It’s been 35 days since our Wally J received the gift of life. As I sit back and try to reflect on these past 35 days, I find myself reliving every single second of every single day since we got “The call”. But the day of….The day we received the greatest news. Is the day that will be forever grained in my body. There’s nothing in this world that could prepare a parent for all the emotions that will play on a constant repeat in your mind when you get the call that this is it. There’s been a match. A new heart for your baby is on its way.
You cry happy tears that your baby has a fighting chance at life. You cry sad tears that someone has given you, your child, the greatest gift. But with that gift comes an unimaginable loss. So you’re happy, yet sad. You’re scared. With mind numbing terror taking over your entire being. You’re body in fight or flight mode continuously running on adrenaline. You pace the floors during the 12 hour surgery. Your mind racing a million miles a minute. Asking yourself, God, or anyone that will listen…Will he make it through another surgery? You hold you’re breath when the door to the family room opens and in walks a nurse with an update. You look at his/her face trying to gauge whether they have good news or bad news. Sighing with relief when they smile.
When the surgery is finally over and you wait to see your child. You start wondering what life is now going to be like. You ponder whether or not you’re strong enough to handle the obstacles that come with having a child who has had a transplant. You’re relieved the surgery is finally over, anxious to lay eyes on him. You’re optimistic but yet cautious and nervous about what lies ahead. You’re tired. You’re exhausted. You’re mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Where putting one foot in front of the other seems like an impossible task. But you’d do anything for your child. Make sure he’s ok. So you continue on.
And than….the moment comes. Time freezes again. They say you can see him. You walk the long walk from the family room to his hospital room at 1:30 in the morning. The hallways dark and quiet while other children are asleep in their beds. Holding on to your husbands hand for dear life. You gown up with masks, gowns, and gloves to help prevent infection. You walk towards his bed with tear filled eyes. You see him and your heart sings. You see your sweet baby boy who has overcome more in his short life than the average person in a lifetime. You look down at his chest and see the bump bump of where his beautiful, perfect, new heart is beating inside his chest. You rest your hand on his chest and feel the rhythmic beating of the greatest gift you have ever received. You close your eyes as the tears finally fall. The nurse asks if you want to listen. And you’re over come with emotion as you listen to the greatest sound you have ever heard. Your whole body breaking out in goosebumps at the most amazing miracle you are able to witness. You feel thankful for the donor and their family. Blessed that the good lord saw him through. You just whisper over and over again, thank you. For the surgeons. The doctors. The medical staff. The donor and their family. God. Every single person that made this happen you thank in a small whisper that only you can hear.
Now that you’ve seen him and you know he’s doing ok. And that he has the most amazing nurse. You literally feel the adrenaline waining. You feel the exhaustion creeping in to the point you cannot keep your eyes open one more second. So you say one final prayer over your sweet baby. You kiss his sweet face. You tell him you are strong. You are brave. You are my hero. Mommy will be back first thing in the morning.
As you walk out of the hospital. You don’t think. You just keep moving. You just keep counting the steps to a perfectly made comfortable bed where you can finally lay your head. A bed where you can finally sleep for a couple of hours before a new day begins.
Sleep is something you desperately need because when you sleep you recharge. When you sleep you do not have to think about what lies ahead. Your mind doesn’t race. It’s just you and the black screen behind your eyelids. You can sleep because you know your baby is ok, he’s got a new heart, and that he’s being taken care of. But most importantly he’s alive. And you sleep because you know when the sun rises he’s going to need you to be refreshed. That a new day will come with new obstacles and tribulations. But you don’t think about those obstacles and tribulations at that moment. You just breathe, close your eyes, thank God for another day, and sleep.
–Wally’s Momma 💕💕