How My Son Caeleb’s Birth Foreshadowed His Strength
A columnist's son has been overcoming challenges since day one
Last week, I wrote about the bond I formed immediately with my oldest son, Julian. Caeleb, my youngest son, recently reminded me of the unique bond he and I share.
Toward the end of her third trimester, my wife, Cazandra, started to experience complications, so her medical team admitted her into the hospital for bed rest. She was about 36 weeks pregnant with Caeleb, and her OB-GYN wanted her to carry the baby for at least 38 weeks. The primary goal of that decision was to help develop the baby’s lung capacity.
After work one day, I visited Cazandra in the hospital for what I thought was a routine visit. As we talked, however, her water broke. We immediately asked for her nurse as fear took hold. What would happen if the baby’s respiratory system hadn’t developed enough for him to breathe on his own? I calmed my fears, attempting to soothe Cazandra, as we prepared for a new life in the MacDonald home.
The attending nurse came into the room and helped us prepare for the birth of our boy. She said that immediately after birth, my son would be transported to a room with medical equipment in case he needed help breathing. I later reflected on this conversation and appreciated the grace the nurse showed my wife and me leading up to my son’s arrival into this world. Her attention to the needs of both patient and caregiver is something I continue to appreciate many years later.
As the medical team took my wife out of the hospital room to prepare her for a cesarean section, I glanced over to a book on the other side of our room. I walked over to discover my wife’s Bible, opened to the book of Numbers. My eyes found a verse that knocked me to my knees: “But I’ll bring my servant Caleb into the land that he explored, and his descendants will possess it because he has a different spirit, and he has remained true to me” (Numbers 14:24 CEB).
Somehow, I felt like this was a profound message from the creator, reminding me that my boy would be fine.
The moment reduced me to tears as the words of faith assured me that my son would fight with all his might. Little did I know that the Bible passage spoke with a prophetic voice into Caeleb’s life. His continual struggles with spontaneous bleeding episodes might knock others to their knees, but not my mighty son, my warrior Caeleb. His strength has allowed him to overcome difficult situations regarding hemophilia, despite facing horrible pain.
The bond I share with each of my boys is different in many ways. Julian and I find common ground with music. With Caeleb, it’s his strength that binds us together. Yet they are not mutually exclusive. Julian possesses strength, while Caeleb loves and appreciates music.
The difference is the dominant theme that motivates my sons to move forward in their lives. Julian hopes to make a living as a professional performer, while Caeleb’s strength helps him to overcome struggles related to complications from multiple years of breakthrough bleeding episodes.
As Caeleb nears adulthood, I cannot help but feel blessed that he continues to exert strength in times of crisis and during life’s milestones. He’s an amazingly kind and compassionate young man whose future offers great promise. Of course, I speak as a proud dad who still cannot believe that someone like me gets to raise someone like him. I give thanks for the strength that enables him to overcome the challenges of a bleeding disorder. He is a masterpiece.
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