Sunday, August 22, 2010

Then and Now (and Back)

We've come a long way. Three months ago, we spent our days and nights at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with Zoe. Our daughter, our fighter, our hero. It is ironic that one tiny baby, born with half a heart, can enlarge the hearts of so many.

Zoe Madison Lihn, born on May 11, 2010 with a severe congential heart defect (HLHS - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), underwent her first surgery at 15 hours old. The photographs we took of Zoe following her surgery will forever remind us to cherish each and every day we have with our children and how precious and fragile life is. Caleb and I have done our best to chronicle our journey on this blog and intend to continue to do so.

THEN...(MAY 2010)

Zoe's first open heart surgery, the Norwood/Stage I
(Post chest tube removal and chest closure.)

NOW...(August 2010)

Today, awaiting her second open heart surgery scheduled for September 14, the Glenn/Stage II

My anxiety is snowballing, building with each day as we near September 14. Knowing we must hand our precious child, whom we've now had months to bond with, over to anesthesiologists and surgeons. Knowing how far we've come, only to be back to the "then." I picture in my mind, having to see her again with a fresh wound, a chest tube, wires and vented. That image makes me numb, except for the lump in my throat and palpable aching heart. I hate to go back, but we have no other choice. We knew, heading into this, we'd endure an emotional and physical rollercoaster.

I under-estimated the rollercoaster.

This rollercoaster is much faster, more jerky and painful than I anticipated.

After the Glenn, we're supposed to expect a slower paced rollercoaster, a steadier rollercoaster. Perhaps even a rollercoaster where you can expect the turns and not hit them head-on at 100 mph.

I certainly hope so. I could really ditch this Steel Dragon and hop on the Dumbo ride.

1 comment:

  1. As I read through your posts from yesterday and today, and see the picture of Zoe right after her first surgery, it's weird... it seems like so long ago. And then as I'm reading and you're identifying the dates-it really wasn't that long ago, was it? I can't imagine what you must be going through, the anxiety you and Caleb must be dealing with, Stace. I wish there were words to ease your stress. Know that I am thinking of you. Look at that sweet, strong girl. She is a toughie! And a determined little girl, I might add.