February 13th 2013
After many long days, months, years of waiting our sweet baby girl was being given a gift, a gift that would mean a chance for her to grow up leading a full and normal, healthy life. The most generous, selfless gift one can give.
Mike and I would finally be able to stop living in constant fear. We would have new worries, but they pale in comparison to the worries we have lived with since we learned of Katy’s special heart at our 20 week ultra sound. But, before we could do that Katy had to make it through the surgery and the crucial 48-72 hours that follow.
Most kids who are going in for a heart transplant don’t go into it looking like this:
Living a pretty typical 5 year old life. So it was very hard for me to send my “seemingly” healthy daughter and send her in for a surgery that she may not make it out of. My brain knew that she was very sick and that any moment her heart would get sicker and she would be fighting for her life or worse. But, my heart saw this little girl… the little girl that is a vital thread of our family. Although, I have lived in constant fear of losing her every. single. day. the thought of her going through this major surgery was so scary. The thought of not living in constant fear every. single. day was so exciting. So yes, it was an emotional roller coaster. But, oddly enough I felt very calm… up until this point…
Katy’s 5AM wake up call to a room full of people!!! She was less than thrilled.
5:15 came and everyone was ready to ROLL… Anesthesia was giving loopy juice… hugs and kisses to a sleepy Katy. Lots of tears… (from the grownups) it was very rushed. Mike and I escorted Katy down… we said our goodbyes in a hallway and even now it feels like it was very rushed… and I don’t feel I had enough time. It is time sensitive… but there was a miscommunication at some point and it was a bit more rushed than normal. That said… I could have had 5 hours to say my goodbyes and it wouldn’t have been long enough. Unless, you have had to send your child off behind those heavy metal doors I can never express to you the feeling. It never gets easier… you may get better at doing it… but that pit in your belly never goes away, that uncertainty, that last kiss, that plea with the nurse to sing her favorite song or rub her hair just so… that moment you look the Anesthesiologist in the eye and you beg him to bring your girl back to you, because you can not leave the hospital with out her. It doesn’t get easier, sadly we just get better at it.
Well once Katy was wheeled away and Mike and the nurse were holding me a bit tighter than just a warm embrace in an effort to ensure I didn’t chase after her. I lost it… the calm mama that no one could believe was being so calmed turned Into the hysterical hot mess everyone expected her to be… I was dry heaving and crying and screaming. The OR nurse was the sweetest, most beautiful kind hearted person, she held me, cried with me and connected with me… she told she she was a mama and she would take care of Katy as if she were her own and that she would update often and that we had every reason to hope that this surgery would be very successful. I can’t remember her name, but I will never forget her kindness.
Of course Mike… oh my ROCK. That was his little girl… his sweetest baby girl. Those two share such a love and bond I can only imagine what Daddy was feeling… he is a man of few words. I do know that he was feeling mostly relief. He knew his baby girl would come through with flying colors. His presence is always so calming…no words just his embrace can calm me when no one or no words can.