I woke up this morning more calm than I’ve been all month. It was like all my worrying had already peaked and I was left to deal with my more standard and rational self (shut up. It’s my blog and I’ll call myself rational if I want to). It was a damn good thing because last night as I gave my daughter a pep talk reminding her that she had to be a strong baby girl and kick this surgery’s ass I broke down. And I mean I BROKE THE FUCK DOWN.
But today, with some Valium on board, I was nearly calm on the way to the hospital (I am as surprised as you undoubtedly are). Stupid, yes, as neither The Daver or I could remember which was the psychologist with the bells and the dog (answer: Pavlov), but pretty calm. I was calm as we walked my shrieking, starving daughter up to the surgery wing and checked in.
Hell, I was even calm as we were marched back to the surgical prep area. I signed the consents using my real name, I allowed my nervous husband to cuddle and pace with his daughter rather than keep her firmly ensconced in my arms, and I only broke down marginally when she was taken from us back to surgery.
Breakfast and the company of both my father–who contemplated throwing on some scrubs and heading back to the surgical suite to direct the surgery (he has a degree, he claims, from the Internet that he got two weeks ago. He’s an Internet Doctor now! We’re so proud)–and Nathan–who promised a jaunt with me to the gift shop killed the half an hour before surgery began. We’d been strongly instructed to NOT leave the waiting area, The Daver and I together, as the doctor didn’t approve of it so any stuff gathering or pacing had to be done without one another.
In our frazzled state, however annoying that sounded on paper, perhaps being separated was a plus.
After eggs were firmly tucked into my belly and an additional Valium swallowed, Nathan and I took off for a cup of coffee. While down at the coffee shop, I decided to make this More Of An Adventure and explore the gift shop as well. Do I know how to live on the edge or what?
A half an hour passed before we headed back up to wait in the uncomfortable waiting room chairs for the next four to six hours. I knew I had some Super EZ crossword puzzles to muddle through and figured I should probably get started on it.
The elevator banks opened to my husband whizzing by in the company of another dude.
“OHMYGODTHEREYOUARE.” He panted in my direction.
Without having a moment to react, he nearly shouted “SHE’S DONE! SURGERY IS DONE!”
Turns out that by four to six hours, the doctor meant 45 minutes. My daughter, it seems, was an easy case. This was an even better outcome than I could have imagined. Turns out that The Thing on the back of her head, jutting out of her posterior fontanel was not a cephalocele (SPOILER ALERT. IT WAS EVEN WORSE THAN THAT. IT WAS AN ENCEPHALOCELE). It’s sitting down in Pathology now waiting to be determined what The Thing is.
Could be fat, could be not fat, could be that third eyeball my brother and father seem convinced it is (my father is, after all, an Internet Doctor now).
(Here’s hoping it’s benign)
But now we’re happily ensconced here in the PICU where I’ve blown an insane amount of money buying out the gift shop of pink balloons and fluffy things. It’s like I’m finally able to celebrate it. I’m finally able to breathe again for the first time since my OB informed me while I hung in the air like a contortionist that my daughter had “something” on her head.
My daughter, my cherished, dreamed of daughter, the daughter I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have. She’s here. Welcome to the world, Baby Amelia, my only cinnamon girl. I couldn’t be more proud to be your mother if I tried.