I was reading an online discussion the other day about the morning of surgery and how people react. Some talked of wanting to pack up their kiddo and go home, even though they knew deep down that it was irrational because their little one needed the surgery. But the urge is still there to just go and pretend all is well. I was thinking back to the morning of Izzy's surgery--did I start to gather her up and take her home? No, but I think the main reason was because I kept thinking of my Uncle Jeff. Born in the fifties with heart defects, he never made it home from the hospital and died about a week after he was born. I thought of my Grandmother so much in those days and weeks and hours leading up to surgery and afterwards.
The morning of surgery was such an odd mix of fear and giddiness. I don't think the fear needs any explanation but the giddiness stemmed from such relief that it was time, no more postponements, no more waiting. It was time. Time for a repair, time for the chance Jeff never got, time to trust that the surgeon we loved so very much was as good as he said he was.
We had about an hour in pre-op with her before they took her back and we met with the surgeon again, we met with nurses who would be looking after us and nurses who would be looking after Iz. We met with people I can't even remember ;) I think, though, that the most important person at that moment that we met with was the anesthesiologist and her nurse. They came to talk about what would happen on their end (again, since we had met with someone the day before for an overview. But that morning was the two people who would actually be right there, watching over my baby). The anesthesiologist nurse stayed with us most of the hour, chatting, asking questions about Iz, making small talk. We laughed over things, she eased our fears, she got to know us. We felt comfortable with her. She reminded me of the wonderful anesthesia nurse I had for my surgery when Iz was born. When it was time for Iz to go back, she carried her because Iz was already comfortable with her and was happy to be cuddled by her. If I couldn't be there for Iz, at least a friendly familiar face was while she went to sleep. I will be forever grateful to that nurse for keeping the fear at bay and letting the giddiness come through. It meant that my last hour with Iz before surgery was filled with cuddles and kisses and laughter instead of tears (there were PLENTY of those after she left us.....).
Giddiness seems such a strange word for the situation but it is the best one I can think of.