Tag Archive | hernia

Gut Wrenching Surgery

surgery

I watched the nurse serve our then twenty-two-month-old son a purple cocktail. His body slumped in her arms and she whisked him to the Operating Room. Fears of injury or worse swirled in my head as I waited. The doctor informed us hernia surgeries are common. Yet, despite his attempt, the hospital statistics did nothing to calm my nerves. This is my precious son; my firstborn.

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My husband wrapped his arms around me, “Austin will be fine. He’s in good hands.”

I squeezed him, “I know. I just love our boy so much. It pains me to see our toddler undergo surgery. I wish I could take his place.”

I paced back and forth on the waiting room rug. I thought I knew the meaning of love when I married my best friend three short years earlier. One of my favorite traditions is watching our wedding video on our anniversary. It never fails; a lump forms in my throat each time I see Randy wipe a single tear off my cheek during our nuptials. Yet, this time my heart ached.

Two months earlier, Randy called me into Austin’s bedroom. “Come here Hon, there’s a bump sticking out  of his stomach when he pushes!”

I gasped. “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure. Pack his bag. We’re taking him to Emergency!”

I composed myself as to not scare our little guy, dressed him and rushed him to the ER. Upon our arrival, the staff immediately wheeled him into an examination room. The doctor asked us some routine questions and pressed on his bulging tummy. He explained, “Austin has a hernia. It’s typical for children his age. I’ll have my nurse schedule a simple surgical procedure to close the hole. The current schedule is approximately three months out, because we perform 400+ surgeries annually. If the bulge doesn’t retract for some reason, return immediately for emergency surgery.”

What! His intestines are popping in and out of his the muscle lining and we have to wait three months to seal it?” I looked at Randy, “Why doesn’t the parenting handbook cover these issues for first time parents?”

He chuckled and pulled me close, “We’ll learn together.”

Like clockwork, ninety days passed and his surgery day arrived.

An hour later, Austin’s surgeon walked in, “The operation was a success and Austin is fine,” he proudly announced.

Inexplicable joy filled me. I exhaled, “Thank you, Doctor. When can I see him?”

The nurse escorted me to his recovery room. I glanced at my baby shaking the crib rails with all his might. His sweaty face was beet red from screaming hysterically, “Mommy! I want my Mommy!” I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity and ripped my heart out. I believe his unfamiliar environment and tubes taped all over along with the absence of his parents caused his plight. I imagine his brain couldn’t comprehend the bright lights, sterile smell of antiseptic, strangers poking at him, nor the arithmetic noise of monitors.

I gathered him in my arms and held him. I sunk into a rocking chair and whispered, “It’s okay Austin. Mommy’s here.” He buried his head between my neck and shoulder and fell asleep. At that moment, I felt unconditional love. It’s a sacrificial compassion for someone other than myself and it’s sweeter when reciprocated. As I recount this I’m felt Austin’s surgery hurt me more than it did him.

During our ride home, I watched Austin nap and felt the mother child bond deepen. I believe it’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries. I now understand to the cliché “Beware of a mother bear robbed of her cubs.” It’s inate.

Today, Austin is a healthy thirteen-year-old young man. I love him dearly! The Bile says love is patient and kind. It’s not jealous, nor rude. It doesn’t demand its own way. It’s not irritable, and it keeps no record of wrong. It rejoices in the truth, and doesn’t give up. It’s always hopeful and endures forever. It is the thread that weaves the fabric of our lives and allows us to weather tough storms; even gut-wrenching surgeries.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Nor Cal

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Nor Cal

Have you experienced gut a wrenching motherhood crises ? Feel free to share with us.

Unconditional Love

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I watched the nurse serve my then twenty-two-month-old son a purple solution. His body slowly slumped in her arms, and she whisked him to the Operating Room. Fear crept in my head as I waited patiently. I understood hernia surgeries to be common place, however, hospital statistics did nothing to calm my nerves. This is my precious boy; my firstborn.

My husband put his arm around me, “Austin will be fine. He’s in good hands.”

I squeezed him, “I know. I just love our boy so much, and it pains me to see our toddler undergo surgery. I wish I could take his place.”

While I paced, I reflected on my understanding of love. After all, I married my best friend just three short years earlier. I enjoy watching our wedding video. It never fails, a lump forms in my throat each time I see Randy wipe a single tear off my cheek during our nuptials.  Yet, this time, the love I felt differed. I ached.

It began two months prior, Randy called me into Austin’s bedroom. “Come here Hon, there’s a bump popping out his stomach when he pushes. Look!”

I gasped, “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure. Pack his bag. We’re taking him to the ER!”

I kept calm as to not scare our little guy, dressed him and rushed to the hospital. Upon our arrival, the staff immediately wheeled him into an examination room.  The doctor asked us some routine questions, and pressed on his bulge. He explained, “Austin has a hernia. It’s typical for children his age. I’ll have my nurse schedule a simple surgical procedure repair the hole. The wait is approximately three months out. Don’t worry. We perform over 400 surgeries per year.” What, his intestines are popping out and of his muscle lining and we have to wait three months!  He continued, “If the hernia doesn’t retract for some reason, then return for emergency surgery.”

I looked at Randy, “Why doesn’t the parenting handbook cover these issues for first time parents?”

He chuckled and pulled me close, “We’ll learn together.”

Ninety days passed, and his surgery day arrived.

Approximately an hour later, Austin’s surgeon entered the waiting room, “The operation was a success, and Austin is fine.”

Inexplicable joy filled me. I exhaled, “Thank you doctor. When can I see him?”

His nurse escorted me to my son’s recovery room. I glanced at my baby rattling the crib rails with all his might, and jumping up and down. His red, sweaty face screamed, “Mommy! I want my Mommy!”  I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity, and ripped my heart out. I believe Austin waking up in an unfamiliar environment with strange people, tubes taped to him, and the absence of his parents frightened him.

I gathered him in my arms, and held him tight. I sunk into a rocking chair, kissed him, and whispered, “It’s okay Austin. Mommy is here.” He buried his little head between my neck and shoulder, and fell asleep. At that moment, I knew unconditional love. It’s a sacrificial compassion for someone other than me, and it’s even sweeter when reciprocated. As I recount this incident, I’m reminded that Austin’s surgery hurt me more than it did him. I don’t understand why so many boys and girls must undergo hernias, but I’ve certainly developed more awareness and empathy for sick children.

Coincidentally, that same summer my father’s was diagnosed with a similar hernia; only it took my dad six months to heal due to his surgery being more evasive.

On our ride home, I watched Austin slumber, and I realized the bond between a mother and her child is very strong. It’s truly unconditional love! I believe it’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries.

Have you ever experienced Aha moment of unconditional love? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

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