(Charlie 9 1/2 months with her balloon AND with Vancouver Canuck, Tanner Glass!)
First off, please excuse me if this post is a little scrambled...it's been a chaotic few days. I feel dizzy and very out of sorts. It's crazy what stress will do to you when you're not expecting it. But, I'm finally beginning to decompress, if only for this week.
Charlie's g-tube surgery went well, even after several hours of fasting she went in smiling and came out smiling. It's really hard to pass your baby over to the doctors when she's so happy and has no idea what's coming, but actually, judging by the smile on her face when we went to the ICU to see her, I don't even think she realized what had just happened to her. Phew. Actually, I'm looking forward to learning how to use Charlie's g-tube, I was really worried that I'd feel uncomfortable or nauseated looking at it, but it turns out it doesn't bother her, or me, at all...just one more thing that makes Charlie special.
There was only one cot to sleep on, so Matt stayed at home last night. Charlie sleeps in the bed at home with us, so she wasn't having any of this mommy sleeps next to her in a separate bed BS...so, I ended up sleeping beside her in a 2ft by 4ft elevated crib, and honestly, it was the best sleep I've had since Hawaii. I think this past 2 1/2 weeks of waiting and worrying about Charlie's surgery really wreaked havoc on me emotionally and mentally...I have been functioning on about 3 or 4 broken hours of sleep a night. I've been missing appointments, arguing with Matt, not making it to the gym...just feeling depleted of all things good. But I hope that's over, for now.
This morning after Charlie fell asleep for her nap, I decided to take a walk around the hospital...I just needed a break from the ICU...every time I looked around our situation felt more and more real, that and I couldn't help but fall in love with the other children in the ICU with us. Both had tracheotomies...one was about 3 months and the other was about 2 years old. The 2 year old was in 'isolation' and was such a sweetheart, blowing kisses to all the nurses and telling them he loved them. It was obvious his situation was life threatening because the nurse had mentioned he had an Elmo DVD made special for him through the Make a Wish Foundation. They were gorgeous happy kids. How can these smiling, happy babies be dying?! I will never understand that. So unfair!
Moving along now...I stopped and had a yogurt at the Second Cup on my walk when I just felt like I was going to lose it...I called my friend Christie and started weeping about those poor babies, and the unfairness of it all...and once again, she listened to me and talked me down.
After I hung up the phone I dragged my feet into the gift shop, just killing time...I wasn't ready to go back yet and I knew Charlie was in good hands. A woman walked in and looked at me like she knew me and said, "How are you? How did your babies surgery go?" I knew I recognized her...was she a nurse? I've met so many people this past few months...that and the lack of sleep has mixed my names and faces memory up. She said, "I saw you yesterday, my daughter was getting surgery too." I then put it all together. We exchanged our husbands names, both Matt, and our babies ages, two weeks apart, and their illness'...her daughter had 3 cancerous tumours in her brain with a 50% survival rate, I told her about Charlie, I started bawling, she started bawling, and we hugged and held each other, rocking back and forth crying, for what seemed like forever. In that moment (and still) I felt like this stranger i had just met understood/understands me better than anyone else in the world right now. She said a few things that were/are my EXACT thoughts. We exchanged email address'. I've never felt more instantly connected to someone. Ever.
We're home with Charlie now. And it's beautiful out! A long walk is definitely the order of the day! Thank you to everyone who sent their positive energy and thoughts out to Charlie, it worked!