One year ago today Lauren had open heart surgery to fix her broken heart. It was by far the most difficult day of my life but today I can see it as also one of the best. It's the day my daughter was returned to me and the day I knew she was really mine. Mine to keep.
While Lauren was in the hospital I didn't hold her near as much as I should've. I was so afraid to get "too attached" to this tiny little soul who just might not make it. "What if she dies?" Those were the words I spoke to myself daily but never quite had the courage to say out loud.
Lauren's 5 weeks in the hospital were terrifying, to say the least. I barely slept. I barely ate. But hey, great way to lose the baby weight, right? I was so afraid to fall in love with a borrowed baby. I'm sure this sounds horrible but she didn't quite feel like mine until we were past the danger zone. Open heart surgery on my six week old daughter. I couldn't let myself go there.
During her surgery I was a zombie. I didn't talk to anyone. I didn't make eye contact. We had tons of family there to support us and we really appreciated it. But I could barely acknowledge what was happening. I found myself morbidly wondering what exactly a six week old baby looks like on the operating table with her chest cavity cracked open. What would her face look like while she was under anesthesia and on cardiac bypass? How did the surgeon feel knowing he might be the last person to see her strawberry sized heart beating? Would her body know what to do after surgery when the bypass machine was turned off?
When the nurse came in to update us and to finally tell us that she was out of surgery and that she was off bypass the flood of emotions I'd been storing up let loose. I felt like I lost a thousand pounds.
It's hard to explain and I know it doesn't seem like it, but my very soul is at rest today. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. One year.
One year since Lauren Hope has been mine.
What a difference a year makes!