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And We Prayed {The Jaeger Story}

Updated: May 15

Jaeger Thomas Wipf (Pronounced "Jagger" is German for "Mighty Hunter")

Day 1: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

-Labor started at 3:15am. Arrived at Hospital at 4:00am dilated to 9 cm. Miraculously got the epidural still. -Jaeger was born at 6:15am. 8lbs 8oz. 20 ¾ inches of perfection. Crying, of course. -Spent a great day with Jaeger, despite the fact that his nose seemed a bit stuffy, something the nurses said was common enough. Adelyn and grandparents got to visit and hold him. -Let Jaeger spend the night in the nursery so mom could get some sleep. And we prayed. -That we would be able to adjust as a family of 4. That the night and next day would go well before we went home. And God answered. -Kept Jaeger alive for the first 24 hours…read on to find why that’s amazing.

Day 2: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

-Jaeger was taken to the NICU shortly after 6:00am after his pediatrician became concerned that it was more than just a stuffy nose. -He is intubated to keep oxygen going to his lungs, IV’s, antibiotics, and blood draws. -The NICU calls an ENT doctor to come take a look at his nose. -The ENT is unable to pass an endoscope in his nose and orders a CT Scan for the next day. -We stare at this perfect baby boy, unable to hold him. We sit. We wait. And we prayed. -We prayed for miraculous healing. That there would be no issue with him. That doctors and nurses would have wisdom. And God answered. -He sent the perfect ENT for Jaeger, who immediately seemed to take this situation personally. He was genuinely sad when he couldn’t provide answers right away. He stopped by the see Jaeger every day from when they met to the day he performed the surgery.

Our little champ

Day 3: Thursday, April 11, 2019

-Jaeger has a CT Scan done on his face. -We spend time talking to our sweet boy, unable to hold him or hear him cry. -We wait another day. Jessica is discharged to go home. -The ENT reviews the scans and diagnoses Jaeger with Pyriform Aperture Stenosis. Essentially his nose was blocked by bones that grew too close together. He had been fighting for oxygen that first full day, working so hard to breathe through his nose (newborns are obligatory nasal breathers). He even had nursed a few times. And that’s when we realized what a fighter we had brought into the world. -The ENT mentions that often with PAS, there are grouped issues involving midline organs…heart, kidneys, and brain to name a few. Jaeger would need a brain MRI to rule out anything else. And we prayed. -We prayed for clear scans. We praised for a passionate ENT. We prayed for healthy organs. We prayed for the surgery that would now need to take place. And God answered the next day.

Day 4: Friday, April 12, 2019

-We knew they needed to get Jaeger transferred to Children’s for the surgery. We also knew that Children’s NICU was FULL! We anticipated a quiet day talking to him and staring into his eyes when they were open. -20 minutes after we got there, the doctor on staff got us a room at Children’s Hospital. 30 minutes after that the transport team was loading our boy onto an ambulance. It happened incredibly fast. -Jaeger got settled in at Children’s and an MRI was scheduled for the next morning. We didn’t get near enough time with him that day. -He had an ultrasound and echocardiogram done on his organs. And we prayed. -We prayed unceasingly for clear scans. We prayed that surgery would happen soon. And God answered.

Day 5: Saturday, April 13, 2019 -Jaeger had the MRI done. -We waited for the results and praised God for the CLEAR ultrasound and echo. -We received CLEAR MRI scans of his brain. The only issue was the physical nasal blockage. -Surgery was scheduled for 8am on Sunday. And we prayed. -We praised God for clear scans and prayed hard for the ENT and the surgery taking place. And God answered.

Day 6: Sunday, April 14, 2019 -The surgery took place as scheduled. Jaeger was back in his room with stents in place by 11am. -The ENT said it went GREAT. He got it fixed. Jaeger needed to heal. -Jaeger was on morphine most of the day for pain management. And we prayed. -We prayed for a quick recovery. For comfort. For the ENT that did the surgery. For us. And God answered.

Day 7: Monday, April 15, 2019 -We took Adelyn to the zoo in the morning. She’s been a champ through all of the chaos and we needed a morning with just her. -Jaeger spent the day resting and healing. He was able to eat through his tube again that evening and they were able to drop his respiratory settings back to minimal (where they had been…his lungs worked fine). And we prayed.

-We prayed for recovery, rest, comfort and healing. We prayed that God would hold him while we couldn't. And God answered.

Day 8: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 (due date) -We got a call that the ENT had stopped and taken out the stents. As we were driving to the hospital we got the call that they removed his oxygen. -WE HELD OUR JAEGER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WEEK. -We cherished his cries. We cuddled. He nursed! He breathes through his nose fine! We praised. God had answered.

  1. We will still be in the NICU for a few days to get feeds nailed down. But what was once a daunting challenge is past.

Through this entire process we’ve seen the hand of God time and time again.

-Starting when I was almost 36 weeks. I was convinced, every. Single. Day. That Jaeger was coming early. I even prayed that he would! God knew better. If Jaeger had been born that early, his lungs may not have worked well enough for him to get those breaths that first day. It would have been a much harder fight. -He was in the nursery overnight instead of with me, where he could have stopped breathing while I was asleep and I wouldn’t have known. -He got a great ENT doctor, everyone raved about him. The ENT was a champion for Jaeger. Almost perfectly, he was scheduled to work the weekend of the 15th/16th. -We got a bed at Children’s far quicker than anticipated, which allowed us to move forward with the treatment.

-In addition to the mercies surrounding Jaeger, Brandon and I have also deepened our faith, learned more about ourselves, worked on our shortcomings, and leaned into each other more. Growth happened for all of us.

This song played on Pandora while we spoke with the anesthesiologist prior to Jaeger's surgery. While I liked the song before, it breaks me now in the best way possible.

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