When Griffin was born we found out that he would need a minor surgery sometime after he turned one year old. I’m not going to talk about specifics because I am guessing he probably won’t appreciate that his mom detailed this part of his life on the internet when he is eighteen. So I will leave it at that. Just use your imagination. 😉
We always knew that the day might come when we would end up back at Cora’s hospital. Tuesday was that day. This little procedure that Griffin had done was not a big deal at all. We knew he would be fine and that we would leave later that morning or afternoon. But there is just something about walking those same hallways and waiting in the same waiting rooms and talking to the same surgeon and seeing all the medical equipment that just make you relive a lot of hard things.
But sometimes you do hard things because you love your kids fiercely and want the best for them. And Cora’s hospital was the place we needed to be to get the best care for Griffin. So at 5:30am we asked God for the strength we needed to get through whatever emotions that day would bring and we checked Griffin into the hospital.
In fact he wasn’t a fan of most things at the hospital. He was cracking us up as we waited in the pre-surgery room.
The child life specialist came and gave him a mask that had stickers all over it to try to get him used to the mask they would use to put him to sleep before surgery. The second she started talking to him he turned his little head completely the other direction and wouldn’t even look at her. He never turned back around until she left. I tried to get him to play with the mask and he hit it away every time I brought it anywhere near him.
A little later the nurse wanted us to change him out of his jammies into the hospital gown. As soon as he saw what I was doing he just cried and cried. The sweet anesthesiologist saw how upset he was and suggested we just put his jammies back on so he didn’t get too worked up. She said that she would put the gown on him after he was asleep. The second we took that gown off he was fine. The tears stopped. If he could talk I’m pretty sure he would have said…don’t mess with me people! He’s a stubborn one. 🙂
We just hung out by his crib and drove trucks and played cows until it was time to go to the OR. And then it was time for the hardest part. Handing my baby off and waiting. The tears came as we walked away from him to that familiar waiting room. So many memories. But along with the tears I had an overwhelming sense of peace that day. It was a peace that could have only come from God as I walked through a place that held so many hard memories. Thank you, Jesus, for Your peace that is beyond our understanding.
The waiting was brief and the surgery brought good news. It wasn’t as invasive as we had expected. There is something about hearing the doctor tell you good news that makes my heart well up with thankfulness. I know this is such a little thing in comparison to the medical battles so many sweet children are facing right now, but we want to praise God for the little things too. Soon we were meeting Griffin in the hallway and following the nurse to his recovery room.
We were done.
And there he was, sleeping away.
Eventually we looked over and his eyes were peeking open. He wanted to be held and I jumped up so ready to have him in my arms again. After our happy reunion the next thirty minutes were pretty rough. He was trying to yank all his cords off. He was mad that he had apple juice in his cup instead of milk. And I’m sure he was in pain too. So he just cried and cried and I did my best to hold and comfort him…he is getting so heavy and strong! After he calmed down and drank his milk (our nice nurse went and found him some milk), we were ready to go home.
And then came the best part. Leaving. Together. Those same hallways that we had walked very early on a Sunday morning with empty arms and shattered hearts, we walked down again with a happy, healthy little boy in our arms. Knowing that we were going home together was the best feeling ever. I will never walk through a hospital again without feeling a sense of heaviness knowing that there are families inside dealing with some really difficult, life-changing things. And I will never walk out again with my child in my arms without feeling extremely grateful. Grateful for the gift of health and life and more days to spend together.
Leaving together was definitely the best part.