Broken Heart Part 5

This is the fifth installment in a series about my daughter's Tetralogy of Fallot that I wrote when it was going on (and before blogs). I'm reposting it since I thought it might help other moms going through the same thing...

April 7, 1999 - 6:30 pm

She's doing fine.

The surgery was a longer than they anticipated; her heart had abnormalities that didn't show up on either the cath or the xray. I tried to understand what they were saying, but in my haze of worry all I got was that it was tougher than they expected. As a result they had to cool her waaay down, which caused her to bleed a little more....

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got about two hours of sleep last night, curled up in a "reclining" chair. Adam held her for the last part of her morning and at 6:30 am we got up, got ready. Or as ready as you can get.

As we said goodbye to our family and headed into the pre-op room, time began to slow to an excruciating crawl. I held her for a awhile, hoping I'd be able to take her into the operating room for her knock out juice. But then Adam took her and she fell asleep in his arms. Rats, I thought. Now he gets to take her.

Don't think for a minute this was just an accident on Adam's part. He's a clever guy. But the tables turned as we spoke to the anesthesiologist and she said "Who wants to go in with the baby?"

"I do" I said, tearfully. "But I don't want to wake her - I guess he'll take her."

"Well he'd have to hand her over anyway - someone has to put on the bunny suit" She indicated the white zippered disposable outfit.

So now it made more sense that I'd take her in instead of Adam and I jumped into the bunny suit. She woke only briefly before they knocked her out.

And she's still asleep right now.

How can I describe what it's like to wait during your baby's surgery? One minute I was doing fine, but as the hours passed I was ready to kill anyone who didn't have information on how she was doing. It's Chinese water torture, bamboo shoots under your nails, and a cave in all in one. You want to escape, but there is no where to go. Every bit of news brings it's roller coaster of emotions. News comes so slow and sporadically it is like word from the front lines.

And you feel frustratingly helpless to affect it.

As she lies here in PICU, with more tubes than a fuel injected vehicle I am so grateful to be on the other side of this immense ocean of worry and fear. The next 12 hours are critical and I have a million more things to share but I've got to get some rest.

My baby needs me.