It's been 2 weeks since Z3 had her hernia surgically repaired. As I had mentioned, I was worried about some things but the procedure went supremely well. She was scheduled for the surgery at 7:30AM but I had to be there by 6:00. She nursed for the last time a little before 2:00 AM and, dare I say it, miraculously slept till 5:00 (she doesn't do that regularly at all). When she woke up, the hubby just held her and rocked her and she went back to sleep as I got ready to leave. I put her in the car seat and got her in the car all without her waking. I turned on the GPS (I had put the address in the night before) and it would not power on. I felt a sense of panic but I just took deep breaths. I had a general idea of where the hospital was and I just decided to really try to relax, realizing this was not a bad omen of sorts and that having to actually use my brain instead of mindlessly follow the GPS might be a good thing.
We arrived at the hospital and Z3 was still sleeping. I took her out of the car and still, she slept. Only when we arrived at the waiting room did she wake and at that point I just held her. She didn't cry or fuss. When we went in to get prepped for surgery, she started to fuss a bit but I brought the Ergo carrier (which she loves--post about that forthcoming). I put her in it and started to walk and she calmed down. I must have walked for close to two hours and during that time, she made not a peep. Even fell asleep. Even was smiling at the nurses.
The anesthesiologist and his assistant came and briefed me about what he would be doing. He was quite thorough and I felt confident in his ability. We were all ready and just waiting for he surgeon who was about 45 minutes late (and if you know me, you know lateness is a huge pet peeve of mine) but I was determined not to let my irritation show. I wanted this surgeon to be on top of his game. And he was. I was reading good energy off him and I was saying to myself that if the 45 minutes gave him a moment to do something to put him in the right frame of mind, I was happy for it.
I put on a sterile suit and I was able to go in with her. I stayed with her right until she was put under anesthesia and then one of the nurses walked me out. At that point, I finally broke down and cried. Z3 looked so small in that operating theatre and I was entrusting her life to these strangers. I apologized for blubbering to the nurse (although I'm sure she is used to that kind of thing).
The surgery was to take two hours. I went to the hospital dining room and ate my breakfast (which I had brought with me) and read my book (A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez). I then went back to the waiting room to wait.
The surgery took a bit longer than expected. Turns out she had more than one hernia but that all of them had been corrected. She came out of surgery quite groggy and so I had to spend a few more hours at the hospital so they could make sure she was okay. I couldn't nurse her right off but I was allowed to give her some sugar water in a bottle. I was sure she wouldn't take it but I guess she was hungry enough. She took it eagerly and had no problem figuring out how to get stuff out. (This encouraged me to really start pumping milk and I had planned to do it for the surgery but never got around to it. Luckily, I didn't get engorged.)
Z3 was in quite a bit of pain afterwards. I got her some baby Advil but she kept spitting it out. (Why they flavor baby pain medication, I have no idea.) I couldn't tell how much it was helping her pain. She was quite fussy during the next few days. She basically stayed on me in the carrier since that was the only way she could sleep and she did sleep a lot. But by a week's time post-surgery, she was back to her regular, easy-going, easy-smiling self.
I am very happy I got the surgery out of the way. I have a great deal for which to be grateful. Not only that my baby girl pulled through the surgery so well. That is huge. But I also recognized a few things:
- Affirmations absolutely work. I used affirmations to create the birth I wanted and I used affirmations to create the situation I wanted for Z3's procedure. My worries were resolved in an optional way just by focusing on the outcome I wanted and not on my fears. One thing I am still thinking about is her gut health but I am breastfeeding constantly and doing some probiotics and affirming every day that she is whole and healthy. I am encouraged to apply affirmations to every other aspect of my life. There is power in thought.
- There were mamas there who were on a first name basis with the hospital staff. Who knew each other very well. Because their children are at the hospital often, having one procedure or another. Of course, everybody has their own path and their own challenges with which to deal. But I felt so fortunate that Z3's surgery was so minor compared to those children's who had come with overnight bags and hopes of being released sooner than later (like a few weeks later).
So the hernia was corrected and we are back to life as usual. I'm holding my children tight and giving thanks for their lives. Given the recent happenings, it's just so plain that we cannot take our blessings for granted. No matter what.