It would be a grueling, arduous 8 hours and 23 minutes before we received word that the surgery was complete. I can recall those moments in the PCICU waiting room in vivid detail, as if it were just yesterday that I helplessly awaited each and every update from the OR, informing me of whether or not my newborn baby was handling this open-heart operation as we had hoped and prayed. I remember who was there with us as we waited. I remember the sights and sounds of the waiting room. I remember the smell of the antibacterial hand soap in the bathrooms. I remember walking into the PCICU throughout the day to grab the key to the pumping room to develop a supply of milk to nourish my baby via ng-tube, since it was uncertain when or if he would be able to take a bottle. I remember walking across the street for lunch. I remember the relationships with other families in similar situations with their children that we established. It all seems so surreal -- like it was yesterday, but also a lifetime ago.
This is what I shared on my blog on November 2, 2009 after I saw Chase for the very first time following surgery:
Hubs and I got to see Chase for about 5 minutes once he was stable in the PCICU following his surgery. They had a blanket over him so I didn't see his open chest or any of the chest tubes, lines, etc. that were added during the surgery. He looked very peaceful and not as swollen as I was expecting, although we were told he would get more swollen over the next day or two. Luckily we were very pleased to hear he was already peeing out some of the excess fluid, which was a big blessing to know his renal system was functioning well so soon after surgery. We were also told they had been able to reduce some of the medications he was on as well! This is all very encouraging!!!
I will admit I'm fearful of the next 24 to 48 hours as Chase's body responds to the major changes to his heart and circulatory system. I'm scared we're going to get a call at 2AM telling us something is terribly bad with him. But I know that's just my human side trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario, when truly I should be focusing on the miracle of what God did in Chase's life today and the peace He's given me for our future and our little boy! This is hard but I know it's doable with God in control of our lives.
This is the first photo I took of Chase after he returned from the OR. There were so many lines, wires, medications... it was unbelievable to see my newborn baby like this. The nurse had placed a blanket over his chest so I wouldn't be able to see his beating heart, as his chest was left open following the surgery to account for swelling (it would be 3 days before the surgeon would close his chest).
Today, as I think of the past 6 years and the path God has brought us through, I cannot help but thank Him and praise Him for his love, mercy, and healing touch on my sweet son! Just last week, we had the honor and privilege of celebrating six years with this incredible boy! He is such an amazing, compassionate, and loving little guy and the biggest blessing in my life! ♥