Today is a tough day for me. They just wheeled my baby to the operating room. Literally, I am sitting in a room with tears rolling down my face, looking at the spot where my two-year-old once sat coloring and racing cars around his bed with me. He was so brave and didn’t even shed a tear. In fact, he sat on his ‘race car’ bed as they wheeled him down the hall enjoying watching Mickey Mouse with the staff member responsible for befriending the child and making the transition away from parents and into surgery as calm and pleasant as possible for the child. By the time he left, he was actually looking forward to seeing the “play room with lots of blue stuff”— aka the operating room! I, on the other hand have had a constant stream of tears (I did put on my brave face until he was out of sight). Fortunately for us, it’s just a fairly simple outpatient procedure that he has to be sedated for—I am certain there are families here for far scarier reasons and procedures.
My heart feels like it has escaped from my chest as I sit here typing this. My son’s safety and well-being are in the hands of another and I lack control in a situation I so badly want to have control over. I want to be able to be there through the whole surgery, but I can’t. I want to be able to fix it without the procedure, but I can’t. I want to suffer the pain of recovery for him, but I can’t. I can’t be the mom I want to be able to be right now, and that’s tough.
The nurses have assured me that he did great the whole way to the ‘play room’ and only cried when they went to put the mask on him to put him to sleep. Now I must sit and wait for a grueling (at least) 2 hours before they will return him to the room I am waiting for him in. At that point, his procedure will be complete and he will be awake. I know he is in great hands, but I just can’t help but feel helpless in a time when I feel like my son might need me the most—or maybe when I need him most.