When they laid him on my chest it was one of the most humbling things I've ever felt in my life. This was my fourth child, but he just felt different. Not to mention I had a great coach this time around. I don't think I could have made it through this one without him. God chose me to be this sweet special little boy's mother. God knew what we had ahead of us and what concerns and worries there would be and he was already there making a plan for those obstacles.
It was probably the hardest few days of my life knowing my son was in a different hospital from me with such a life threatening heart defect. I can't even begin to say how stressed that had me. With all the issues I had during and after delivery they pretty much had me on lockdown at Grady and was even iffy about letting me go the day before his surgery but God sent the right nurse in at exactly the time I began to feel distress and severe worry about getting to hold my little boy one last time before the surgeon had him in his hands. I was bawling my eyes out and by myself when she made her rounds to give me my medications. She dropped everything she was doing and wrapped her arms around me and told me everything was going to be alright, that God "had this" and she would get me out of there today. (Which she stuck to her word and had to get the clear from my doctor and then the cardiologist). Another neat thing, somehow Andrew's umbilical cord was cut way too short and they couldn't run the usual lines through his belly button for his meds they gave him that was keeping him alive (aka momma was able to hold him one last time before his surgery like I prayed so hard for).
The day we handed him over to the surgeon I sat and prayed that God would be with the entire team and guide the surgeons hands and that God would watch over my little boy. I also prayed that God would calm our hearts and be with us as we waited because that was probably the hardest thing Shaun and I and I'm sure the rest of the family has ever had to sit through. I have to say we were blessed to have family come up that day and sit with us and they lightened the mood so much. Come time for phone calls with updates from the nurse in surgery we all got a little antsy, but I just reassured myself that God ultimately was with my son at all times. There were times I would feel like I was going to burst into tears but God would calm my heart in only a way I knew He could, reminding me that everything was going to be okay.
After he made it through surgery and I walked in and saw my son's heart beating in his chest tears fell down my face, but in a good way. God had pulled my son through a MAJOR heart surgery and here he laid resting and starting the road to recovery. Each night as we sat by his bedside, for I can't tell you how many hours now, Andrew would grip my finger and hold my hand and I would just stroke his little head and ask God to heal my child quickly and to take his pain away (Which He is doing!). I would have taken his place any day! My son is pulling through this so much quicker and better than we expected and I know it's because God is answering so many prayers for our son. Andrew is also one tough little guy! ;)
I've had my times I've just had to leave because I physically can't do anything to make him better or take away his pain and it eats me alive. It's hard watching a nurse walk up and be able to calm your son and you just have to stand to the side watching him. Biggest blow to a mom I think there ever could be, but I know it's physically impossible for me to be able to comfort him right now. God knows I've been struggling with this for several days now and when Andrew woke up today he just stared into my eyes and I felt a connection with him that only I can have with my son. We didn't get the normal start and bonding time at all like a regular baby, so of course I worry in the back of my mind if he really knows who mommy is yet. Shaun says he does, but it's one of those constant little worries in the back of your mind you can't seem to shake...
Today as they pulled his ventilator and all the lines and the catheter and stuff out I realized how strong my little boy was and how great God really is. God has definitely been a huge part of this recovery because Andrew's even amazing the doctors and nurses here. We have been lucky. There are so many babies in the CICU right now that have been there longer, or left and had to come back already. I just sit and pray for them that their road becomes easier soon too. Most of all, God has already blessed me with Andrew for 8 days. No matter what happens down the road I am cherishing all the time we have in the now. You're well on your way little man and mommy and daddy couldn't be more proud of how much of a fighter you are. Imagine opening your eyes into a bright scary world to endure so much at only 3 days old and come 8 days old he's coming off of everything and getting ready to go make his mark in the world and "meet" his sisters and family back home soon enough. I can't bgin to say how much we love you Andrew... <3