One year ago this morning, we woke up at the Silver Cloud Inn after a restless night's sleep. We had woken Luke up at midnight for one more bottle and then our alarm went off around 5:15 am. We were hoping Luke would sleep a bit longer, but once he heard mom and dad up and about, he decided he was ready to get up as well. We quickly showered and dressed and headed over to Children's to check in at the surgical desk. The hospital was quiet this early in the morning, but we were thankful to be the first case of the day. We signed Luke in and were told to wait for the anesthesiologist to come and get us. We were surrounded by friends and family in the waiting room, which made the wait a bit more bearable.
Around 7:15 we brought Luke back to another waiting area, where he would receive his ID bracelet and the anesthesiologist would talk with us about the procedure. More waiting, and each moment got more difficult as Luke became more and more hungry. We had left Luke's pacifier with the rest of our stuff (I know, rookie parent move!), so Rog went on the hunt to find it. After about 45 minutes of pacing and bouncing with Luke, he finally, thankfully fell asleep. Very similar to Luke's first surgery a few months before, we felt deep peace once we handed him over to the anesthesiologists. We could have found comfort in the expertise of the doctors, but I don't think we could have felt that kind of peace without knowing Jesus Christ. With His help, we had brought Luke to surgery as strong and healthy as he could be and now it was out of our hands. The beautiful part was there wasn't fear in this knowledge. He was completely in God's hands now and there is no place more secure.
In a bit of déjà vu fog, Rog and I left the pre-op waiting area to go pick up our pager and instructions. We met our friends and family in the large waiting area and felt so comforted by their presence. Looking back, I am surprised how much we laughed during that wait and again, how peaceful we felt. We received the typical pages (however when your pager goes off, you feel anything but typical, perhaps like your heart might need some intervention in the OR too!):
"He's under anesthesia and doing great." (Thankful he's not feeling any pain/fear)
"He's on bypass and they've started the procedure." (Praying hard for safety of his organs while on bypass)
"He's off bypass. Things are going well." (Deep breath)
"The surgeon is finished and will be ready to meet with you shortly." (Sigh of relief, gearing up to see our sweet boy).
Dr. Cohen told us everything went great, as expected. The only thing that was a little strange to him was that his atrial septectomy done previously had scarred down quite a bit so he had to cut away that scar tissue to open the hole up again. He had never seen that before in such a short time and it would need to be monitored by Dr. Stefanelli. If that happened again, they would possibly have to go in and balloon open that hole. Other than that, Dr. Cohen was pleased with the outcome and told us we'd get another page shortly when we could see Luke.
One of the many blessings of the day came in the form of Luke's post-op nurse, Carlotta. She was the first to care for Luke post-op back in February and was one of our favorites. God was showing us how His hand was (and is and always will be) in the smallest and largest details. Another blessing was seeing how Luke had graduated to a "big boy" hospital crib and how much stronger he looked this time around. No more chicken legs on this boy! Carlotta said she hardly recognized him and thought he looked fantastic and strong. He was designated "the bruiser" in the CICU. The only other major difference in how he looked this time was the addition of two more chest tubes. After spending a few hours telling our son how much we loved him and how proud we were of him, Rog and I headed back to the Silver Cloud for a late dinner and to try and get a good night's sleep, confident in his care by the CICU nurses and docs.
I think of all the heart babies in the hospital right now, recovering from heart surgeries and I ask the Lord to bless them and their families. I pray especially for little Elaina, continuing her fight to recover after 2 months in the PICU; and for baby Johnathan who will undergo the Glenn on August 18th; and for baby Jack, just one week old and recovering beautifully from the Norwood.
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
If you want to pray for lots of little heart kiddo's, here's a link that lists their blogs: http://heartheroslist.blogspot.com