I sat with my head in the toilette bowl, veins racing with anxiety, crying because I was so deathly sick. Crying because this was the last day before my daughters open heart surgery and I was too ill to spend time with her. I had big plans of spending this day ( that, try as I might, I still feared it would be her last day) on the shores of St. Pete, dipping my daughters tiny toes in the ocean for the first time. But instead, I was vomiting every thing inside me to the point my husband had to wheel me over to the hospital next door for IVs of fluid at 10pm that night, because dehydration had made my arms and legs go numb.
I still dont know if it was nerves or a bug. But I woke up the next morning so drained of energy, I didn't have an ounce left to put towards worrying about never seeing the beach. My mind was numb, watching my husband hand over our only daughter to the anesthesiologist, who I had thankfully been too tired to hear him remind us of the risks of stroke and death. After getting the word from our nurse that she wouldn't be updating us for at least two hours, I barely made it back to the Ronald McDonald House before my body just collapsed back to sleep.
Two hours later, we were back up in the waiting room, getting the news that Fiona was on the heart and lung machine and doing great. Her heart was outside of her body, and there was a robot heart keeping my baby alive. Its the one thing I never googled images of. I never tried to picture really what was going on in that operating room. I just watched the door, waiting for the nurse to come back and tell me that she was still alive, doing fine.
She is alive, and doing fine. Wonderful. Unbelievable. She is my fighter, my angel, my inspiration, my motivation. She is the apple of her daddy's eye. The perfect mix of sugar and spice. The princess of our family. We are so proud of everything she has over come and how she continues to beat odds and defy limitations. Nothing will hold her back.
My fears seem so distant, their sting dull. My baby is well acquainted with the beach, and every day I thank God for this little blessing He put in our lives. Only one place seemed fitting to celebrate Fiona's Heart Day. To sit back and watch my babies indulge in the magic only the ocean holds. We are thankful for friends who came out to join us and the beautiful and delicious cake Fiona's therapist made for her beach celebration. Nothing like finishing the day to a chorus of people clapping to an orangey-red sunset dropping into the ocean.
I love that people clap for the sunset at the beach. If only we took time to appreciate the beauty around us more often.