Thank you Cumberland River Review for publishing my church lady poem, Mrs. Smith
November. That is when I will hand my baby over to a surgeon so they can cut her open, right to her heart. I feel like snow white’s wicked stepmother choosing which woodsman.
I knew the cardiologists planned on her repair being at 6 months old but having a month planned (and soon enough, a day), hit me hard this week. Watching her sleep so peacefully in my arms, i try to tuck those images away in my mind for when she is in the hospital bed, hooked up to monitors in a web of cords, scarred right down her chest. I’m not ready for it.
I know what babies look like after heart surgery- I’ve seen enough pictures on the heart Mom groups (the only good and best use of social media, these support groups). I know what a baby looks like when she dies of CHD.
So it’s all been a little more than I should have taken on this week. Leaves me feeling almost like an animal in my physical need to protect Kit. I’m trying to pull out of it, find a day to day normal that is busy enough to keep my mind here and out of Winter.
We will start homeschool in a week, so we can take two months off for surgery. We are working on habits this week — chores and daily routines, an imposed order that can hopefully be a spine for the girls days when I’m not as there as I want to be. I’m looking at all the distant tragedies a lot less this week and keeping my eyes on what’s around me— small hands, baby curls, summer green.
I’ve been taking notes, wanting to return to poetry and I’m stuck in diagnosis and doctors notes and lists of possible problems. There’s words for it all though and I need to find them. Words for the NICU, the diagnosis and syndrome, the desperate sort of way she breathes even when sleeping. Her doctors say I’m doing so well. I think all you need to pass the mental health survey, given at every one of Kit’s appointments, is to not be willing to call it quits. I’d walk hot coals for this baby. Walk hot coals and eat them after! I’ll find the words soon I think, because I know there’s light here even if I can’t see where it’s coming from.