One day at a time
Tonight as I lay in the fold out chair next to my daughter I am actually comforted by the sounds of the IV pumps, the chest tubes, the ventilator, and the steady beep of the monitor telling the world her heart is pumping in a nice strong rhythm. Tonight I feel peace and relief to have this step behind us. And I feel extreme gratitude for a successful surgery today. Lizzie really is doing well, but we are all afraid to tell her! Nobody is willing to trust her just yet, and nor should they with a track record like the one she’s got.
Lizzie woke up ready to conquer this day. She let me and her daddy hold her and love on her and she was bright eyed and well rested. It did my heart good, I pulled my strength from her. The anesthesiologist had me put on scrubs and let me actually take her back to the OR. I held the mask until Lizzie was asleep. I was able to sing to her and love on her until the very last second. She was so brave. She stared into my eyes until they rolled back and closed. I will admit I tried for a while to just blend in with the rest of the OR team, I stood really still and tried not to cause any trouble. Then I heard “ok mom, it’s time to give her a kiss goodbye”. So I did, and I walked out the doors and gave her completely over to God.
I wrote the first 2 paragraphs last night but my eyes grew heavy and I couldn’t finish my thoughts. Today Lizzie is still ventilated, the doctors are letting her lungs and the rest of her body adjust to the new flow and arrangement of her heart. She’s setting her own pace and everyone seems good with that. She has had a stable day, nothing really exciting to report. The fine balance of pain control and sedation versus maintaining viable blood pressure and heart rate is the biggest challenge for the day. She has been on so many pain meds over the past 90+ days she barely notices what she’s given. I am amazed at what her body soaks in.
We are taking it one day at a time. Every day is a new day. We have no expectations and no plans, we are just thankful for new beginnings, for our family, and for so many blessings. If I’ve learned anything from this, it’s not to take anything for granted. This year our Christmas will be so different than what we have grown accustomed to. My cookies won’t be pristine and may actually come from a pre-made tube of dough (gasp), we will not be sending cards, and we will not be bombarding our children with obscene amounts of gifts. And that’s ok with me. Kiss, love, and hug on your babies and thank God for every day you have with them! And enjoy this Christmas season, wherever in the midst of it you may find yourself.