Two years ago, we were waiting, pacing and crying while we waited for word from the operating room about Hailey's open heart surgery. The repair that would enhance her life....the one that would prolong her life. Hailey was showing early signs of heart failure. It was surgery or lose her. Even though the decision was a no brainer, we were frightened because as common as her surgery is, if something went wrong, we would lose her anyway. I don't think I'll ever forget the way I felt as we pulled into Children's hospital at 6 a.m. The halls so quiet as if everything was in a whisper state. It was almost as if I could hear the clock ticking away the minutes in my ear...the countdown. Hailey was in such a fabulous mood that morning. I won't forget the feeling of standing at the entrance to her operating room. The sights, the smells, my fear. Handing her to the anesthesiologist, so terrified I wouldn't see her again. The nurse putting his arm around me saying, "We'll care for her as if she is our own." It all still brings tears to my eyes and a huge sigh in my chest. Those memories will never go away and I'm not sure the feeling ever will either.
It is often hard to believe looking at Hailey that she was ever sick or ever fighting for the energy to eat and breathe at the same time. Hard to believe that we were worrying if we would lose her when she is so vibrant.
But I sometimes wonder, is it because of all of those events that life sometimes sweeter? Milestones bigger? Sunrises more promising? Sunsets more spectacular? Giggles more contagious? We will never know. It just part of our story...her story. I do know that I never let myself dream of today. Listening to my three "hanging" out. Watching Hailey mother over her babies or dart through the kitchen with her shopping cart like she is missing a huge sale somewhere. I never let myself dream of the sassy, funny, so full of life two year old that we have today.
We don't worry about her heart anymore. It is strong and it is healed. Honestly, it's not a thought on the radar anymore. Most of the time, we are too busy chasing her! I will never forget this day and I will always thank God for medical advances, our very talented surgeon and dedicated medical team.
Happy 2nd Heart-versary, Hailey!!!!
|The night before OHS|
|Two days after|
|One year later|
|Today...two years later|