I just got Ezra to go down for a nap after returning from his dentist appointment. I feel emotionally drained, and physically... well, let's just say it feels a little bit like I've had a friendly nudge from an oncoming freight train. I've been so tense these last 24 hours that I think my muscles have decided to band together and fight back. Ezra is doing well now and I'm so relieved that he's sleeping soundly after getting a much desired belly full of food and a chance to snuggle up on the couch at home and watch a little bit of 'Cars'.
Last night, right before Chris and I were walking out the door to go to a friend's birthday party, the anesthesiologist called and had to talk me through some of the risks of the procedure, (loss of limbs??) and then tell me step-by-step what was going to happen this morning at Ezra's appointment. He spoke of masks and IVs and tubes being inserted through Ezra's nose and down through his throat so that he would continue breathing after they put him under. He told me Ezra would be hooked up to machines that would monitor his oxygen levels, heart rate, and vital signs. He explained that they would be administering Valium to allow Ezra to sleep through the disorientation of waking up and the nausea/headache that follows. We could expect a bruise from the IV and maybe a bloody nose from the tubes and a very cranky child with a sore throat after the drugs wore off.
As he was going on and on about risks and tubes and machines and drugs, I felt my breath getting shorter and shorter and my head began to swim. I felt suddenly buried, like an avalanche had just broken above me- immobilized with worry... and I found myself gently rocking back and forth on Ezra's window seat- trying to calm myself down as the doctor's voice kept pouring more cause for worry and concern into my brain. He was very sweet and kept asking if I had any questions, but my mind was on shut-down and all I could mutter was "Umm... I don't think so."
He was asking me about Ezra's height and weight and was he allergic to such-and-such? I tried to answer him the best I could- thinking if I was a pound or an inch off, he would give my baby too much gas and hurt him somehow and then it would all be my fault. I would be arrested. Jailed. Guilty of not knowing my son's exact measurements. He was asking me if Ezra was allergic to things- half of which Ezra had never even eaten before. What if he really is allergic and I just don't know it and then it messes everything up and there's complications and it's all my fault??
So, you know...freeeeaking out.
I hardly remember the drive to the birthday party because I was picturing the whole thing in my head and getting lost in the blurry red brake lights in front of us glowing through the snow.
We tried to keep Ezra up late and feed him food before he went to bed at 10:30 PM so he would sleep in later and wouldn't be as hungry in the morning.
He hardly ate anything all evening. Maybe two bites of chicken and some birthday cake. I worried.
When he woke up this morning, it was 8:00 AM. He immediately began asking for juice and food. The appointment wasn't until 9:30; the longest hour and a half of my life.
When we finally went back into the room where the doctors were waiting, I felt better. At this point, I was so stressed about him being hungry and thirsty, that the anesthesia didn't sound so horrible. Ezra was scared. They asked me to hold his arms and they pressed a mask on his face while he cried and screamed into it. A few moments later, my baby was limp in my arms and I was told to support his neck like I would a newborn as I placed him in the dentist's chair.
I nobly attempted to refrain from bawling my eyes out, but was extremely unsuccessful.
After everything was done, they brought me into a little dark room where Ezra was snuggled up on a reclined chair with a comfy blanket and a pillow. This was the worst part. The doctor was gently tipping Ezra's head back to keep his airway clear. His breathing was erratic and labored. His eyes twitched and opened slightly. His breath rattled in his lungs and he wheezed and twitched as the doctor tried to explain that this was all normal... that Ezra had a lot of mucus in his lungs and sinuses which would explain his breathing... that he thought Ezra might be coming down with a cold...
It took every ounce of strength in me to concentrate on what the doctor was saying. Ezra's breaths were ringing in my ears, playing on my worst fears. He was shaking and twitching and the doctor said it was the hiccups. Ezra would wake slightly and moan. All I could do was stroke his hair and tuck it behind his ears like he likes me to do when he's drifting off to sleep at home. We were then left alone so that Ezra could sleep for awhile- curled up in the dentist chair on a SpongeBob pillow.
I don't mean to sound overly dramatic here-- I am well aware that there are families that suffer through much, much worse on a daily basis... Families with terminally ill children and kids that are fighting against all odds for life... people who spend more time in hospitals than schools or their own homes... I know that Ezra's troubles today weren't even a drop in a bucket compared with other's battles, but it was still so hard for me to see him like this. I felt helpless and could do nothing but pray that his breath would slow and stabilize- that his lungs would find the air they needed... that he would sleep peacefully and then wake up and put his arms around my neck, look into my eyes and smile.
Two whole front teeth and a goofy grin.
After an agonizing half hour, he began to breathe normally. Instantly I felt myself relax. I began to shift my prayers to ones of exhausted thanks. Jesus in the room. SpongeBob on the pillow. I took out my journal and tried to write. Couldn't. Was too busy watching my beautiful boy sleep and breathe. I tucked the blanket around him. Cute blanket. Looked for the tag. Martha Stewart Everyday Baby. Thought to myself, "Does that mean I could find this at K-mart?" Then realized there were no K-marts in this city. Watched the snow drift down gently like it was not in a hurry to reach the ground. Felt the weight of the world lift. off. my. shoulders.
Thanks for all your prayers and encouraging words.
he needs a name. hey hey hey! Let's make it a contest. if I pick your monkey name suggestion, you will win a prize. Since I can't think of anything cool to send you, I will do like Britt did and write a poem about you and post it here on my blog. Entries must be received (via comments) in the next 3 days. Not valid in West Virginia. ha! Just kidding. In fact, if you are actually from West Virginia and I pick your monkey name, I will write not one but TWO poems in your honor. (this is where you pretend to be excited.)