we awoke to a landscape covered with snow, so pristine and clean. was it a sign of what was to come? nature's way of cleansing before the ugliness sets in....
at the time we saw it as an inconvenience, knowing that the drive into the hospital during rush hour would take longer, adding strain to our already frazzled nerves. there was some humor on the drive in, the trunk of car wouldn't close, so we drove all the way to the hospital with it open. snow blowing inside and people trying to tell us it was open. i remember my mom saying "if this is the worst thing that happens today, its ok." of course the trunk closed and latched as soon as we arrived at the hospital.
somehow, we made it to the hospital close to the appointed time, dr a., the surgeon, was not so lucky. he was about two hours late. so we waited, and i tried not to think about the fact that my 3 week old baby was about to have open heart surgery. cooper was hungry and cranky. i let my mom hold him. i still feel guilty because i didn't hold every minute before surgery. i know there was no way to know what lay ahead and letting others help doesn't make me a bad mother, but i still feel guilty.
after they took him away. i fell apart. i was terrified that something bad was going to happen, but i was also hopeful. hopeful that dr a and his team would repair the hole in cooper's heart, giving him a full chance at life. the waiting was agonizing, we watched tv, sent emails, read, knit and tried not to think about the what ifs..... there was one point, about half way through the surgery, that my heart started racing and i felt sick to my stomach. in hindsight, i am sure it was the moment that they made the decision that the repair was not enough and they needed to put in a shunt in cooper's left ventricle.
after 6 hours of waiting and nail biting, the doctors came into tell us that cooper would be in the picu soon and that we would be able to see him. we saw him briefly as they wheeled him by, my sweet little baby all puffy and with tubes, but he was alive and doing well. once they got him settled they would let us see him. dr a came and talked to us. he admitted that the surgery was more complicated than he had hoped, but that cooper had responded brilliantly.
when we saw cooper. i cried. it broke my heart to see him like that, but i was also so relieved that he had made it through surgery. they left his chest open, so there was this piece of second skin covering his little heart. you could see his heart beating, such a welcome sight.
that night before we went to bed, i told my precious husband, " i thought i would never see him alive again, that i was so relieved." i slept with coopers' fleece sleeper that night because it smelled like him and i needed to be close to him.
december 17, 2009:
it is a winter wonderland once again. the first real snow we have had this year. i am sure it is cooper's way of trying to ease the ache in my heart and letting me know he is watching over us and the bean.
even though, my heart feels like it breaking all over again, i am hopeful.