I knew we would see the ventilator, our not so good friend from her NICU days. I knew we would see IV lines (a peripheral IV, a femoral arterial line, and a femoral central line at the least). I was prepared for the chest tube (although I thought it would be smaller in diameter, more like the one she had for a collapsed lung after she was born).
I was ready to see an ng tube and a Foley catheter. I knew that there would be pacing wires attached to her heart and fed through her incision to pace her heart. I expected to see a large gauze patch that covered a huge (if not gaping) incision.
As I walked through her doorway I was shocked to find a sweet little girl who looked absolutely wonderful. I had expected much, much worse than what I saw.
She really looked good. A few hours later, after we were settled, Rebekah’s nurse laughed a little and told us that not many parents are excited about how good their children look after surgery. We really were.
The day after surgery we were still busy being astounded by how good she looked when Greg Padrutt, the physician assistant, came by to take out the chest tube and pacing wires. When he tugged the wires free, her heart skipped a beat (and I’m pretty sure mine did too!) and then went right on ticking. He also took off the gauze and we got our first glimpse of her incision.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The incision looked like just a tiny marker line drawn down her chest. In a few years, it will probably be hard to notice at all. Whether we can see it or not doesn’t matter to me. It’s a beautiful little line and behind it lies an amazing little heart.
Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.