Unless you've been in a situation where someone you love's life is on the line, and all you can do is wait, you can't understand how hard the waiting is.
I know, rationally, that they're putting things off to give him a better chance during the surgery - to give him a better chance than Alexis had when she went through this same surgery. Older and stronger they say. I know that Alexis' death is coloring the choices they make, and that isn't a bad thing, but they waited 12 days with Alexis. Older and stronger they said...
She's so strong and Look how pink! they said. And it's like an instant replay and I feel the fear welling up, and we wait, not knowing. And I don't even know if I really want to know. I've always believed that one shouldn't ask a question unless one is ready to hear all the possible answers, and I'm not.
And so I ask too much of him, expect him to overcome challenges no infant should ever have to face. And I barter with him about never picking up his own underwear or making his own bed if only he'll come home to have those things. And I walk the fine line between hope and reality and call it cautious optimism. Heel to toe, heel to toe, like a drunk, I teeter. There is a battle being fought between fear and maternal instinct that keeps knocking me down on one side or the other. And I pray for serenity as I do this one day, one minute, at a time. Baby steps you know, and then I wonder if there will be any of those.
Hope is a scary thing, don't let anyone tell you any different.
And there is an air of finality here anyway. I will have my tubes tied in mid-January, and I know I will never face any of this again, and that is a relief, and yet, an end of sorts, isn't it? All I've ever done is have children and be a mother and I'll never do it again, and I don't regret that exactly, but it makes me sad and a little lost, and it makes Nova my last chance and I don't want to fail, again.
Of course I realize, again - rationally, that there isn't anything I could have done to prevent this, to change it. There is no magic mommy sin to cause what's wrong with Donovan, no magic mommy fix for what's wrong with Donovan, but you can't help but feel responsible when a child comes out of you with a heart so desperately flawed.
And I'm exhausted already, and there are weeks and months to go, we've barely even begun this journey, and as tired as I am, I hope it's a long long trip.