Friday, August 28, 2009

Peaceful Day and Hard Conversations

Kathryn’s aunt and uncle served us again last night. They stayed at our house last night with Caleb and Joel, allowing Pat, Kathryn’s mom, to be here at the hospital. She stayed through the night by her grandson’s bedside and loved it. In fact, amazingly, after a nap today, she is coming to do it again. This gives Kathryn and I some peaceful and much-needed hours of sleep knowing that our Little Mystery is being loved on.

There is little change in Samuel’s status today. His oxygen saturation dropped 10% earlier today, and he had some bad blood gas numbers. They tried to compensate by increasing his ventilation. This helped him recover from most of the drop. The ventilation increases are getting harder and riskier to do: he is on the oscillator (the strongest ventilator) receiving 100% oxygen (5x as concentrated as what you and I breathe) at settings normally reserved for a 2-3 year old. Most of his numbers are a little bit worse today than they were yesterday.

Kathryn and I have had relatively peaceful hearts for most of the day. Heavy, but peaceful. This, once again, is the grace and kindness of God. We know that He is near to us. Kathryn reminded me this morning that what we will want to remember is having enjoyed these moments with our son. I needed to hear it. I was overwhelmed and struggling.

When we weren’t reading to, praying with, singing to, or talking to Samuel today, most of the rest of our time was been spent in very difficult end of life conversations – gathering information, understanding our options, discussing and praying through them. We’ve both remarked that we can’t believe that we even have to have these conversations or make these decisions. Never in our worst-case scenarios did we imagine this. I am so grateful for my wife and our marriage. I can’t imagine going through this with someone that I did not love, like, and respect. She is an amazing woman, wife, and mother. We continue to pray for a miraculous healing, but find that more and more we are praying for some of these other pressing matters. Please join us. Please pray for wisdom, unity, and discernment for Kathryn and I. Please pray that the Lord would go before us in all of these matters. Our greatest desire is that, should Samuel, in fact, die, we be able to hold him in his final moments and usher Him into the Lord’s care. Kathryn has only held him for one minute when he was first born. I have never held him. We crave the opportunity and desire such a memory.

A very dear friend of ours stopped by unexpectedly today. Truthfully, it was kind of unexpected for her too. We were so glad that she got to meet Samuel briefly.

A quick update on a couple of our CICU neighbors that you have prayed through over time. S – the first “S” who we thought was 10, but is actually 14 – may be going home tomorrow. The doctors cannot believe the recovery that he has made. They are calling him a little miracle. We’ve gotten to know not just the family, but S himself the last few days - a neat young man. The other S –- a 20-month old girl -- for whom we asked for prayer just a couple of nights ago is doing much better. The news from that night was essentially the best-case scenario. She is not entirely out of the woods yet, but she was moved to the Cardiac Step-down Unit this morning. That was a surprise both to us and her parents. We thank God for this good news and for these answers to our prayers. Thank you for joining us in prayer. Please keep it up. We need it.


  1. Bryan and Kathryn,
    You have been on my heart all day from early this morning. I am grateful for the time that you have had today with your little warrior. The verse that came to mind tonight as I read your blog was Isaiah 40:11, "He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young."

    I know that God will give you wisdom, insight and knowledge to make the decisions before you. I will specifically begin praying that you will both be allowed to hold your precious one. Thank you so much for the amazing privilege of walking with you on this journey.

  2. Dear Bryan and Kathryn,
    We are so thankful for this day that you had with Samuel. We will be praying for you all as you face each moment. We find ourselves checking your posts continuously to see Samuel's progress and we thank you so very much for your transparency when you do. You are such an amazing family and you and your precious Samuel are such an inspiration for all of us. Please know you are heavy on our hearts and we are thinking and praying constantly.

    Seth and Gena

  3. Dear Bryan and Kathryn,
    The photos are beautiful! What special memories they portray. It is unimaginable that you are having to endure any of this. The strength you have both shown through the challenges is remarkable. I know God has been with you through each step and pray you will both be able to hold Samuel.

  4. Hello dear friends. I love the photos. It is amazing how they convey joyfulness and tenderness, even during such a dark time. I am glad Joely liked meeting his little brother. Since your last post, I have been praying that God would give you the answers to those end of life questions, and your job would simply be to listen and obey. I will continue to pray that that burden will be lifted from your shoulders and that God would carry it for you. I will also pray that you will both get a chance to hold your sweet son. I do continue to pray for healing as well. Bry, you are right about that wife of yours and I'm glad you realize what a special person she is. She is one of my absolute favorite people on earth, hands down. God blessed you deeply by giving her to you as your wife and companion. And God blessed her by giving you to her, because you are pretty snazzy yourself. I am grateful that this time of testing has proven the strength and beauty of your marriage. I love you both. Give Samuel a pat for me. Love, Ki
    p.s. Anna continues to ask about "Baby" and his "ouchies" and we pray for Samuel when she does.

  5. So sorry that you guys are still struggling with end of life decisions for Samuel. It is clearly one of the toughest things you will have to do in your life. We will continue to pray that God will give you the guidance that you need to make all of your decisions. Glad you had some good time with Samuel and good rest. We will continue to pray, especially to be able to hold your little one. Thank you for continuing to allow us into your lives and your journey. Love you guys!
    The Tates

  6. Hi friends, I love the pictures and I am so thankful that you were able to have them taken. You can feel the joy that the boys have in meeting their little, precious brother who they have been praying for and awaiting for so long. I am also so glad that Pat was able to come and spend time with Samuel, which provided you with some rest. God is good.

