I didn’t sleep at all the night before Foster’s surgery. I laid awake and prayed. I prayed until the words wouldn’t make sense anymore. Yes, it was much less complicated without brain tissue, yes the surgeon was wonderful and experienced, yes the anesthesia was perfectly safe for our little one, yes the best team was surrounding our little boy at this very moment. But I wanted God on my side. I wanted him to guide the surgeon more than I wanted my next breath.
Moms and dads out there understand. It doesn’t make sense to some people but I’d give my life to ensure my boys had the best of chances and a healthy life. Parents know what I’m saying. Those tiny beings rely on you for everything. This little boy’s life was out of my hands and into God’s. All I could do was pray He would give me the grace I needed to handle His plan for Foster.
We went downstairs to meet Dr G one last time and see our little boy off to surgery.
Dr G explained that he didn’t see any brain matter in the cyst and that he expected a hour or two long surgery. He was most concerned about Foster’s skin being thick enough to sew over the hole in his skull. Once he was able to open it up he would know exactly how to proceed. We thanked him and he walked away. I doubt there was a moment when I wasn’t crying. I just refused to let the tears fall.
I held the tears in. I sucked it up and scrubbed my hands so I could touch my sweet little boy. I couldn’t hold him and he looked so tiny in the big bed with three ivs sticking out of him, plus a ventilator, oxygen monitor, heart rate monitor, temperature monitor and others I can’t even remember.
I sat in my wheel chair (that I wasn’t too proud to use after surgery) and cupped my tiny baby and said a prayer with my husband over him.
I also have a confession.
I don’t watch sad movies.
I read the ending of suspenseful books to avoid disappointment.
I refuse to watch any movie where an animal dies.
I cringe if I hit a bird in my car.
I tell Gavin not to tell me if he hits a animal in his car.
I make him take out the mouse traps.
I’ll even scoop up a lady bug to put her outside. (Yes all lady bugs are girls in my head)
I am a rainbows and sunshine kind of girl.
I was terrified that my little boy would leave his earthly parents.
Over the past two days I felt myself afraid to go to Foster’s bed. He and Beckett were on different sides of the NICU as they hadn’t had the opportunity to move them next to each other. I was scared of going there and seeing my little boy going downhill. I was scared of going to his bed and finding out that he had passed away in the middle of the night. I was scared to go over to Foster and find that I was so attached to this little being that I would fall into a depression when the doctors told me that something went wrong during his surgery.
There. I said it. I was hesitant to go over and see my youngest son because in my crazy post partum brain it was a defense mechanism against having my heart broken.
I couldn’t handle it. I am an anticipator as a old boss of mine would call me. I want to anticipate and prevent for whatever I can. I want to look ahead and think of problems that need solved and solve them now. I refuse to go through something that is unnecessary when I could prevent it. In my head if I stayed away from Foster, I might not have as much pain if he passed away.
This is completely ridiculous. My heart would be broken anyway.
They came to take my son to surgery. And I lost it. Not in the big loud sobbing kind of way, but in the stoic and silent kind of way. Constant tears running down my face and I sat like a statue in the wheel chair next to an empty spot in the NICU. I watched the staff wheel him away and his nurse followed after comforting me with a detailed description of what to expect. But I still cried. Emotionless and empty but with tears streaming down and wetting my collar.
Gavin and I went over to Beckett’s bed and decided I needed to go upstairs and pump. We kissed our middle son goodbye and Gavin delivered me upstairs and went to grab some breakfast outside the hospital.
I pumped for about 10 minutes when Gavin came back in with a funny look on his face.
“We need to go downstairs.”
“Why? I’m not done here.” I was confused.
“The doctor called and told me to go downstairs at Beckett’s bed and they would tell us how surgery went. They’re done already.” Gavin set down the brown bag with our breakfast and grabbed the wheelchair.
My heart sank. Y’all it SANK.
I just knew something terrible happened. I just knew our little boy had something terrible happen to him. He may not have even been alive.
I stopped all my pumping and scrambled into the chair.
We nervously sat next to Beckett as Dr G walked up to us.
“It went very well, much faster than I anticipated.”
We breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“He actually had no fluid interaction between the meningocele and the skull. There was a thin membrane, almost like wall paper, that was over the skull that kept the two separated. Foster won’t even need to follow up with a neurologist. He shouldn’t have any issues developmentally. The hole in his head should close over time. I just cut the cyst and stitched the skin to his head and it went very well and very quickly. The skin didn’t have any problem adhering to his head.” Dr G explained the basics of the surgery as we sat there just listening.
So at some point in his time in the womb, a small layer had formed over the hole and ensured that Foster’s brain wouldn’t be affected in any way. There was no possible way to tell this before he was born or before surgery.
My sweet little boy had a twenty minute surgery and he was all fixed. He was all better. He wasn’t hardly at much risk in the first place, but we didn’t know that. Foster’s body had, at some point, fixed itself. There was little to no risk to our sweet boy and all his surgery turned out to be was cosmetic. That wasn’t what we were told at 12 weeks, that wasn’t what we were told at any time leading up to this day. We were told to expect a difficult situation, to make plans for a child with disabilities. The statistics didn’t say tat everything would be ok. But God did. All that worry and the situation was entirely in hand already. God’s hands.
I thanked God the second Dr G left. We went over to Foster’s bed and we saw him from a distance. He didn’t even need a blood transfusion. He lost 1 cc of blood which wasn’t even enough to make much of a stain during surgery. He had a small piece of gauze over his neck and they told us to go rest or catch up on sleep while they hooked him back up, but all his vitals were good and he hardly needed the pain medication prescribed for him.
Gavin and I smiled and hugged each other, shocked that this morning was nearing 8:30 and we had gotten such good news about our precious little boy.
We said goodbye to both our boys and we went back to our hospital room.
Gavin started making a few calls to family to tell them how surgery went and I settled into bed.
I slept like a baby till late afternoon.