The night before the surgery was difficult, but we kept our promises and tried not to make the mood gloomy. I fed Alivia as much as I could because she had to have an empty belly before going under (good luck with that, a breastfed 4 month old always cares to eat). I remember sitting on my deck watching the sunset and the clouds above me started to mold into something familiar. As I sat and waited they started to shape into an angel with huge wings. I don’t know why but I ran into the house and showed Muffin, I felt some sort of reassurance for what was to come. We packed all of my clothes to stay with Alivia at the hospital (only one parent stays overnight), and tried to get some sleep for the long road ahead. We arrived at the hospital fairly early, and were admitted. We spoke to what seemed like a lineup of different medical professionals. Everyone from the nurse that did checks before surgery, to the anesthesiologist, to our amazing Wendy, and the wonderful Dr.Mehta. It felt so overwhelming and to top everything off procedures were behind that day, so we had to wait even longer. The anticipation of knowing your child will be in surgery at any moment is something I cannot describe. Some things in this world invoke feelings in us that seem surreal, and this was one of them…. it was gut wrenching. We were finally called and moved into another room; I wanted to run away with each step closer. Then Dr.Mehta approached us one last time and made sure we were ready. Next came the nurse and asked us for Alivia, I burst into tears. All I could think was: My baby, they are taking her away again, and this time she will return with cuts and stitches, and what if something goes wrong?, it’s a brain surgery ….. IT’S BRAIN SURGERY!!! It sunk in. This was the first time Muffin and I were alone since Alivia was born, and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We moped around the hospital and waited at the front of the hallway where Alivia would be moved after surgery. I remember looking to see if it was our baby in every bed that rolled by. Minutes felt like hours, even days, I wanted her back with us now, I wanted to know she was ok. If I could tell you what it was like to see her coming down the hall I would, but I can’t! I didn’t care that she had the stitches, or that she was a little pale. All that mattered was the sense of relief that came in knowing and seeing that she was ok, finally back with us, and ready to start getting love from mommy and daddy.
The hospital stay was as good as could be expected. I think Alivia was in a little pain that evening, because she and I had a meltdown. I had to feed her and I naturally placed her on the right side of my arm, as I normally did, not keeping in mind her incision was on the right. She flipped out! I didn’t know what to do I nearly dropped her out of fear that I had hurt her incision. My husband took over and tried to comfort her, I felt like a failure, like I didn’t know how to care for her anymore. Things immediately felt different. I had to leave for a moment to regain my sanity and calm down. After she and I stopped crying they passed her over to me, this time placing a pillow on my arm and she ate with no problems. It took some time getting used to handling her with the two incisions, the nurses and doctors were amazing in helping us. Nights were a bit scary, monitors beeping, and little to no sleep. The staff at the hospital took great care of our little patient, and they took time to make sure us parents were ok too. I was amazed by how accommodating they were to us, they acknowledged us as parents that were dealing with this and supported us every step of the way. It was a real comfort. Wendy also came a couple times to see Alivia and make sure we were ok, she had a warm presence to her which made her very sincere. Some nights they would change, and feed Alivia so I could sleep. On the second day Alivia woke up with a smile from ear to ear, when I saw this my heart melted and I knew she was back to her normal self. We spent the days walking the halls to get out of the room, napping, eating, and watching cartoons. After everything was said and done, she was happy and on the way to recovery! Day 3 we were discharged and ready to go home, all of that worrying and stressing was behind us for now, we were happy again. Finally a big gulp of Lemonade!