We had six days until his surgery, so we were getting in all the snuggles we could
There really isn't anything that can mentally prepare you for surgery other than cold stoned facts. I knew the more I knew, the better off I would feel about it. I did all my research and used my own surgery to become okay with the idea that this tiny baby, my tiny baby, was going to get surgery.
Over the next few days, we just had tons of snuggles and a few family visits.
My Inner Thoughts of Worry and Anxiety
I really thought that I was failing. Everyday, it seemed like something new would pop up. Over the next few days things seemed to be normal until something came up and they had to do more test, talk to more doctors, etc. I continued to nurse him as much as I could, which wasn't a lot, but it was still something positive. I constantly worried that I wasn't giving him enough, but even if I wasn't we had to supplement through his NG tube.(feeding tube). Weight gain is a huge issue for babies with an ASD (the tiny holes in his upper heart chambers) and Down syndrome. As long as he was getting what he needed, I didn't care how he got it. But that wasn't true. I wish my son didn't need a feeding tube and I wish I could give him everything he needed, but the truth was that I couldn't and that isn't my fault.
I am constantly full of anxiety and worry that I fear it rubs off on him. My husband, and everyone else, just keeps telling me to take it one day at a time and to be positive and wishful thinking but sometimes thats harder said than done with a new mom prone to Postpartum Depression and anxiety on the regular. Four days later, I increasingly become worried as the surgery date approaches and we just wait and make sure you are okay daily.
Kangaroo Care is the best. Its skin on skin, chest holding with your child to help with stress, anxiety, and I truly believe overall care. One bit of helpfulness and much needed joy was my mom. She flew in from Florida on Saturday and had planned to stay until the following Saturday. It was perfect timing because up until then, my in laws were watching after our toddler and kept her preoccupied.They deserve a much needed break! She came to visit Oliver in the hospital once with our daughter, and she would give him a hug and a kiss and rub his head and say "good boy" being the curious sweetheart that she is. Mom saw him on Monday so she would have the chance to see his eyes open and see him before he was lethargic. I know she cherished every moment of that.
Both Grandmas and Grandpa and came to visit as much as they could! We wanted him to feel all the love that we already had for him in our family, and we also felt that we weren't alone in what we were going through. Outside of not being the only baby in the NICU, it was nice to see that our family was going to do everything that they could to help us succeed and feel as good as we can given the situation.
We spent the next six days cuddling him, loving him, and getting him to adjust as well as he could before surgery. It wasn't an easy task, they kept finding things to test or issues wrong with him so it wasn't an easy trip, but it was all for the best.