Shortly after being weighed the nurses noticed that his respiratory levels were higher than they should have been. (This was caused because there was too much fluid in his little lungs making it more difficult for him to breath than normal).
Doctors would like to see a new-born’s respiratory numbers between forty and sixty, but they were bouncing as high as one hundred and forty. You could visibly tell when his numbers got that high because his little stomach was moving up and down with his breaths very rapidly.
The nurses initially put a little air tube on him with pressurized room air flowing through it to assist his breathing, but when his numbers did not improve they turned his oxygen level to forty percent (normal air that we breathe on our own is about 21% oxygen).
Because Rebekah had just went through surgery she had to stay in her room recovering (so she could not come in the nursery to be with him), and because he had to be on oxygen he could not come out of the nursery to her so they had to give him intravenous therapy (an IV) so he could receive nutrition and hydration.
This was very hard on Rebekah because she couldn’t be with Nathanael yet, and heartbreaking for me because I was by his side seeing them put the IV in his little hand, and watching his labored breathing, with his little oxygen tube in his nose.
When the nurse was trying to put the IV in she was having a really hard time finding his little veins, and I was praying the whole time that she wouldn’t have to keep sticking him with the IV. She missed the vein on the first attempt, but on the second try she told me she was successful and I said, “Thank The Lord!” She asked if I was “praying on that (try)”, and I told her, “I was praying on both (tries)!”
We had recently heard a tape while traveling that was made on Brother Branham’s fiftieth birthday (‘New Ministry’ 59-0406) where Brother Branham tells in detail the story of the healing of “Little Ricky” (a three month old baby that he prayed for in California that had cancer in the throat and jaws).
The story is heart-wrenching, and really tugged at our hearts as we thought of our little Philip and little Nathanael who was due to arrive in a few weeks.
Brother Branham mentions how Ricky’s “little arms had to be in splints” (the little paddles they strap the IV to so the baby doesn’t pull it out). I remember thinking at the time I had never seen that, and was thinking as they put them on Nathanael that I sure didn’t want to see them under those conditions.
Because of Nathanael’s respiratory problems (even though he was getting enough oxygen in) his lungs weren’t strong enough to push the right amount of carbon dioxide out, which was causing his blood’s pH levels to be off (the acidity was higher than normal).
As long as his respiratory numbers improved the pH levels would improve as well (because as his lungs got stronger they could push out more of the carbon dioxide), but if his respiratory numbers worsened then so would his pH level.
At this point our pediatrician decided it was time to bring over a specialist from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville to determine if Nathanael needed to be taken to their hospital for more advanced care, or if it was alright for him to remain at the hospital with us.
Rebekah was already having a hard time coping with not being able to see her little baby boy in the condition he was in. I couldn’t bare the thought of having to tell her that they were going to have to take him across the river to a different hospital where she couldn’t see him for several days until she was released from the hospital herself. At least for the time being she had the comfort of knowing he was right down the hall and that I could update her frequently on his status.
I started praying that they would not have to take him to Kosair, and contacted family and friends (requesting them to do the same).
About an hour before the specialist arrived I notice that Nathanael seemed to have some fluid in his mouth, and was blowing little bubbles when he exhaled. I pointed the nurse’s attention to this and she sat him up. As soon as she sat him up he coughed up quite a bit of fluid and ‘From That Time‘ his respiratory numbers started improving.
When the specialist arrived he checked Nathanael’s current numbers with the documentation of his numbers over the past hours, and said that as long as his numbers continued to improve he could stay in the same hospital as Rebekah (which was an answer to prayer in itself).
Nathanael’s numbers continued to improve through Thursday night, and Rebekah was well enough to visit him in the nursery Friday morning, and hold him for the first time.
By Friday afternoon they decided to start taking him off the oxygen and see how he would do on his own.
I started praying that he would do fine without the oxygen, and called on family and friends to join with me once again in prayer for the same.
At 2PM on Friday afternoon they turned the oxygen down to ‘room air’, and he did fine for an hour so at 3PM they took him off the air completely. By 4PM he was doing better on his own than he had been with the oxygen!
I’m so thankful that we serve The God of Hebrews 13:8!
Nathanael and Rebekah both did so well Friday night that the pediatrician and Rebekah’s doctor release them both Saturday morning! (Two days is pretty early for a normal c-section Mom and baby to be released even without any complications).
By Saturday afternoon we had got his hospital pictures taken, filled out the information for his birth certificate, and were on the way home to let Philip see his new baby brother for the first time! (We didn’t bring Philip to the hospital because he couldn’t have gone into the nursery with him anyhow, and we were afraid seeing Nathanael with the oxygen tube and IV would just confuse and scare him).
We had been telling Philip about his little brother coming for months, and he was so excited when he saw him the first time he was squealing, and just wanted to hold him and kiss him all over.
Philip has been a very good brother and likes helping bring diapers to Mommy, and holding his brother, and tells us to ‘HURRY’ when he hears him cry.
When Rebekah took Nathanael to the pediatrician on Monday they found that his jaundice level was at seventeen (from what I understand if it gets up to twenty they need to be hospitalized). They sent a technician to our house with a table lamp (looks like a miniature suntan booth) that we had to keep him in around the clock for two days (except to feed him and change his diaper).
At one point Rebekah told Philip that Nathanael was sick, and Philip (who is two-and-a-half and has helped me pray for people before) laid his hand on Nathanael and said “Thank you Jesus, Amen’. It is one of the greatest things I’ve experience as a parent to witness Philip’s childlike faith in action several times recently.
We had a couple of long nights staying up in shifts with him under the lamp, but after two days his numbers were normal (Praise The Lord)!
Through it all Nathanael has been an incredibly good baby, and hardly ever cries (even through doctor visits, and his first shots, and getting his blood drawn so many times I’ve lost count).
He didn’t even cry when they gave him his IV, but the nurse said that was because his respiratory levels were so bad that he had to focus all of his energy on breathing and didn’t have enough strength to cry.
It sure was pitiful to see him like that, but thanks be to God he’s doing wonderfully now (as is his Mommy).
We wanted to share his testimony to give encouragement to other parents who may be going through similar circumstances, and to give praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for His healing power and deliverance.
God bless you and thank you for your prayers,
– Brother Nathan, Sister Rebekah, Philip, and Nathanael Bryant