Ever since the Summer we brought Gabe home, we've known he would need an open heart surgery.
It was the footnote to every conversation we had about him. "He has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, but he's doing so well. Eventually he'll need heart surgery."
And now here we are. Eventually has snuck up on us and on March 14th, Gabe will go in for his third open heart surgery.
I spent a large chunk of my Tuesday morning on the phone with the nurse. Going over all the in's and out's. Discussing exactly what to expect the day of surgery, how he'll look when we first see him, how long we will likely be at the hospital.
I started to feel fear sneak in.
I flashed forward to that day and tried to picture myself in his hospital room. Envisioned his tiny body laying on the bed with tubes and wires sticking out from every inch of him. I let myself feel the worry and fear and stress and I felt the bile rising up.
It'll be impossible. There's no way.
And then I saw ten fat sausage fingers pry open the door to the bathroom where I was bordering on panic and his little curly top head poked through.
"Me willy hungwee, Mama. Can we eat all the apples?"
Oh, that sweet little man.
My constant reminder that I can do hard things and that those hard, unbearable, no possible way things are what made us a family.
No, it won't be easy.
I will cry harder then I've ever cried, and in public at that. It will be stressful and we will worry, but Gabe needs this surgery. It will make him stronger, his circulation better. He can't live without it so really there's nothing else to even think about.
Andrew and I talked about every minute detail from where Josie would go and for how long to exactly what they will be doing to our baby's heart. Hearing each detail out loud calmed us both down. I have a feeling there will be a lot of those talks over the few months.
We have eight weeks to gear up.
In there we have a couple of birthdays to celebrate and a lot of other fun things planned, so I'm sure it will fly by.
On the 13th, we will take him in for pre-op and go back on the 14th for the surgery. They told us to plan on being in the hospital from 5 to 10 days depending on how he recovers. They also told us to expect 3 days of hell and that once they started taking the chest tubes out, to expect him to start bouncing back pretty fast.
And I believe it, because if there's anything that Gabe is good at, it's bouncing.