We decided it was best to go home and explain what was going on to our other kids. When we got home, we woke our sleepy littles up (again, ages 4, 2, and 1) and explained the best we were able that Jack was at a children’s hospital and grandma and grandpa would be with them that day. We said a prayer as a family, and we headed up to be with Jack.
It took an hour to get to the hospital. We arrived around 7:00 AM. He was just coming out from his CT scan so they could verify everything from the previous hospital and they also wanted to see if the blood clot was getting bigger or not. We met the neurosurgeon around 9:00 AM, and went over the scan. He couldn’t quite tell if it was getting bigger, but thought it may be. He told us he had another surgery to do, and ordered an MRI for Jack. He’d come back in to discuss the results after this other surgery.
The MRI Results
The MRI was done around 10:00 AM. There was a lot, a lot of waiting. All we knew, was the MRI was to look for a mass of any sort (tumor) and if there was a mass, there was a 100% chance of surgery. Otherwise, surgery was unlikely because hew as so young, and the body can absorb clots, so it’d just be monitoring him at that point.
The doctor finally came back in around 2:00 PM. I remember sitting in the chair by Jack’s bed, my husband and my dad in the room with me. The doctor was standing. He seemed so tall. We were told the MRI came back with no mass. That was great news. Then he told us, “My gut is telling me I need to do surgery.” Then he spoke more, and I’m not sure any more what he said. He told us 2 more times, “My gut is telling me I need to do surgery.” We decided that if he felt like that was the best next step, we should do surgery.
I feel like the next second, I had a million people in front of me having my sign paper after paper, after paper. Each paper was being explained to me and there was no time to actually read them through. I remember the risks being read to me about the surgery and sedation and all of that. I remember hoping that this was the right thing to do. I also remember praying over and over and over since the night before that the doctors would be led to know what to do. That prayer was being answered, and that doctor let us know that, whether he knew that or not, he told us our prayers were being answered.
Kissing my baby goodbye
It was that feeling again, after all the paper work was filled out, and all the hustle and bustle was gone. That feeling of reality. The weight of what was going on. My 10 day old baby was about to go have brain surgery. That’s a big deal. I felt peaceful though. I was pretty overwhelmed, but it was a peaceful moment. I was scared. We each got to say our little goodbye to him before he was taken to the OR.
The waiting game
There were several of us in the waiting room. Myself, my husband, my parents, my brother. The TV’s were all shut off. I remember some of the lights being turned off. It seemed strange that the OR waiting room was so quiet. I realized that surgeries were only scheduled M-F. Saturday was for emergency surgeries only. Time pasted at a normal rate for me. It wasn’t super slow like I’d anticipated it being, but it didn’t fly by either. After a few hours the doctor came and updated us. He said surgery went well and we’d be able to go see him in about 30 minutes.
The waiting game was going to begin. It was all going to be about how quickly he recovered from surgery, when he’d breath on his own again, when he’d eat on his own again. We still had 3 other kids at home, and my husband was actually still a full time grad student with a grad student job (aka hourly pay). He wasn’t going to be able to miss a lot of work or school. How were we going to juggle all of this?