I pull her into my arms all warm from her bed. It feels like the middle of the night; too early to be waking her up.
She stays asleep on my shoulder and smells oh so good.
Daddy slides her fleece on her while she is still sleeping and helps me get her into the car. Then he stays home which is our routine with these hospital days now. Daddy now does the Anna morning getting her up, dressed, eating, and drives her to school.
I drive in the dark and half way she says to me from her car seat, "is it the middle of the night?"
And then, "I know this way! It's the way to Anna's recital."
"At the Bushnell?"
I wonder how she remembers this route.
I feel myself getting more and more nervous. My hands are shaking a bit and I'm having to think about my breathing. Slow, deep breaths I tell myself.
No matter how many times I've done this; she's done this; I can't feel normal on these mornings.
I'm a worrier. But not the 'what is Scott looses his job' (never enters my mind) kind of worrier. I don't think about the what if's that the doctor and anaesthesiologist rattle off before this procedure. I'm one of those 'not me, not us' kind of gals. I worry about the dumb little daily things. I get uptight about our schedule being anything different than the 'regular'. I don't roll with the flow easily. But I can do this without worry.
But I concentrate on slow deep breaths as I drive.
We pull up to the free, 'day surgery' valet parking. I've done this so many times.
He hands me ticket. I take Abigail out of her car seat and grab my bag.
She walks in the front door to the hospital. Usually I carry her; I wonder why she wanted to walk.
We enter the doors and get our stickers and head to 4G. A older grandpa type volunteer with a blue coat asks me if I know where I'm going or if I need help. "Thank you. I know the way." And I wish this wasn't so familiar, and I didn't know the way.
We enter the room and I start the forms. And the questions. The attendant remembers me.
We sit in the waiting room until I remember that she never went to the bathroom that morning, so we make a stop.
After a bit a nurse brings us to the day surgery prep floor. She remembers us too. It's Abigail's hair; always the hair that they remember.
Bed one we get. "Oh, we've had this one before," she tells me. Little Abigail is right.
Hospital jammies on. Silly socks on. Chatting with the nurses that all know me too well.
More health questions. More forms to sign. And then the IV. "No numbing cream please." The band aid is worse than the IV going in for her. Trial and error. I know now that what they do for 'regualar kids' is adjusted for mine.
This time the nurses get it in on the first try. She cries and trembles a bit. I can't get too close to her but I can cradle and hug her face. She covers her face with her bear.
I ask the nurses to cover the IV with a wash cloth. I know she likes it better when she can't see it.
She's okay as long as I don't mention the IV to her. Distraction is the key.
Her doctor and anaesthesiologist enter the area and prep me for what's to come.
And then they wheel her down to the endoscopy room. I follow. It feels cold. It always does.
Moments after this picture is taken (I'm surprised they let me) her chest is covered with heart monitors. She lays down and I tell her I love her. She grasps for me, silently. She's holding harder than she ever has.
I know what's going on. The room turns serious. Everyone has their 'game face' on. I can feel it without even looking. The anaesthesiologist begins to 'put her to sleep'. I know that there is a medical term for it but that's what I call it.
She must feel funny. She grasps for me even harder as the meds begins to take effect. She's trying to lean up or to pull me on to the bed with her. And in a second, it's all done. She's asleep.
I lay her on the bed and soak her in a bit. And then I'm escorted to the waiting room to well, wait.
I breath deep feeling more relaxed than ever. A wave of exhaustion washes over me. I wait for Daddy to come. He'll be here any second.
I check my phone for texts and before I know it the doctor peeks his head in the room. I know the results before he says a word. I knew the results the second I saw his face.
We've done this many times and when it's a positive result, no eosinphils, his face looks relaxed. But he looks serious.
He pulls me into the hall and tell me "it didn't look good," and everything else I don't really hear. I wish that Daddy was here to pick up the rest.
I go back to the waiting room and well, wait.
A nurse calls my name and I follow her to the recovery room. She is asleep with a tear in the corner pocket of her eye. Bitty baby is still with her under the covers. There is tube in her nose and her mouth is open. And now, again, I wait.
Daddy comes. I relax. The recovery nurse I don't care for. She's too young. Her hair is too blonde and I'm certain she isn't a mother. I like em when they are mothers. She's not and so she just goes through the motions with me. Vital signs, when to wake her up. What to expect at home, blah, blah, blah. I've got this covered.
She pushes me to wake her up. I want to let her sleep longer. But I wake her up. She pulls out the tube in her nose and her first words are "toy store?" because I promised her we'd stop at the hospital toy store on the way out if she was up to it.
She can't stand and so we dress her back into her pink jammies carefully. She has no control over her body and she's talking a lot. She's all loosy goosy. Daddy lifts her up and we are escorted by another nurse out of recovery.
We are done. For now. Until next time.