put him on an active cooling bed. This device keeps the core body temperature around 90 degrees, this treatment allows brain cells time to heal instead of dying off after oxygen deprivation. Our son was in the NICU for three weeks.

    It was three weeks of hell, stress, panic, and tears. One of the things that got me through that time was your website, the humor I found here helped take my mind off of the stress and panic I was feeling at the time. I wish your son a swift and speedy recovery and I hope you and your family can find something to laugh at to help take some of the stress away.

    P.S. My son is now a healthy, happy, obnoxious two-year-old, so things worked out alright for us. I pray for the same for you.

  86. Praying for your little guy. Just letting you know.

  87. Sara says:

    There is no words to describe the feeling when a stranger walls away with your baby to surgery. Two of my sons had hernia repairs at 7 weeks old. I truly believe it is the hardest thing to do. I am sorry that you are experiencing this andy thoughts and prayers are for you and yours. .

  88. Robert says:

    I’ve been there. My oldest was diagnosed with piloric(?) stynosys. Forgive the spelling of its off. It’s an enlarged muscle at the base of the stomach that is supposed to open when the stomach contacts, pushing food into the small intestine. Since it doesn’t open, food is expelled via projectile vomiting. My son could have starved to death without the surgery he had at two weeks old.

    Prayer and faith, my brother. He’ll get through this as will his parents.

  89. Kelsey says:

    When my son had surgery at under one year old, I never knew I could feel so much pain and fear unrelated to my own being. I just prayed that I was feeling that much because I was taking some of the pain and fear burden away from my baby. Hopefully your pain is actually just some of his/hers that he/she no longer has.

  90. Christy says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  91. ALKD says:

    I am sure that your little one is out of surgery and in the clear, healing up perfectly by now. My cousin’s child needed 2 heart surgeries almost immediately after being born. Fortunately, this was something the hospital was able to identify during an ultrasound before his birth, so they were able to plan for the surgeries ahead of time and my cousin could prepare mentally for the situation as well. He did so well, and is an amazing child about the same age as your Finn now, no complications at all and one adorable scar you can only see in the summer when he is tan. Babies are so fragile and yet so resilient. Hope you’re soaking up extra cuddles with your boys now.

  92. Lilly says:

    I hope everything went well and you are all resting now and sighing in relief. You and your family are in my thoughts for a speedy recovery for Arden.

  93. Biscanbauer says:

    Hang in there, all of you.

  94. Emma Green says:

    I have been in your shoes before. I feel your pain.

    Keep telling yourself that your pain is all part of a greater good xx

  95. Jessica Zylker says:

    I hope today is the beginning of recovery for you and your little one. Lots of love and best wishes to your whole family.

  96. Hang in there little Arden!

  97. Hugo says:

    I hope Arden is ok and your family is in relief.


  98. Jill C says:

    I’ve been thinking about you guys – how are you all doing?

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