Something familiar

The familiar sound of my phone…the ring tone I had set for the hospital…it was going off.

The hospital was calling me.

Craig and I had just left the ICU to try and get some rest down the street at a hotel we booked.  Even though we only live 30 minutes away from the hospital – I wanted to only be 5 minutes away in case something happened.

“Mrs. Hounsel?  This is the CVICU.  This is Evan’s nurse.”

“What’s wrong?  What happened?”

“Evan woke up inconsolable and in quite a bit of pain.  You asked me to call you if we decided to do anything than what we discussed and I just wanted to keep you up to date.  We gave him a small dose of morphine to help with the pain.”

Screaming. Crying.  I could hear the familiar sounds of my boy in the background.  Suddenly, the fact I hadn’t slept for 2 days meant nothing.  Too much adrenaline was pumping through me.

“Craig.  It’s Evan.  I’ll drop you off at the hotel.  You sleep.  I’ll go back and stay the night with him even though he has a private nurse tonight.  I need to go back.”

I know I’m Asian…so it must be in my genes to drive crazy…(bwahaha). But, I drove like a maniac…a la “Fast and the Furious.”  I didn’t think I had the guts to run red lights.

I parked as fast as I could.  I sprinted in flip flops through the parking lot, through guest entrance….

“Ma’am!  Can I help you?” An attendant at the front desk started chasing me to stop me.

I turned around…flashed her my “Mom” badge from the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit…and said, “I just got a call about my son.”

She just nodded and let me pass.

The 5 seconds waiting for the elevator felt like an eternity.

I was welcomed by the ICU secretary who had just said goodbye to us about 30 minutes prior.  She knew we were leaving for the night.

“I need to be let in please.” I said to her as I ran by.

“Is everything ok?” She asked from about 10 yards away…I am a fast runner…especially when my feet are being fueled by fear.

I slowed down my pace when I walked through the halls of the ICU.  I didn’t want to alarm any parents….it’s a scary sight seeing people run these halls.  It’s never a good thing.

I reached his room.

“EVAN!”  I sang through tears.  Put on my happy face and wiped my face dry.

The purple faced baby stopped crying.  Looked up and saw me.

I put on a gown and gloves since we are on isolation precaution.

I nudged the nurses out of the way, put my hand on his head, smoothed his hair, and sang his favorite song.

It was either the morphine or me…but he calmed right away.

Tears starting to fall.  Now from me.

My boy was scared.  He didn’t know what was going on.

He woke up and didn’t know where Mommy was.


This hospital stay is so different than the first two.

This time Evan knows what’s going on.  He is aware when people approach him that something is about to happen.

And 9 times out of 10…it’s either a poke, a prod…rarely a cuddle.

He looks around for something familiar…for Mommy or Daddy…to make it all better.

And Craig and I feel awful.  We look at his bruised bodies from I.V. sticks and blood draws….we look at the all the tape on his face that irritates him that is holding in his nasal cannula to provide oxygen for him…we look at all the wires…

And we are looking for something familiar too.

We want to see our baby that hoppity hops in his bouncer.

We want to see our baby that smiles for miles and laughs with such joy.

We just want our best boy back to his best self.

And we know that it is long ways away…our hospital stay now with his open heart surgery added to the mix…

God willing.

God willing.

Our boy will make it through surgery and recovery…and we’ll get our boy back.



  1. Courtney Graham says:

    Thinking of you guys….I cannot imagine what you are going through…my heart goes out to you. Praying for Evan to stay infection free and for his surgery and recovery and for you and Craig and what you are going through and your little girl all at the same time. ZLAM, Courtney

  2. Just want you to know I’m praying for y’all!

  3. He will make it through…and so will you.

    Can I share something with you that I read many many MANY times in the CVICU at Children’s Medical Center before during & after Mason’s heart surgeries and recoveries…. I have no idea where it came from, I got it from another heart mom, but whoever said it hopefully wont mind me stealing :)…

    “When you come to the edge of all the light you know
    and are about to step into the darkness of the unknown;
    Faith is knowing one of two things will happen,
    There will be solid ground to stand on or you will learn to fly”

    Like you said before, and I quote,
    “This is ‘effin hard”… but us heart momma’s know how to fly. Stay strong girl, my prayers are with you.

  4. Big Hugs… You guys are in my prayers.

  5. Emma's Nana Jana says:

    Emma’s Nana Jana has plenty of love to go around; sending you a great big OKIE hug and lots of prayers for the little one! May God fill your hospital room with His presence and with His abiding love! And may all those other drivers move out of the way if you have to make another hospital run! God bless our Little Heart Warriors! <3