Mommy's Little Tough Guy
Tomorrow is Now Today
Last night, I tried to sleep. I kept having the same nightmare of my child locked up in a plastic cased crib in the OR crying for me. I never was able to comfort him, and he was horribly mangled and horribly upset. Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well. I tried, I knew I needed my energy. I failed. The baby, he didn't seem to know that something was going to happen. He didn't know that today wasn't going to be a good day for him. I slowly woke him up to get ready so we could be out the door and at the hospital for 5:30 a.m. He sat up, and reached out for me. He rubbed his eyes sleepily, and smiled at me. I tried to smile back at him, I tried to pretend that today was just a normal day. It wasn't a normal day; today was the day he was to have his surgery.
Maybe as a mother I'm a weak and anxious wreck. That can't be right though. Us mothers, us parents, are much stronger beings than we give ourselves credit to. That's not all though. Our children, even the little innocent babies, are much stronger than we give them credit for. Babies are not weaklings. They are resilient and blindly innocent beings that have faith that us parents know what we're doing and won't let any harm come to them. We have to come together in these times, because who else can we count on if we can't count on each other?
The baby sat in the car, quietly staring out the window. He knows somethings up, at least I think so, because he keeps looking over to where his big brother normally sits next to him on trips with mommy and daddy. He smiles innocently at me when I look at him through his baby mirror. My husband fidgets nervously while driving, you could almost see a shake in his hand as he reaches for his coffee mug. I sat playing anxiously with the radio controls, complaining about how every time I land on a channel with a song I love listed, they chose that moment to switch it to an annoying song. We're trying to pretend we're not scared or nervous. It does no good for our baby to see that. We smile at him and play with him, though he's angry that he's hungry and there is no food being offered.
Finally, we pull into the hospital and enter the area where we're going to spend the next 6 hours of our day. By now, the baby realizes something is up and won't let us forget that he's onto our little game. He's quietly observing the surroundings, he's begging for hugs and dances. He's fine though, more fine than my husband and I are. He was the strong one today, not us. We were giving a good show, but his was much better. Wasn't it too early for him to start outshining us? His surgeon appeared to talk to us before the surgery. He said "I won't have to initial him, he's only got one of them." He winked at us as if that joke was going to make us laugh. I smirked awkwardly at it. I didn't want to upset the person who was about to cut open my son because his joke was "odd".
My husband accompanied him into the OR to get "gassed up". I teased him before that the baby's eyes would be wide open in a creepy pose to make him laugh. I deal with my anxiety by cracking jokes. My husband dealt with his by pacing and watching movies on his Kindle Fire. Sorry, the kids' Kindle Fire. We waited. I played on the 3DS, until we hit the 2 hour mark. The surgery was supposed to last 2 1/2 hours. Then I moved onto Candy Crush on my phone. Then I sat, staring at the time on my phone becoming more anxious the closer we got to the 2 1/2 mark. Then, at the 3 hour mark, a nurse came in. I became excited, only it was for another patient. A few minutes later another nurse came in, and again, it was for another patient. Finally, I see my son's surgeon appear. My heart jumped out of my chest. Why was he here and not a nurse? Did something happen? I was terrified. He sat down next to me, and I started to shake. He said "it's straight, and the hole is in the right spot. Everything is perfect and you'll be escorted to him in PACU in a few minutes".
The minute his name was called, I left my husband in the dust in a hurry to get to our baby. I wanted to be there the minute he opened his eyes. Could you imagine being a baby and not seeing your parents like that? We got there and this amazingly kind nurse sat with us while our little one woke up. At first, he smiled when he saw us. Then, he realized he was hooked up to machines and tubes and in a strange place, and he screamed the loudest I had ever heard from him. My baby, my poor baby. Eventually he was happy when he was unhooked and carried off into the day. He smiled at us, and we bought him a nice "Get Well" balloon. (See picture, poor baby.) We took him home to hope that this week wasn't as bad as everyone says it could be. He's a strong kid, mommy's little tough guy.
A Thank You
A day of success like this couldn't have happened without a great amount of support. First of all, a big thanks to the Baystate Pediatric Surgery people. The staff was amazing and kind and did a great job of making us all feel at ease. Next, I'd like to thank everyone who got in touch with me with prayers and thoughts for us. Finally, I'd like to thank our family who stood by us during this time giving us as much help as they can. It really does take a village, and today I feel like I have the best village in the world. From my family to yours, thank you all.