You are 4 days old today and you are having a life-saving surgery that will fix your heart and allow you to live a normal life. Last night was a restless one. I hate sleeping in hotel beds. Daddy and I arrived at the hospital around 6:30am. We had the opportunity to hold you one last time before the surgery. I took a peek at your perfect little body – the last time that I would see it in its perfect, unscarred form. Knowing that your heart was failing you, I listened to your heavy breathing as your lungs worked harder and harder to oxygenate your body. I wished that I could give you my breath and somehow make your heart whole so you wouldn’t have to go through all this.
The surgical team seemed to be moving in slow motion as they walked through the doors of the CICU and toward your room. I didn’t want them to take you. Not yet. I wasn’t ready to let you go. We followed the team into the staff elevators and meandered through a maze of white, sterile hallways that led to the operating rooms. It was a force beyond my own strength that allowed me to put one foot in front of the other. As I walked, I watched you lie there – so small and fragile in the big bed. When we reached the OR, the anesthesiologist assured me that you would be comfortable. I tearfully said goodbye. They pushed you through the doors and I had nothing else to do but wait…
Now we’re just waiting to hear how things are going. Daddy and I get the “VIP” waiting room (I guess that’s what you get when you have the sickest child, haha). Grandma will be here soon too. Our home for the next 8 hours is a small, quiet room with a couple of recliners, a couch and a t.v. We thought we would have heard something by now. Anesthesia is taking longer than we anticipated (almost 2 hours)…
10am – Finally got word that you went under anesthesia well and that you got on the bypass machine just fine…
11:30am – They fixed your valve (phew, that was the scariest part) and now they are starting on your pulmonary graft…
12pm – Still praying for you every second. In an attempt to calm my thoughts, I turned to the scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants 84:88, which reads:
And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
Adam, as I read that scripture I had the most overwhelming feeling that your Heavenly Father loves you and that He has sent His angels to watch over you. I sit here now and I imagine a host of His angels surrounding your bedside in the operating room. They are holding your tiny hands and stroking your head, singing sweet lullabies softly in your ear. I also feel God’s presence with me. It warms me to my core. I am comforted and know that with Heavenly Father all things are possible. I have faith that you will not only be “OK” but that you will be resilient. You’ll grow to be a mighty boy – if not mighty in frame, mighty in mind and faith and heart. You’ll have such joy in this life, Adam. I love you.
3pm – You are out of surgery. Dr. Philips says that the valve was repaired and, from what he can tell, there is only mild leakage. They won’t be able to tell for sure until your chest is closed and they can do echoes. Still, this is the best news we’ve heard all day. We get to see you soon!
4:30pm – My, the last 1 ½ hours has gone by SO slowly! The nurses are about ready to take us back to your room. Daddy has been trying to prepare me for this moment. He says that you will look really bad, with many tubes and machines connected to you. I remind myself not to let the machines scare me – they are there to sustain my baby’s life. I’m still in awe at the miracles that have happened today. Don’t ever forget, my little Adam, that God answers prayers!
10pm – Daddy and I made it home. What a long day. You are stable and the nurses will watch over you throughout the night. My prayers tonight are filled with gratitude. I’m thankful that the surgery went well today. I’m grateful for the angels that were there to watch over you. I’m grateful for miracles and for tender mercies. I’m thankful that I get to be your mommy.
My arms are empty and I’m aching to hold you. I guess it’ll be awhile though. The nurses say you did well last night. Your blood pressures are up and everything is fine. It’s cute to watch you open your eyes a little. You’ll still be under a lot of anesthesia until Monday though. You’re pitiful, my sweet baby, but you sure are cute. The nurse has to wash your mouth with mouthwash on a q-tip and you love it! She puts it in your mouth and you just start sucking away. Grandpa says you and he are twins because he has to do the same thing. Haha! He is still in the hospital recovering too. I hope he gets to go home soon – I miss my daddy.
Sleep well, my sweetheart. May angels continue to watch over you.
The surgical team is closing your chest today. They just closed down the CICU and performed the procedure right in your room. We’ve heard that everything went fine and we can see you in 45 minutes.
Today was not too stressful. You’re still sedated from today’s surgery, and when we left the hospital, you seemed comfortable enough. When I was in the waiting room earlier today I met a couple who just found out that their baby girl will need a heart transplant. My heart ached for them. I’m so grateful that you have a strong, healthy heart. In fact, I feel so much gratitude today. I’m thankful for modern-day medicine and the doctors that saved your life. I’m thankful that God guided the surgeon’s hands as he operated on you. You are such a special gift, Adam.
Good morning, Sweetheart. When I got here this morning, I was happy to see that the nurses have removed one of your IVs. Until now you’ve had an IV in each arm with your little hands tied to boards to keep you from pulling them out. You’re SO happy to have your tiny hand free – you just hold it up to your face and snuggle your lambie. The nurses all comment about how you hardly make a peep. Even when they mess with you, you just lie there and take it. What a sweet boy you are.
Hi Little Sweetie,
Today was not a good day. In fact, today was one of the worst days since you had your surgery. I called the nurse this morning for my usual check-in (“Hi, how’s Adam? I’ll be down there in an hour or so.”); however, I did not hear the news that I expected to hear coming from the other end of the line. “We performed an echo last night. Adam’s aortic valve is leaking severely and we suspect that the valve will need to be replaced. The surgeon and cardiologist will see Adam tomorrow morning and we will likely schedule open heart surgery in the next couple of days.” I stood motionless in the kitchen as my heart sunk to the floor. I then retreated to the guest room and, kneeling there at the bed, I poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father. I cried and begged as I uttered the words of a prayer. Please hear the desperate pleas of this mother in behalf of her helpless child. He was almost going home! I can’t bear to see him suffer again. I can’t stand to see them open his chest again. He is weak. He is so tiny. I beg for this miracle. Please help his heart to work. Please fix his valvle. Please…
I continued to cry and to pray with all of the faith that I could muster.
I’m now sitting in your room, hoping for a miracle. There are so many people praying for you. Morning will come too slowly.
They performed another echo today and your heart is functioning great! The doctors say that your valve is only mildly leaking. They will keep an eye on it but they believe that no intervention is necessary.
It is a beautiful miracle, Baby. I know that it is through our faith, fasting, prayers and blessings that the function of your valve has been sustained. I feel so much gratitude. Adam, please know that you can pray to your Heavenly Father and that He will listen to you. God loves you and is waiting to bless you if you but ask.