Dear, sweet readers…

Now that we are a week out from the surgery, I felt I could take enough time to breathe and share with you a part of the story we have been going through the last six months or so.

night of surgery, all smiles

So many of you have been so gracious and encouraging as we have had to step back from the Welcoming House Blog over the last couple weeks, and I personally want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This surgery for my daughter has truly been the stuff of my nightmares for the last 12 years. When she was little, feeling that precious body go limp in my arms when they put her out for her first surgery, and then being reminded of it again and again as we saw so many other children having issues with their shunts… well, knowing this surgery was coming eventually was a tough thing for this mamma.

We also had to go into it knowing her cerebral fluid was very very low, which significantly increased her chances of some very serious complications—-giving her a 1 in 4 chance of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot that could take her from us in a heartbeat.

On Tuesday morning, the 4th of March, we stayed with her as long as we could, and then walked from the room, ragged,worn, and heartbroken. We had absolutely no idea of what would come next in this fight to keep our oldest daughter healthy and strong, and alive. She had deteriorated so much over the last couple weeks at home, with constant falls, nosebleeds by the dozen a day, and so much dizziness she could hardly walk at times. It was horrible to watch her go through that, but honestly, I think walking away that moment and leaving her to the surgery was worse.

We went into the waiting area and within minutes I realized my strength was just not going to bring me through that time. Looking at the other grieving parents, all of us facing similar unknowns, being told to be cheerful because she would be “fine”, all combined to make me find the bathroom, lock the door, and fall to my knees. I texted my husband from the bathroom and shared with him where I was at and how hard I was struggling at that moment.

My very best friend in the world showed up at the hospital, knowing this was my “giant” and wanting to support me in walking through the battle. With two of her daughters and her strong support, I was able to make it through another hour.
The surgery was scheduled at a minimum of two hours, but we were told could take as long as four. So we settled in for the long haul and slowly watched the minutes pass.  One hour and thirty minutes into this period, the greeter came out and said the doctor wanted to meet with us immediately in the family consult room.

I wish I could put into words what went through my mind at that moment. Grief. Shock. Horror… all of it combined to make me walk stunned into that room. I could not show it, but I was sure he was coming to tell us that something had gone terribly wrong. I am not, by nature, a pessimist, but I simply knew it was too early in the game for the surgery to be done.
Ten minutes passed and meanwhile we waited in dreadful silence, holding on to one another while family and friends laughed and joked around us. Honestly, time stands still when I think about it.
Then the doctor came out, and went straight for my husband, shaking his hand and with a big smile announced it had been the fastest and picture perfect surgery he had had in years.

I almost collapsed.

All I could think was that not a single thing had gone wrong. No complications. No agony. No four hours of surgery. Our little/big girl was going to be just fine.
And my friends, as you know, we have had more than enough of our “happy endings”. This child literally is our miracle child. And we have had more than enough “unhappy endings” in our life. SO I am thankful this one ended this way.
I will share with you more of the story tomorrow, as we want to really share what happened this week and the miracles that God has brought into our lives in so many ways.

Blessings to you all for your prayers and support during this time.