We do have a very traditional Christmas, 12 dishes of fish on Christmas Eve, an extra plate at the table in case someone who doesn’t have a warm place can come and join us, we roast chestnuts outside on the open fire, we share blessed bread and wish each other warm wishes, and we open gifts Christmas eve. Alivia’s first Christmas was amazing, wrapping paper was a hit. We had our whole family there for support, and to spend Alivia’s first Christmas together. It was nice, our house was full of people and it kept our minds off of what was coming, it gave us the opportunity to enjoy the now. There is something so special about your baby’s first Holidays, she was so taken by the tree, and lights, and new flavors of food. It was like we were experiencing it all for the first time through her eyes. All the attention was on Alivia and Christmas became something for the little one again. Christmas movies, Christmas stories, it made me super excited for the upcoming years. (I am going all out, with 24 days of Elf on a shelf, I love the idea of everyday seeing your child’s face finding the trouble he caused overnight).
The crazy couple days were slowly coming to an end and we were starting to think more again of Alivia’s surgery. New Years was a quiet one, Alivia is on a strict bedtime schedule, so 7pm she is bathed, and fed, and ready for sweet dreams. Muffin and I relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. At 12 we woke Alivia up to wish her all the best for the New Year, we snuggled as a family and all went to sleep. (How things change when you have a newborn). I went on my crazy post holidays clean, took the tree down and scrubbed the house, most likely dealing with my anxiety of another surgery. We packed all our things again to get Alivia ready for another stay at the hospital. On January 5 was the day we left to the hospital, when we arrived we went to register, and spoke to the nurse same routine we thought. We waited a bit and she came to us with some news, she said we were not booked in and they were very busy, which meant we might be waiting all day for surgery. With a little food monster that had not eaten since 6 pm, we decided to wait to do the surgery later in the week. I can’t tell you how great it felt to go home, I knew it was still going to happen, but we got a couple extra days to relax with Alivia. Muffin was getting ready to leave out of town to work, as much as he didn’t want to financially he had too. The hospital was accommodating enough that they ended up scheduling us in before he left, so he could have a couple days with us. The schnoodle bed was starting to lose its luster and Alivia didn’t want to sleep in it. So we came up with the idea of building a ramp to place under Alivia’s mattress to elevate her, Muffin built one right away to use after surgery. January 9 was the scheduled day, I packed up Alivia and I, and we went to the hospital. Muffin was so worried all day at work, he was probably not very productive there. Alivia’s aunty Amy came to keep me stable during the day. Another thing I have learned is with situations like this life still has to go on, I know sometimes it’s difficult but that’s another hard fact you have to deal with. Muffin wanted to be with us so much, but we still had bills to pay and a house to upkeep. So he did the manly thing and went to work so he could support his little family. Amy has been in Alivia’s life since she was a little pea in my womb, and went through a lot of our journey with us. She too is one of my best friends, nothing that woman wouldn’t do for us. It was nice having her there. I don’t think I would have been able to go by myself, even though I acted tough and told everyone I would be fine. We arrived at the hospital and Amy helped make the mood less heavy, made jokes and she helped with Alivia before they took her in. It’s different when both the worrying parents are there, vs a friend and you. I was doing just fine, Alivia was in good spirits until the nurse came toward us again… “Are you guys ready? Could I take Alivia now?” Boom! Water works for both Amy and I! I don’t care how often people have to do this, I don’t think giving your child away for surgery will ever be something I’m ok with. Watching them in the arms of someone else as they look back at you, you can’t be there next to them, to hold their hand, or comfort them. The what seemed like forever wait started again.