5 years already!!! Some days, it seems like just yesterday. But It's really been 5 years since Lilyann was taken back for her open heart surgery to fix her heart.
This time, 5 years ago, we were just waiting. The anesthesiologist was doing his work. Once she was out, they would start the tedious process of the incision on her chest, then cutting the sternum, and pulling open the rib cages to get to her heart.
A cardiac surgeon has a special place in my book. Their job is tedious and life depends on a job well done.
I had talked with a fellow heart mom in the months before Lily's surgery. She told me what to expect, she shared pictures. She had twins...one heart healthy and one with the same diagnosis as Lilyann. It was surreal to see the difference between both babies. I'm glad I met her. She did help prepare me for some of what was going to happen. But seeing someone else's child is one thing, seeing your own child in the same situation is overwhelming (to say the least).
The surgeon's nurse, Dr. Kathy, would call back and forth and let us know how things were going in the operating room. She came back to let us know that things were finished and Lily was responding well. She then told us that if we stood just outside the door of the waiting room, we could see Lily being transported to the Cardiac ICU. I was eager to see my baby girl. As she rounded that corner, the flood gates opened. I could barely see Lily amongst the machines, cords, and wires. She was covered in a thin film...I imagine it was to keep her body temperature up. There was security there to insure she was on the only patient on the elevator ride up accompanied with her nurses, anesthesiologist, etc. Almost felt like it was the security detail for the President at that exact moment.
Then the surgeon came to talk to us. Surgery was a success!! Thank you, God. The hole in Lily's heart was considerably larger than the echo had suggested. It was the size of a nickel. No wonder, it took everything out of Lily just to finish a 1 oz bottle. She couldn't work faster than her metabolism.
I don't know why this happened to us. But I know that "All things work together for good" ~Romans 8:28. For some, hearing about Lily and her heart can get repetitive. But I feel that sharing our story can help some mom, dad, grandma, individual dealing with a similar diagnosis. The support from fellow heart moms/parents and meeting others in the Cardiac ICU was inspiring. It helped us get out of the "mully grub thinking of poor us". We couldn't wait to get back up to the floor to see our daughter and our fellow heart friends. We could offer smiles to the new parents coming in with their heart babies. The staff at Medical City Children's Hospital ....AMAZING!! It takes special people to work with children ♥
first time seeing Lily once she was stable & Lily's 1st smile after surgery
Lilyann now ♥ Heart Healthy with her baby sister, Leia ♥