    I will continue to pray for wisdom, overflowing peace, and that God will make His ways and His desires for Samuel clear to you. I will be lifting up these specifics throughout the night tonight. May you continue to find comfort in the truth that you serve and love a God who is acquainted with the grief and suffering of giving up a son, and who desires to carry this burden for you. Praying that you will continue to cast all your cares on Him and feel His arms around you. I wish I was there to give Samuel a kiss on the forehead... please give him one for me.
    much love, Mandie

  7. Greetings loved ones. Thinking of you all day. Bryan, we will be gone tomorrow for your birthday but wanted you to know that that is on our minds as well. Birthdays. Life. All gifts from God. Thanks for writing. I always want to read and follow this very important story that is still unfolding. Your pictures are awesome. Grace and peace and beauty show even in the midst of your heart ache. Thank you for accessing Jesus. We love you. John & Debbie.

  8. The pictures are beautiful!! Praying that the peace of God which passes ALL understanding -and is so evident in you - will continue to guard your hearts and minds.

    Much love - Stan and Mindy

  9. Bryan and Kathryn,
    I am so very glad that you have each other as you walk through this trial. Not only are you a beautiful example of loving, devoted parents but you are a true example of Christ's love for his church.
    I will be praying for wisdom tonight as I go before the throne on your behalf.
    Happy early birthday Bryan. I pray that the Lord would give you a sweet and unexpected gift tomorrow.

    Ephesians 1:7-9
    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.

  10. The photos are beautiful. We continue to pray specifically. I am so thankful for the body of Christ that continues to go before the Lord with your needs and desires, encourages you in His word, and ministers to you in so many tangible ways. We love you so much - waiting, breaking, and seeking His face in all of this.

    Psalm 16:7,8

    I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
    I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

  11. Bryan & Kathryn,

    The photos are absolutely precious and so beautiful. I am praying for each day you have with this amazing son of yours. I pray for all that God has placed before you ... decisions I pray that you will not have to make. Bryan, I am thinking of you especially this morning on you birthday. "Love lifted me, love lifted me, when nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me."

    You are loved so much and in my heart!


  12. To Anywho local who may be reading this:
    I hope Bryan and Kathryn don't mind me using this space for a minute.
    I believe currently there is a meal calendar set up for B and K but I would like to set up one for future dates (if this has already been done, can someone let me know so we can make it more public?).
    It will be online where anyone can see what dates are open or filled etc. I want to make sure that any time they have to spend with Caleb and Joel is not spent worrying about cooking etc. and that Pat doesn't have to worry about this either.
    I don't want to burden B and K with any administrative tasks so if you are interested in being on the distribution list, please email me: (I am a friend and former small group member of B and K's from NPCC)

    I will post this again so more will see it.
    Thank you all and thank you- Bryan and Kathryn for allowing us to serve you! We love you!

  13. Always praying and asking God to give you just what you need for today. We love you and wish we could do only what God can!

  14. Dear Kathryn and Bryan,
    Today is Bryan's birthday and it's awkward to say happy birthday but I do hope Bryan that there will be some happiness for you today. You are indeed very special to us
    and we're wishing you peace, lots of love and prayers and that your and Kathryn's time with Samuel today is extra special.
    xoxoxo Tom and Jeanne

  15. Hi Bryan ,
    Laura and I will be continuing to pray for little Samuel and your family. God Bless and keep you

    Mark Gresham

  16. Dear Bryan and Kathryn,
    Bryan, I do pray that you have a happy birthday today. I know it will be a joyful one, because your source of joy comes from within, but I'm praying for the gift of sheer happiness, too, in the midst of this journey you are on. God is the giver of good gifts, and one of the good gifts is your precious little Samuel. What a blessing he has been to me, even though I haven't met him in person. I love the pictures and will show them to my parents tomorrow so they can enjoy them, too. The two of you and your story are also a precious gift to all of us as you share your story and your heart for God to use in His way. Thank you for being willing to do that in such a tangible way.
    You are both much on my heart and in my prayers today and through the night last night. It is very evident that God is holding you and will continue to do so as you rest in Him. Give each other a hug from me, too.
    Lovee, Aunt Coleen

  17. Denny and I are still praying. It completely stinks you are having to have these tough conversations. Continuing to pray that you would feel Gods presence. It's not too late for a miracle! God is big!

  18. We are praying for your precious family. That God will give you wisdom, unity, encouragement and discernment. We thank God for your marriage and that you two have each other for support and love. We are praying for Pat as she cares for her family. Also, lifting Caleb and Joel up so that they will be at peace during this time, that God will comfort and support them. We are also asking God that you can hold your sweet Samuel, hug and kiss him and touch his beautiful little body.

  19. Bryan, as I wrote on Facebook, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday although, as others have said, it seems a little weird saying that considering the circumstances. I hope and pray that God blesses you today and that you may have a very peaceful and joy-filled day spending it with the ones you love. Continue to pray!