Well, here it is, the night before the surgery. I don't really even know where to start, all my thoughts, prayers, and worries are swirling around together.
I suppose I'll start with this weekend. It was such a gift that Jamie's parents could drive our two oldest daughters the 2 1/2 hours to reunite the McClintock 5. We were able to spend time as a family. Jamie and I got caught up on what our big girls have been up to. They are staying with my parents and both are going to school in the same school district where Jamie & I went to school. In fact, Jamie's oldest sister is LBean's teacher during her time in the US. We also had some family pictures taken by a friend during her annual Mother's Day photo shoot and then spent a lazy afternoon at the zoo. It was hard to send the girls off at the end of the weekend, and I know they miss us, but they are enjoying their school and time with family.
|This girl loves to craft!|
|EBean kept saying, "I'm in the pouch!"|
|ChinaBean's first trip to the Peoria Zoo.|
As for the surgery, it was originally scheduled for this past Thursday, but it was pushed back so ChinaBean could get an MRI done. It was Thursday afternoon that I hit a low point and all of the worry and fears came crashing down. Thoughts of my baby having open heart surgery, the uncertainties, the desire to keep our family going just as it is. We knew our daughter would need surgery. We knew that it would be complicated and scary, but thinking about it and living through it are two different things. At a challenging point in our marriage (yes, Jamie and I have had those too), I remember looking at Jamie and telling him that I was ready for us to be the couple that could look back and say, yes, it was tough and hard, but we made it. It's the same for our family, I am ready to be on the other side, to be able to look back and say "we made it". When I hit my low, I decided I'd better start doing some serious praying and what seemed most appropriate was the face-down in the carpet, crying kind of praying. I also sent out some SOS messages to friends back in China that I knew would be waking up soon and pick up where my prayers had left off. It wasn't immediate, but I started to feel myself pulling it together.
Friday morning we headed back to the hospital for the MRI. ChinaBean spent 2 1/2 hours in the MRI machine in hopes that the doctors could create a 3-D image of her heart and try to determine what kind of surgery is best for her. The nurse we spoke with said that it is possible that in the future heart catheterizations might not be necessary and that MRIs could potentially give the same, if not better, imaging of the heart than a cath. The whole morning wore ChinaBean and mommy out and we napped for 3 hours in the afternoon.
Last night as I drifted off to sleep, it seemed that the only word I could pray is "please". That summed up everything I am hoping for. Please keep her healthy enough to have the surgery, please let the surgeon be confident in his decision and well-rested to perform an amazing surgery, please let her do well on bypass, please let her require little or no transfusions, please let her be breathing on her own when she goes to recovery, please let her keep infections at bay and surprise everyone with her toughness and resilience. Please was all I could pray.
And now it is today and tomorrow it's THE day. I am praying that tomorrow is the start of a new journey, a journey where ChinaBean's heart is working better than it ever has before.
I know that my prayers have been heard, but I also have the wisdom to know that God does not have to grant my requests. (But I sure hope that He does!)
Thank you for our family and friends from around the world that have been praying for ChinaBean and sending her good wishes. It is your strength and reassurance that will carry us forward when I hand off my baby tomorrow to the nurses.