I was doing the back counting to figure out when was the last time I could nurse Rex before his surgery. 2:45am. I was trying to sleep, but really hoping he would wake up before then so I could hold him close. It briefly went through my mind to get him up so I could nurse him. But, I quickly realized I would be a crazy loon if I did that – who made it all about my needs and insecurities? At around 1am he woke up and was fussy big time. My cue! I really enjoyed the time together. Then Mark was only to happy to follow with a bottle to get him good and down and have his own special time with him. Rex might have been thinking, “Enough people I want to go to sleep.”
But, he didn’t know what he was in for. We did. 7:45 was the cut off for clear liquids. When I head Rex stirring at 6am I didn’t do my normal pillow over head till 6:45 so he can learn mom doesn’t come in that early. This morning was different so I bounded out of bed and brought him to the kitchen. I was worried how he would handle no nursing wake up. But, when I gave him a bottle of apple juice he was pretty happy. Thinking, “You never give me juice”. Drink up pal, it’s like you are a condemned man. I warned Mark we had to keep an extra eye on him this morning. Any other day if he picked up some old, stale bagel and munched on it I would let it pass, but not okay, pre-surgery. I did grab some lotion from him. He was starting to have it as his breakfast.
Mother-in-law shuttled Vivien to school and we got to the hospital on time.
And waited. Rex fell asleep on dad’s shoulder, but when he woke up we were still waiting. We finally found out they were running late so we put him in the stroller and went around the area as he was fussing and I couldn’t nurse him to soothe him. Which was getting hard on both of us.
When we did get back the nice staff was ready for us and handed me a pink vile of “baby downer.” In short, a light tranquilizer to help with anxiety. As I spoke to the surgeon and anesthesiologist about the procedure Rex fussed. Then after a few minutes, he was smiling and swaying in my arms.
I know this look. I went to college. I pictured a little Jimi Hendrix playing in his head.
We changed him into his little mini hospital scrubs (which I wanted to keep, but they say they launder and reuse, darn it) and walked him to the last threshold for the non pro. The surgical nurse put a blanket over her shoulder and extended her arms. I handed over my son. Even in his purple haze he looked distressed. We watched him be walked down a hallway. He looked at us the whole way, like, “WTF?”
I sat down and cried. Mark tried to comfort me. “I just want to feel sad right now while I can.”
But, like the Brogdon I am the other part of me took over. The part that wanted lunch. It would be a while so we left. I didn’t want to stay there.
After lunch we came back and waited a while. Then the surgeon came out and said it had all gone well. When we walked back we saw Rex sleeping. Three nurses were cooing over him.
“He is so cute. We said, don’t send the parents in yet, we want to pick him up!” I rather enjoyed their compliments of my little man.
After about ten minutes he woke up and I nursed him. After a while he looked all red and blotchy. He was having a reaction to one of the meds. Not bad, but that had to be dealt with and he was much, much fussier than normal. Stands to reason.
We finally got home and still had one more prescription to go get, my stepson did that thankfully. Mark picked up Vivien and got some take out. Rex went to sleep for an hour. I inhaled a glass of wine and lay down for about twenty minutes. I realized my whole body had finally gone into an at ease mode after tensing up for months in anticipation of the event. In many respects that is the worst part. But, this is just the beginning for Rex. The next week is going to be very hard on him and it’s going to take months before he is fully recovered. This is a marathon, not a sprint.