Saturday, February 28, 2009

Really? Two years??

It doesn't seem possible. Two years ago today, we were sitting in the OR waiting room at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Braska was one week past 3 months old. At this time in the afternoon, she had been in surgery for a little over 6 hours, and she still had almost 3 more to go.

A bit of nostalgia...
This was my last pic of her with an uninterrupted chest. I had such a hard time with the idea of her being forever marked. The thought of the details of the day were too much for me, so I completely put them out of my mind.... or so I thought. But I still took this picture for that purpose...

And before we took that long walk down the hall to the doors of the OR. I got in a bit more cuddling. That was the only time I cried that day, as we gave her to the nurse and her daddy and I walked away to go wait with the family. I'm getting teary typing this! How weird is that?!

But look at us now... This is how I spent this morning, two years later. The girls and I sat in the recliner, where we've all three passed alot of time lately due to both of them needing my attention almost constantly the last couple days. Braska loves to just study her sister, touches her sometimes, and give her lots of kisses.

I prefer this morning to that one two years ago. But if it hadn't been for that day, we wouldn't have this day. I look at it as a great reminder of what God has done in our lives. If you look at the individual events, it seems barbaric--how would we allow some stranger to literally open our baby's chest? That's horrendous! But, obviously, when the big picture is seen, it was a very difficult decision, but one that simply had to be made for Braska's life to continue and for her best interest to be upheld.

As I look back at this period of our lives, we were in a very painful place as a little family of three for many reasons. This week not only brought a surgery for our little girl, but it brought a very deep and painful wound to our marriage. I struggled for a long time, and actually still struggle now honestly, to understand why the Lord would allow such a horrible gash to be allowed. How could that possibly be something he could use? But the beauty of His plan is in the whole picture, not the individual elements. That wound was used to bring to light the deeper infection and condition that was hidden below. Though there would be more "surgery" needed before healing could begin, it was part of the process that, with alot of work since, has brought us to where we are today. And that is something for which I'm very thankful.

Thank you, Lord, for seeing us through. Through the waiting. Through the surgery and postop stress and learning. Through the dark times that followed. Thank you for bringing us SO far, for bringing us to this place, for teaching us to trust in ALL things. Let us never ever EVER forget this time and it's lessons. Remind me of these lessons when I focus only on the painful elements of life as we move through the days and years to come. You're in control, and you always want the best for us. For that I am humbled and so grateful. Amen.

If you weren't around back then, please take a minute to check out the post from last year here and look through the links to the posts during our hospital stay. I never want to forget how far we've come and how blessed we've been.

Happy Heart Day to my Braska Bear!


  1. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that last mommy cuddle before surgery - it has been awesome to watch your journey with Braska and yes you are so right, the way you spent your morning this morning made that very anxious morning 2 years ago very worth it.

  2. Happy Heart Day to all of you. I have a picture of Georgia's uninterrupted chest just before her surgery too! And that picture of the three of you from today--beautiful!

  3. Happy Heart Day! Thank you so much for sharing & I'm so glad that you are all doing so well. I remember my son's open heart surgery...I know how difficult it was to hand him over to the hands of the surgeon..hardest day of my life! Thank God for today's technology, right!
    I love the pictures, the girls look absolutely precious;)

  4. I can't believe it's been 2 yrs! I remember coming across your blog shortly before Braska's heart surgery - how can it be 2 yrs later already?! And we both have added children to our families in that time too!

    I don't think it was weird that you were getting teary writing this post; I'm sure I would have been! It was an emotional roller coaster during that time.

  5. What a great post RK. I'm so glad that God put each of us in the others path. We share many things in common other that open heart surgery and Ds. I'm thankful we are friends. I know you posted awhile back that you guys saw the movie Fireproof, we enjoyed it so much we are doing the LoveDare workbook now. It is sure helping.

  6. We were offline yesterday, so I'm just now reading. God was with us yesterday when we were on the road in the snow storm down here.
    We are so thankful for Braska's health and for the time you are spending now with both girls. Time spent with those you love is life, itself. It is life you can never take back, nor will you want to; but your life will live on through your children. Love you!!

  7. I think we have walked such a similar walk in this life. I haven't been around long enough to know a lot of your story, but it seems like I find more and more common ground.

    We didn't have heart issues with Tyler, but we had to hand him over for surgery when he was a day old and I will never forget how that felt.

    That picture of today is beyond precious. It's so good you blog so you will not lose any of this.

    From experience, those huge gashes in a marriage can and do lose their sting. God is good and He will use in in the lives of others if you let Him. I wish I could give you a hug but I'm asking God's blessings on you today.

  8. Happy Heart Day. I love you all. Auntie V

  9. I understand the emotions and am not surprised you felt them. It seems to pop up at times and surprise me too though.

    Love hearing about God's faithfulness in your journey. Love the picture from today too!

  10. We thank God for Braska (and you ALL) and the WONDERFUL two years of thriving and growing since her heart surgery!

  11. Sorry I missed it. I know how very special and emotional heart day is. And you're right, we don't get to see the big picture. Sometimes I'm glad about that. Mostly, I'm not though!

  12. Happy Belated Heart Day to you and your sweet lil miss. I can so relate to so many things in this post. I'm glad you celebrated the day holding your two precious girls near and dear...I have a pic taken two days before Dom's surgery of all three kids because I wasn't so sure we'd get the chance for a sib shot afterwards-now I've got a ton of pics of my 3 monkeys together...very worth it in the end :)

  13. such a beautiful post that brought tears to my ears. it did however make me laugh to see braska with no hair..too cute. your little one has come a long way. happy heart day a little late miss braska


Thanks for commenting!! I only ask that we all keep it positive, respectful, and clean. Comment moderation is on for now. (As this is my blog, I reserve the right to delete any comment I deem inappropriate for any reason.) If you use the anonymous option, be sure to sign your name. Thanks!!

Make it a great day!!