Preparing our hearts
Having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body.
Um. yes. I am more and more aware that my heart is running around willy-nilly ducking in and out of places that were most certainly off my self-protective itinerary. Today we ran a pre-op marathon with all kinds of pokes and prods and tests. Whitney was brave, cooperative, and had impressive patience and endurance through all she was put through.
We came out exhausted in every way…yet a bit more reassured by the people we met and the way they shared information with us. At the same time, it feels all the more real that this is really going to happen. wait. really? I sort of wanted to just collect valentines and nice notes from everyone I ever met and then just forget about this little tiny bitty hole.
I feel my own heart pounding loudly against my chest, catch myself forgetting to breathe, and cry at the first note of country music. Stressed? Pressure. Squeezing. On top of it all, the craziness of my hair and the way my skin is freaking out are constant reminders that this is not meant to be easy, and I am so so SO grateful it is not our ‘normal.’
We are scheduled first thing Friday morning. Whitney will be in the OR starting at 7:30am with anesthesia and prep, the invasive part of the procedure begins at about 9am and they estimate to have her in recovery around 1:30-2pm (they do a lot of tests while still in the OR to ensure the patch is performing, that no additional fixes are needed and that the heart is taking back all its responsibility well after being on bypass). It is amazing. The heart is basically sedated until it stops beating, they do their thing, then it beats again. Amazing. Whitney’s heartbeat will be forever changed.
She is likely to be still rather heavily sedated (asleep) in CVICU for the rest of the day or even a couple of days until she is able to breathe fully on her own again. At that point they transfer her to the next level of recovery and wean her off her other tubes and wires as she’s ready. This is where I will likely start developing conspiracy theories that they are planning to keep her forever and ever for their very own. Lord help me be patient. Once she’s eating well and acting “normal” we get to take her home (estimated a week give or take) and aside from a few medications and making adjustments to how we pick her up and watch out for her healing breast bone it sounds like life should look pretty normal pretty quickly.
We have been so strongly encouraged by notes and texts and thoughtfulness of so many, thank you for surrounding us with love and prayers. They are truly keeping us going.