Looking Back: Two Years Post-Op
Two years ago today we were in a very different place in our lives. Millie had been born 19 days earlier and we had been living in the NICU at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital ever since.
After initially thinking they could postpone the open heart surgery to correct her congenital heart defect, Millie took a turn for the worse and had to be intubated to stabilize her. She was intubated on a Friday afternoon/evening (a long, scary process that’s a story of its own), was moved to the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) on Sunday and surgery was scheduled for Monday afternoon.
This is the entry from my personal journal on the day of her surgery:
Glenn and Tucker had gone home for the night and I was alone with Millie in her hospital room listening to the beeps of her monitors, IVs and the hum of her vent.
Surgery Day, 6/23/14
It’s just after midnight on the day of Millie’s surgery to correct her congenital heart defect. I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared as I am right now. (Other than the day she was born.)
I know that she has to have it done. And I believe she has the right surgeons caring for her. But it’s still so frightening. She is so tiny. And her little imperfect heart is even tinier.
She has been intubated since Friday night and I already miss the sound of her cry.
I have regrets too. There’s not a single picture of the four of us together. I never got to see Tucker hold her. And I wish I had dressed her in clothes at least once. But once she was intubated it was too late for all of that. At least I got to hold her last night. And I read her a bedtime story tonight.
Looking at her now, it’s hard to believe all that she’s been through. If you didn’t see her scars, you probably would never know that she’s a heart baby. The truth is, she has probably bounced back from the experience better than the rest of us. She won’t have any memories of that time in her life other than the stories we tell her. We, on the other hand, are forever changed by the experience.