Surgery day

5 A.M.

The alarm beeped.

Time to wake up.

“Please God.”

I opened my eyes, ready to head back to the hospital, and so not ready for what was ahead of us.

But, I couldn’t cry.

I didn’t cry.  He needed my strength – he needed everything I had.

I walked into his room in CICU and asked his nurse how Evan had done for the 5 hours I tried to sleep at the hotel down the road.

“Ok – a few moments of desaturations.  His oxygen dropped again.  But, we were able to bring it up.”

Confirmation – today was so important – so necessary.

I put my stuff down and decided to say good morning to my boy before I sat to pump.  Hoping I could make some breast milk for him…just trying to give him something when I knew I could do so little for him now.

“Hi Buddy.  You’re going to do great.  So many people are praying for you.”

And finally – the tears started to fall.  But, my heart felt hope and not helplessness.

I felt a sense of peace, a confidence in the day.

Craig walked in.  Silent.  Sat down in the chair.  Didn’t say a word to me or to Evan. Pain – it’s what I saw in his eyes.

I finished pumping.

7 AM – the team would be here soon to transport him for surgery.

I asked the nurse if I could peel off his warming blanket so I could see his beautiful, untouched chest for the last time.  Soon, it would be marred by the scalpel of the surgeon who would help give my boy a few more months before his open heart surgery.

I found his pudgy hand.  The hand I’ve held onto as I sang lullabies.  The hand I’ve kissed a million times. I put my finger next to it and his little fingers wrapped around mine.

Still inbuated and on a high dose of medicine to keep him calm and sedated, his hand still knew my touch.

I ached as I watched his face make the motions of a cry and the tears form but no sound.

The Silent Cry – when your child is intubated no sound escapes from their body – but you know the look of their cry and the tears as confirmation.

And all you wish for is to hear the sound of your child’s sob.

7:10 AM – soon…they’d be here soon.

“Evan – you’re going to do great.  I love you so much.  Daddy and Iz love you so much. You are loved.  I can’t wait to bring you home again.  I can’t wait for you to hear Iz sing songs to you.  Soon, we’ll be able to go outside and take walks.  It’s going to warm up soon.  The dogs will come with us.  We’ll snuggle in bed together and watch my shows like we did when we were home.  We’ll have so much fun.”

I needed to flood his mind with thoughts of the future and images of his past.  He needed to know what he was fighting for.

I needed him to know that he was loved – is loved.

7:35  AM – the team comes in.

Craig finally stands up.  Puts his hand on mine and we hold Evan’s hands between ours.  He kisses my head and I can hear him start to sob.

We step back and let the surgical team prep him for transport.  Craig and I held onto each other as we watched – helpless.

“Ok – we’re ready – want to give him a kiss?”

I lean over him.  Take a deep breath and drink in his scent.  My tears – yet again – anointing him – praying and pleading for God to protect him.

“We’re all praying.  God will be with you.  I love you.”

Craig gave his son a kiss – an image I’ll never be able to erase – the pain on his face as he kissed Evan.

We walked to the O.R..  A silent walk except for the beep of the machines and the quiet sobs that escaped mine and Craig’s bodies.

We finally arrived at the O.R. doors. The anesthesiologist turned to us and said, “Ok – this is it.”

We each gave another kiss to son.

I looked at the team of doctors and nurses and said, ‘Take care of my boy.”

They nodded and promised they would.

We stood silent as they wheeled him in.  The doors swung shut.

It was in their hands and His hands now.

8:10 AM – And all I could do was pray.


Evan did great in surgery.  It took about 2 1/2 hours – faster than expected since he did not have to go on bypass.

The surgeon came in and said he did great but the next 24 hours is so critical for him.  He felt good about the surgery and said he hoped it would give us at least 6 months until his next surgery – Evan’s open heart surgery. Ugh…

We’ve been praising God for the surgery and praying to God for his recovery.

We rejoice in the victories of today but know that Evan’s fight is still not over.

Our gratitude for your prayers runs deep.  Thank you from the bottom of our *broken* heart.




  1. Amber Monroe says:

    I said a prayer for Evan this morning and will continue to pray for him. I know we have never met, but I’m a mom too. Big hugs and blessings to you and your family. You are never alone.

  2. I have been following your blog for a while so I feel crazy asking this question but is your son’s heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot? My son was born with TOF & had the BT shunt put in at 9 days old – we came home 3 weeks later. He went back at 7 months for his “full repair” and we were home in 5 days! He is now 3.5 years old and if you looked at him & his twin sister, you would NEVER be able to tell! Now, I know Evan has other complications but I wanted to give you some hope if he does, in fact, have TOF! During my son’s repair surgery, the surgeon left him without a pulmonary valve so we will have to address that at some point but we hope it’s many years down the road and that technology will have valve “replacement” being done through the cath lab instead if OHS!! Please know I am praying for Evan, for you & your husband!