It's on. Cy's surgery starts at 9:30 in the morning. It should last only 1.5 hours. After which he will be pumped full of morphine for pain. The doctors said his recovery time is 5-7 days. In 5-7 days he could be home with us. You could be invited to our house for dinner and just happen to meet our son.
Yesterday I was really stoked, thinking that he could be home so soon, that his problems might be solved. Today, though, I'm nervous and crazy again. The last time he had surgery he had seizures and stayed on the vent for days and days. The doctors have been loading him up with seizure medication.
The fear I have about his surgery all revolves around those fucking seizures. But now I'm starting to think about his little belly. The surgeon likes to do it "old school," so he'll make an incision in his little, precious stomach. Again, here comes the education...I can see the clamps holding his little stomach open. I wonder how big the scar will be. I hope the pain meds are enough to keep him comfortable until it's healed. He'll never know his own body without those scars. He'll think he was born with them, and in a way, he will be.
I've read that preemie parents celebrate two birthdays for their kids: the day they were born, and the day they come home from the hospital. March 21 is still too painful for me to want to remember. I'm not sure that next year at that time we'll be able to say "it's our son's birthday!" And I wonder, as he grows up, if I can mask the trauma and the horror in my voice when he asks about the day he was born.
Well, Cyrus, it went like this:
After 2 and a half weeks in the hospital, your mom and I were really starting to think we'd make it far, maybe to the end. But she started having some pains in her stomach, and when she realized it had nothing to do with having to go to the bathroom, and after she'd fretted for a while, she asked me to lift up the sheet and look between her legs. I saw blood. Lots of very red blood. And then we called the nurses and in seconds the doctors came and speculumed her and actually stepped back as more (much more) blood ran out of her body.
She was wheeled across the hospital to the delivery side where she had nurses put those straps on her...the ones that show contractions. And I saw her stomach contracting, turning into a hard ball. And it was snowing outside; the roof was covered in snow. I was dressed in my rugby practice clothes but had decided not to go because it was too cold to handle. My stomach turned over and I hoped it would be a c-section because the thought of watching your mom give birth to you at 25 weeks and 1 and a half pounds would be enough to kill me. Rot me from the inside out.
The doctors said you were were coming out feet first, in fact, your legs were already making their way out. And in 5 minutes, your mom was in the E.R. and a nurse handed me a blue gown. And there went your mom down the hallway, pale, scared. And I stood with my gown on and tried not to cry because your grandparents were there. They took a picture.
I didn't see any of the gore of the surgery, but I heard your tiny squeak when they pulled you out. I hoped it wouldn't be the only time I ever heard your voice. The nurses took you to a small room attached to the surgery suite. I couldn't go there until you were stabilized. When it was time, I walked into the room, the doctors all looking at me. One said congratulations and shook my hand. I peered at you in a plastic cube, with a little hat on your little head and I left.
We didn't really meet you until 7 hours later. You squeezed our pinkies, but we were afraid to touch you too much. I was afraid. I was nauseous. I wished we'd never wanted a baby.
* * *
But the day of him leaving the hospital will be joyous, but we're afraid to get excited, to be hopeful. Every time we get comfortable and think that we're almost done, ready to wipe away the last 5 months, something happens. We're reminded we're human.
I'm shaking right now and crying, too. His birth rips me up. So does the idea that he's ours. He's beautiful. And I'm starting to feel like we've gotten away with something, that our lives can return to normal. No. Don't you dare say our lives will never be the same again. We will be the same again. Mindy and I will slowly become ourselves, the love in our house will grow (just like it used to), we'll see our friends again. We'll live. We'll all be alive, little man.