Tuesday, March 20, 2012
As Owen's birthday approaches, I prepare to indulge myself in the annual emotional clusterfuck that the day, and following weeks, always bring.
I stumbled upon the Remebered prompt today while sitting in Panera killing Bea's preschool hours.
The prompt was Hope.
Before I knew it?
His birth had rendered us homeless, jobless, childless. Helpless loved ones made valiant efforts at comfort;
"He'll be OK."
In a quiet corner of my mind, where I lay curled up and quivering I screamed back;
"NO! He most certainly will NOT be OK."
I understood what was being offered. And refused to accept it. It was a lie.
His surgeon, offered only truth;
Bleeding on the brain, seizures, kidney failure, heart failure, respiratory failure.
He wouldn't be leaving the hospital. That was the truth I believed.
I steeled myself. Turned to stone. Waited.
Since the day he was born, I'd slept with the phone clutched in my fist. When it rang at 5am, I knew. It was time.
A hug from my sister in law as we left for the hospital, she knew;
"I'm so sorry."
Eerily calm on the half hour ride in. Relief that it was going to be over soon.
The ICU that had become our home had been transformed into a battle ground;
Doctors and nurses and all manner of support staff buzzing around, turning our little cubicle into a makeshift OR.
Yes. We'll take one last look at him.
Al sitting on my left as the surgeon came into the conference room and sat facing us;
"He's going where no baby has gone before." A second round of ECMO is rarely attempted, rarely survived.
"The transplant team is waiting by the phone." Should Owen need new lungs.
"I've never saved a CDH baby with a lung transplant." These babies don't live long enough to receive them.
"No matter what happens, we are learning things from your son that will help other CDH babies."
Specific instructions were given when the expected did happen.
Because if out of the ruins of our baby, some piece could be salvaged to live on in another child?
That was my only hope for survival.