Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 3

The next day was a million times better.  Sweet P had started to wake up and was looking around at us.  I had never been so happy to see that pair of blue eyes.  

She was still having random irregular heartbeats, but they seemed to be fading.  

Also, I had been able to get some rest, which was good because momma bear mode had kicked in.

I was on alert for everything, from the heart monitor, to her doses of pain meds.  Our poor nurse had to put up with so much from me.  I was constantly asking questions, and pushing her to make sure everything was ok.  But let me say that she was absolutely wonderful.  She patiently answered all my questions and concerns and was even proactive when it came to me taking care of myself during this time as well.  Even the cardiologist that was on call during the night was a godsend.  Through a conversation we had before he went home from his shift, I found out that he was a Summit church member, and a Virginia Tech fan.  This was a good sign.  :)

We ended up spending only 3 days in the cardiac ICU before they moved us to a room on the main floor.

Right before they moved us, one of the doctors that had been following Sweet P's case, came in and asked me if I wanted to hold her.  "No." I told her.  I was so scared that I would hurt her.  I was content just being by her side.  "I wasn't asking.  I want you to hold her." It was then that I really looked at the doctor, and realized that she wasn't talking to me as a medical professional, but as a fellow mom.  I would like to be able to tell you that it was so awesome to finally be able to hold her, but honestly, I was shaking so bad that I didn't really enjoy any of it.  It was later when I rocked her to sleep, that I felt the rush of emotions, and familiarity of being her momma.

One week later from the day of her surgery, we were sent home.

I write all of these things for multiple reasons.  One, I want to remember what God did for us during that time.  It's easy to forget all the little ways that God provided for and answered our prayers.  Two, I want others to see God's work in our lives and give him all the glory.  Three, I want any other moms out there that may be going through a similar situation, to know that others have gone before them and can understand what they are going through.  I have already had two moms contact me who are presently experiencing something similar to what we went through.  

Even though our experience was tough, God was gracious enough to give me perspective and realize that we really did not have it that bad.  There were so many other stories that I learned about of children who were in much more serious situations than Sweet P.  My heart ached for these mom's.  Many of them did not have the hope of their child surviving like we did.  

God is good ya'll.  He has allowed me to question his goodness and love, and proved to me that he is unshakeable.  He was my refuge during this time, and remained faithful to me even when I wanted to push him away.  This past year has been marked by many milestones, and thousands of praises.  But through it all I have been changed for the better and have drawn closer to my savior.  

Thank you for reading about Sweet P's story.  

God bless,

Part 1
Part 2

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 2

Nothing could have prepared me for seeing my Sweet P laying in a hospital bed post surgery.  

She was hooked up to so many things.  There were pace maker wires, monitors, iv's, a respirator tube, and a drainage tube.  Even the bandage over the incision was covered in blood, and she was shaking in response to what had been done to her.

I tried to stand there and listen to the doctors and surgeon, but couldn't do it.  I couldn't even look at her.  I ran to the waiting room, and lost it.  I don't think I have ever sobbed like that before.

I was her momma.  I was the one that loved her like no other.  I was supposed to take care of her and protect her.  But I couldn't do anything.

Todd quickly followed me to the waiting room and held me while I cried.  I remembered being thankful that no one else was in the room at that time to see me breakdown.

Finally, I calmed down and went back in to settle down for the rest of the day and night.

But I quickly realized the worst part was not seeing all the machines or even the blood, but seeing her silently cry during the night (she couldn't make any noise because of the tube that had been in her mouth), and watching the tears roll down the side of her face because she was in pain.

I remember immediately I focused on God and cried out in my heart for him to take the pain away.  It was a conversation that went on for hours as I poured over the promises and character of God, and consistently reminded myself that he loved her more than I ever could.  There was nothing off topic at that time as I talked to him, and it was during that time that I wrote this post.  

As the night went on, I did my best to stay awake, but eventually fell asleep.  I had only been asleep for about 30 minutes when I woke up to find 2 nurses, and a doctor in the room hooking Sweet P up to a pacemaker.  I think my heart slammed against my ribs once I realized what they were doing.  They quickly assured me that she was ok, but had some irregular heartbeats, and wanted to have her hooked up as a precaution.  

I stayed a little while longer, but then eventually traded places with Todd, and went home to sleep.

Part 1, here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 1

October 1st 2012 is a day I will never forget.

It's the day that I sat in a Starbucks for 5+ hours trying not to think about the ball of nerves in my stomach, or how sweaty my palms were.  

It's the day that I clung to my phone as if my life depended on it, and in a way it did.  

It's the day that I mentally sat in silence before the Lord knowing that he knew my plea, and I awaited his answer.  

It's the day my 5lb, red headed, little girl had open heart surgery.  

I cannot even write this post without tearing up after each sentence.  

I have not written much, if anything about the day Sweet P had her life changing surgery.  Mainly because it's a day that I don't want to remember, and at the same time am utterly thankful for it.  I still struggle going through the timeline of that day because I feel all the emotions as if it were happening all over again.  I guess that is what it means to be a momma. 

We were not originally expecting to have Sweet P's surgery that early in her short life.  The hope was that she would gain some weight and chunk up to about 8-10 pounds before they would move ahead and repair her heart, but her weight gain was just not happening.  Her acid reflux was so bad at this point that she was under constant monitoring at the hospital due to her high risk of aspirating.  

I remember the head surgeon came to speak to us the day before and go over everything that was going to happen.  The surgery would be anywhere from 6-8 hours long with a phone call from one of the nurses once an hour with an update.  There was great risk in doing this on a baby so small, but he assured us that he had done this successfully on children smaller than Sweet P.  

I wasn't so assured.  

The next morning they came and got her at 6am.  Two different pastors came from our church and prayed with us over Sweet P's surgery.  I don't think they will ever know on this side of heaven how much them being there meant to me.   Throughout the course of the morning other friends trickled in and out to be with us as we waited.  Each time the phone rang, Todd and I jumped up and ran out of the coffee shop to make sure we could hear each word that the nurse said to us.  

Finally we got the call that the surgery was done and that the surgeon wanted to talk to us upstairs at the babies cardiac intensive care unit.  

We waited for what seemed like an eternity, and finally they rounded the corner pushing Sweet P in an isolate attached to what seemed like every machine in the world.  They asked us to stay outside the room until they had her situated and stable and then they would come and get us.  

The surgeon said that the surgery was a success, and that he was pleased with how everything went.  But now we had to wait to see if her heart would accept what had been done to it.  The next 24 hours would be critical.  

A few minutes later we were able to go in and see her.  But before we went in, they prepared us.  It won't be easy seeing her this way, a nurse warned me.  

I made it about 2 minutes in her room and then collapsed, sobbing, in the waiting room floor.