Monday, December 10, 2012

I left my heart on that table

As a mother, I long to hold my little girl tight and keep her close. I stand prepared, ready to fight off the world's evils and dangers. I watch over her sweet heart, wary of those who might cause her pain. I want to shield her from lumps and bumps and scrapes.

Sometimes, though, being Mom means I have to step back.

It means I must let her go, into the world and someone else's hands. On Thursday, Amelia asked me to stay by her side in the operating room. Of course I could not stay, but they allowed me to stroke her hair and reassure her with my voice as she drifted off via anesthesia. I watched her breathe in the gases. I choked back tears as her eyes darted around the room in visible fear and confusion.

They asked me to leave before she was totally out. I didn't get to see her peacefully asleep. I got up, kissed her sweet head, and nearly bumped into the surgeon. He looked me in the eye and promised to take care of my baby. No words came out of my mouth. I squeaked out some kind of sound and bolted from the room as my eyes filled. I wanted to make sure 100% of their attention was on her; no breakdown allowed for me that morning.

That day, I left my heart on the surgery table. I gave it away to a team of experts. I trusted them with a life that has become more important to me than my own. The medical team was perfect; they did not let me down.

This was Amelia's third eye muscle surgery, but the first time I went into the operating room. No event compares to those few moments. I hope it is an experience I never repeat.

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