Unless you've been there....

Unless you've sung your child to sleep in an operating room, kissed their sweet cheek and been led away by a nurse, you have no idea the depth of helplessness a momma can feel...

Unless you've lied awake all night begging God-Fate-Karma to let you keep your child, you don't know what wanting something more than anything feels like...

Unless you've experienced having your baby back in your arms in recovery, you don't know the sensation of feeling overwhelming gratefulness that lets your body breath once again...

Unless you've been there, you really don't know how hard it can be.

And today for some reason, it was one of the hardest. Pip had a "routine" eye & ear surgery which was obviously nowhere near as complicated as others, such as her heart surgery - But today those feelings of helplessness took over. 

Blame me being 34 weeks pregnant with #3, my first born starting Kindergarten a few days ago or just simply loving Pip longer, but this one was not good - Is it really ever though?

This time I laid awake thinking how complete Pip makes our little family. How we wouldn't be us without her.

This time holding her hand walking towards Day Surgery at 6 am, choked me up. She kept looking up at me so trusting & it almost felt, like I've never loved her more. 

This time Pip worked the waiting room, making people laugh, fall in love and be put under her spell before they themselves went under. 

This time Pip knew more than ever that something was going on and clung her little hands around my neck not letting me put her down for even a second. 

This time when my twonk-of-a-husband forgot to pick up my "lucky-surgery-charm-aka-snickers" and a kind, very thoughtful hospital receptionist delivered some to me, I started to cry. 

This time Pip forcefully & loudly made it clear she didn't want her oxygen levels checked or an iv in. Her "no, no, no" over & over made me want to stop the whole thing.

This time when the anesthesiologist went over the routine risks, I tuned her out and just took in the moment of having Pip's cheek against mind as I rocked her. 

This time I didn't care how loudly I sang "Row Row Row Your boat" in the operating room as Pip drifted off to sleep while holding my hand. 

This time I actually felt bad for the awkward male nurse who didn't know what to do with the over-emotional-bawling-pregnant momma as he lead me to the waiting room.

This time when 2 men that smelled of cigarettes and were talking cars in the waiting room bugged me, I simply got up and moved to the other room. 

This time I only ate 2 snickers, 1 Toblerone {another amazing surprise left for me at reception with a book for Pip - Thank you!} and 2 donuts...Dare ya to seriously try to judge.

This time I profusely thanked the two doctors who needed to share operating time in order to perform on both her eyes and ears so that Pip didn't need two separate surgeries.

This time I smiled as the recovery nurses joked about us being frequent flyers or something like that.

This time I didn't rush her but simply just held her and breathed with her as she woke up. 

This time I spent the rest of the day pretty much glued to her. 

This time I know won't be the last but she, we, survived together. 


  1. Tara & Pip - this won't be your last. At 14, Little Man has had 17! - yes, that's right, 17! surgeries...some routine, some like his own open heart surgery, not so routine. I can tell you how many times in his 14 yrs he's coded on me. 31 with his heart in 2001, 3 with the sepsis in 2014, 5 with the pneumonia in 2009, 1 with the tonsils and adnoids in 2005, 4 with the RSV 9/2001 and 4 more with the RSV AGAIN 12/2001...there is no better feeling than them coming out, no worse feeling than them going under - it NEVER gets easier - I cry as hard (or harder) today than the very first one 6/2001 with his heart. I can only hope that you cherish what we have, and have that one nurse/child life/social worker - who says "No, it's OK to cry - it doesn't matter how many times - it's not something we'll ever be used to" and you are a good Mom - if you weren't you would give into your fear instead of doing right by them. I wish you both well! Hugs from Been There - Done That - Yea me too!

    1. Anonymous10.9.15

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  2. Anonymous10.9.15

    So happy everything went well and your little girl is back home with you. This post brought me back to the morning of Hannah's surgery when she fell asleep in my arms and a total stranger took her away from me, praying that she would wake up again

  3. Bless you and your sweet family. Pip is such a Blessing. Faithful, prayerful hugs sent. Germaine

  4. Amanda10.9.15

    Oh my, you hit the nail on the head. We had our third surgery in July. Ella has had heart, eyes, ears, tonsils, adenoids, gi scopes. Her last surgery was tonsils and tubes, by far one of the easiest surgeries we were faced with. But at two, she was aware. I agree the leading her to surgery was awful. The screaming and not wanting to be touched. It hurt me so. I do remember however the snuggles. I held her all afternoon. She on and off slept. We whispered and played. And when it was all said and done she won't remember it. Hugs to you mama, especially 34 weeks pregnant. Thanks for sharing! We love your blog and pip!

  5. Well said. So grateful the Internet makes it possible to find people who get it. I don't know why it gets more scary each time. We are currently putting off the Fontan....mostly because she is doing so well now but she doesn't recover well. We nearly lost her last time. I can't do it again until I have no other option. I am too scared.