Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Debut Away

I was only gone an hour.
Since we brought Evie home after her open-heart surgery, I can count on one hand the number of times she has been more than 100 feet away from me. Last night was girls-night-out for a girlfriends birthday. I gave Evie her meds, fed her and put her to sleep before leaving. (Oh, and checked the monitor twice to make sure C could hear her all the way downstairs.) Since its been 9 months since I've gone anywhere without a diaper bag, I couldn't even find my purse to put my keys and cell phone in.

I got that sick feeling two miles down the road. I couldn't reach behind my seat to feel her little chest rise and fall. The silence was deafening.

Resolved to have a good time, I continued.

I did finish a delectable piece of cake before my phone rang...I saw it was C calling.
"What's wrong?" I answered. (C is "Mr. calm, cool and collected", is very capable with the kids and I knew would only be calling if there were a reason!) He explained that Evie had woken up three times, her oxygen was way down and she seemed to be having some trouble breathing.

I got in my car and headed back grateful that most of the drive is back-roads and that it was unlikely that cops would be monitoring speed at this hour. I prayed. I tried to wish away the miles between her and I. I vowed not to leave her side for another six months.

I'll admit it. When you watch your baby go through everything Evie has gone through, its easy to let your mind wander to the worst case scenario. The drive back seemed endless!

C had her peacefully sleeping after a breathing treatment when I got home. We had her on some oxygen for a while and her sats came back up. I checked fingers and toes for blueness. Listened to breathing. Evaluated heart-rate.
She was fine.

I wasnt!

Such is life with these little heart-babies.
It means falling asleep watching the digital line dancing up and down on her monitor indicating her heart is beating
It means second guessing every gurgle, hic-up and coo from the back-seat.
It means worrying that every bug or infection could turn into something life-threatening
It means constant acknowledgement that every breath is a gift from the Lord
It means having home, beeper and cell phone numbers for 5 doctors that you are on a first-name-basis with
It means choosing not to go to church, the mall, a party because of exposure to germs
It means thanking God for the privilege of each dirty diaper I get to change
It means standing over her crib praying for another day to love her
It means thanking the Lord each morning when she wakes and smiles that He has given her another day


















Evie's new foot-less pajamas...thanks Auntie Rebecca!
And her pink toothbrush that she LOVES! Now we just need some teeth!

7 comments:

JShaffer said...

Amen, Mandy! I am so blessed, strengthened and challenged by your faithful beautiful spirit in the midst of this storm. I can hardly wait to see you and hug you and all of your beautiful children!
Love,
Lisa

The Butcher Family said...

Oh Mandy, I wish I could have been with you and prayed over you as you drove home Wednesday night. I am so relieved to hear that she is okay. (My eyeballs just got quite a workout going through those words!)
Thank you for sharing your heart, your concerns, your vulnerability, and your love...it blesses me this morning.
Love you~ Rebecca

Lara Brazell said...

Mandy, I am amazed how much I've taken my kids for granted (once I was sure they'd survive the night). When Bella left this world last month, I realized how much Kim was blessed to have cherished every moment in Bella's short time here. You are so blessed, as well. You don't take for granted that precious Evie will breathe throughout the night or that you'll get another chance to say, "I love you" to her. May be all remember that our children are a gift not to be taken lightly.
Much love to you all,
Lara

Amanda-The Family News! said...

Oh I am so glad you got home ok and that Evie was ok too. I know you couldn't get there fast enough. My prayers are with you all and that everything goes well on Monday.

Kelly said...

Sweet friend! I just got home from the Woman's retreat! I couldn't stand in the front hall without thinking of our precious God ordained meeting! You were missed! I am praying for your peace everyday....and esp Monday!!!

anne sokol said...

mandy, mandy, mandy, . . . . thanks for blogging, girl.

Karen said...

oh friend...thank you for your honesty. You are loved and missed. praying for God's hand on you and Evie and all the other Smiths. You were missed at the Women's retreat this weekend...Kelly and I had fun sharing our "meeting Mandy" stories and how much we love and miss you!!
I'm out of town this weekend...but will work on setting up a time to talk next week. :)

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