I have dealt with all the situations, problems, scares, and fears surrounding Fisher's birth and the few months after so differntly than I have ever handled anything in my life. My normal way of dealing with things is to take them at face value, process them, reconcile them in my mind, and move on. However, I have found that I am doing the exact opposite with Fisher's birth, injuries, and surgeries. It seems that I dealt with things the best way I knew how at the time, just to get through it, but never really processed it. It also seems that as each "one year ago" event comes around I am finally dealing with them, thinking about them, processing them. And to be completely honest, it sucks. I would much rather be able to handle this as I have ever thing else in my life, but I can't. I feel the sadness, the fear, and the anxiety. I have learned from going to counseling that I haven't processed these memories, feelings, and experiences yet and I need to do that so I can move on.
The year anniversary of Fisher's first nose surgeries are no different. The last few days I have been thinking about this over and over. I can honestly say I am in awe of how Shawn and I handled things last year. We were so calm and matter of fact. We took things as they came, without really questioning or getting too mad. I know now that we were totally in survival mode. I was dealing with lots of health problems myself, was in continous pain, and was worried about my own body recovering from the birth. But that was definitely on the back burner, I was very worried about my 6 week old son. We realized that babies only breathe through their nose and they do not have the ablity to breathe through their mouths yet. Fisher's nares were very, very small from scar tissue as a result of his birth trauma. His nose flaired in and out and made a raspy sound with each breathe. It seemed to take too much effort to breathe. The Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor was obviously concerned about this and asked us many times if we had noticed his lips or finger nails turning blue. I racked my brain, trying to think if we had ever noticed a blue tint. What if I had missed it? What if he turned blue when I thought he was sleeping? Would my son be forever damamged from a lack of oxygen? Would he stop breathing at night? My brain had continious questions going through it, but I never vocalized them. I just answered the ENTs questions as best I could.
Then the ENT asked if he seems to have trouble nursing. Does he stop latching and gasp for air? Again - I didn't think so, but this is my first child. I hadn't really paid attentiont to babies breastfeeding before. Did he do it right? Was he having trouble breathing while eating? I remember wanting to ask the ENT to watch Fisher breastfeed to make sure I wasn't missing something. It was torturous to be a new mom, definitely at the bottom of the learning curve and being asked questions that I honestly wasn't sure about. I didn't have the confidence to know that I was doing everything ok for a healthy baby - much less a baby with problems.
I was so worried I was going to miss something because of my inexperience.
The ENT decided that Fisher needed nose surgery to try to increase the size of his nares. He scheduled the surgery for a Monday, which was about a week away. However, the ENT himself called me back that night after we saw him and said that he would rather do the surgery as soon as possible. He said he couldn't live with himself if something happened to Fisher before his scheduled surgery day. So we had Fisher's surgery done the next day. It was scary to have Fisher go under anesthesia at six weeks old, but at the same time it was relieving, because I felt like once his first surgery was over I could breathe a little easier.
Fast forward to yesterday....I was in the doctor's office with Fisher for a routine childhood sickness (coughing/wheezing). We were waiting in a room to see the doctor and in and adjacent room a little boy was inconsible. I could tell by his screams and cries that he was much older than Fisher. It shook me to the core. It was like I was sent back one year ago when I was in the waiting room waiting on word from the doctor that Fisher's nose surgery was over. Before I saw the doctor, a nurse came running up to me and said "Are you Fisher's mother? Follow me, he needs you" On the way to the recovery room she explained to me that he was inconsible and there was nothing anyone could do calm him down. She said he needed his mama. I could hear him from a long way off crying in a way that I have never heard, it was absolutely frantic. I was nervous because I didn't know what he would look like after surgery. On the walk to him I was almost in tears myself, but as soon as I got to him, Mama Mode kicked in. I took him in my arms and held him, talked to him, loved him, and I did not shed one tear. He needed me right then, he needed me to be strong, he needed me to comfort him first, and not worry about my own fears and feelings. And I did, I held him, I nursed him, I loved him, I tried to warm him up, and he slowly starting calming down. He then went to the Pediatric ICU for the night to make sure he was stable after surgery. From that first surgery for the next 6 weeks he had 3 additional surgeries, many doctor's visits, and the whole time I was afraid to sleep. I was afraid his nasal stents would get clogged while I was sleeping and I wouldn't hear him. But we trudged on. Most people never knew how worried I was. They never knew that I would lay awake exhausted but listening to Fisher sleep because if they asked me how I was doing I would say we were doing good. I would say how awesome Fisher is, and how he takes everything like a champ. Becuase he was and he did.
But now, one year later I am in a doctor's office for something so minor and all the memories came flooding in. It is my opinion that we did what we needed to do to get through the tough time. But I guess we still have to come to terms with everything personally, and in our own way. Writing definitely seems to be helping me process everything, come to terms with what happened, how I felt then, how I feel now, and how I hope I feel in the future.