"I did an echo on Brady, and well, the good news is that there are no surprises. The bad news is that Dr. Boone was spot on."
Some people would ask me, "How did you do it? How did you keep it together?" and I honestly don't have the answer to that question. Some would say it was God's help. Some would say it was the incredible support system we had. I think I wasn't really all together. I think I was doing what any parent would do in that situation. I think people expected me to be in the fetal position crying my eyes out somewhere, but that wouldn't do any good would it? And I think people imagine how they would react in an extreme situation when in reality their reaction would be completely the opposite, surprising even themselves.
So after visiting with Brady, I was feeling pretty weak and sore from the past 2 days events so I took the time to rest. I knew I needed to because those restful moments were going to be few and far between very soon. So we went back to my room and watched the Derby. My Mom ended up spending the night with me that night as we wanted a parent home with Anthony and I didn't want to be alone just in case something emergent arose with Brady. So I welcomed the drugs for the pain, both mentally and physically, attempted the breast pump for my milk which is a whole other story in itself, and tossed and turned in my hospital bed due to some drug induced dreams and the reality of the situation haunting me in the late night hours. At times I would want to go over to see Brady but then other times I just wanted to sleep so I wouldn't think about my baby being all the way over in another building without me. Then there were moments when I wanted the long night to just be over, while at the same time not wanting it to end for fear of what the next day would bring. He had a surgery the next day. His first surgery and with his heart not having been fixed mixed with his premature arrival, it was definitely going to be a tough day for him and the rest of us. I was also going to see Anthony tomorrow. I was so excited to see Anthony, but also a nervous wreck because of not wanting him to be exposed to the reality of the situation. I had my entire pregnancy to mourn the loss of Anthony's little brother. The one that was suppose to come home a day or two after being delivered, all swaddled in blankets to a warm home decorated with some balloons and a very excited Anthony. I accepted that wasn't going to happen a long time ago, but in the thick of it, it was a lot harder to accept and made the night that much worse. So getting up every four hours to pump as opposed to nurse, thinking about Brady's 1st surgery at only 1 day old, seeing Anthony, hurting physically from the day's events and I was pretty much wishing I could go back to being pregnant. Back to the time when the baby was safe inside my belly. Back to the time when the worse thing that happened to us was receiving news from ultrasounds or analyzing possible surgeries, not actually doing them. I wasn't ready to face the reality of the situation and was scared out of my mind. Scared, sad, anxious, numb, and most of all hurt. I was in so much mental pain that I wasn't able to give in to it. Have you ever watched Grey's Anatomy or ER? A traumatic accident fills the ER and the doctors speak to the fact that the only thing keeping the victim alive is the fact that they are in shock. That's what I mean by being in so much pain, but unable to give in to it.
Too much information? A little over the top? Trust me when I say it's not over the top enough. There are no words to describe the feelings and emotions that a mother goes through in a situation like that. But what I can tell you is that I did make it through. Somehow I managed to smile the next day. And eat a delicious sandwich from my favorite deli. And joke with my siblings about something irrelevant. It was all one day at a time. No dwelling too much on the situation. No thinking too far into the future. Just living literally in that minute of that day and trying to cope with just that. And that's what I did. There were many tough times ahead but again, ignorance is bliss. I didn't know they were coming. Brady's accomplishments we celebrated, be it small or large, and all just went from there. Which was the thoughts process when he came out of his 4 hour surgery that first day of his life on earth. The success of his surgery was celebrated and that was the main focus. But the questions did creep up . . ."Will he recover ok?, What about his upcoming heart surgery? What if there are complications?". These were always in the back of my mind, but stuffed way in the back. I guess that would be the answer to the ever popular question of "how did you do it?"
So the first surgery was a success and then the next at just 4 days old. Then there was the emergency surgery at day 9, Mother's Day. All that and so much more which I will speak to in the next chapter. I will try my hardest to keep it light and keep the medical jargon to a minimum, but just like everything up to this point, it has to be told.