My baby had surgery today. We had a two hour wait in the surgical holding room with him before the doctor and anesthesiologist came to talk to us. He was so brave, but toward the end fo the long wait he started to cry and said he just wanted to go home. I didn't blame him, I wanted to go home too. But we had to put on a smile and tell him that it would all be over soon and we could go home together. It is absolute torture watching your child get hooked up to an IV and monitors, put that little mask over his face and drift off. Then to walk away and wait for the moment the doctor comes back to tell you it is all (hopefully) okay. . . .
I am so grateful C is okay and that it wasn't serious. I feel such compassion for anyone who has a child with a serious illness. To have to be in a hospital all the time, experiencing that fear and helplessness, I don't know if I have the strength--and I hope I never have to find out.
It was also difficult on a second level because his surgeon works out of the same hospital where I had all 4 procedures when I lost the babies, so it brought me back to some dark places that were not easy to forget as we sat there in those same hallways and rooms. I couldn't help but remember my own terror as I was wheeled into that cold, bright operating room, staring up at those weird sci-fi machines, listening to the noises, trying not to feel my heart beating so hard it felt like it was ripping out of my chest. I was so grateful when they let me go into the OR with C so that he wouldn't be alone with all those strange masked faces staring down at him as he fell asleep; grateful mine was the familiar face he was looking at as he drifted off. As an adult it was bad enough to go through that alone, but if I had known my child was going to have to be wheeled away from me to face that I would have clung to his gurney as they pushed him down the hall. Thank goodness they have compassion for mothers and children!
Tonight as I'm feeling grateful for our son's life, I'll be thinking of the family sitting across from us in the waiting room who got bad news. It is awful to sit in that big open space where there is no privacy for your grief. It is not only terrible for the ones who get that news, but really hard for the rest of us who sat and watched in silence; our thoughts and feelings a perfect balance of compassion and relief as we waited for our own doctor to bring us news.
So today I am grateful for a good doctor, a successful surgery, and a brave little boy.