I’m sitting in the waiting room at the children’s hospital. The official name of this space is Day Surgery Waiting Room. However, at least four medical staff members have referred to it as the Parents’ Holding Room/Area. What a name! Like we are cattle waiting to be taken to our next stop. Holding us for or back from what? From rushing to our child? Holding us together as we nervously wait?
My husband and I are “holding” and waiting to hear how our daughter’s surgery is going. The computer screen on the wall shows that she is still in the operating room. I just came from holding her hands while the anaesthetist used a mask to put her to sleep. She cried the whole time, and it broke my heart. I have full trust in the doctors, and it is only a day surgery,
My husband has gone to get us some lunch. Yup. Cafeteria food. Fortunately, we are permitted to eat here, after hours of being in places where no food was allowed (and even if it was, we didn’t want to eat in front of our daughter, who has had to fast before surgery).
We’ve done a lot of waiting and holding in our journey with our daughter. Waiting over and over for the results of pregnancy tests, results of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF treatments. Waiting to be approved to adopt. Waiting to be selected by a birthmother as adoptive parents. Holding again when we had a match and then the birth mother had a change of heart. Waiting to be chosen again. Waiting for the meeting with the new birth mother. Waiting for our baby girl to be born. Waiting in prayer for the ten day revocation period to pass without a change in heart. Waiting for the final adoption papers to come through.
You get the picture. Lots of waiting. Lots of holding. Holding hands, holding and cradling, hugging and crying – happy and sad tears. Sitting here now holding hands with my husband praying that we have done the right thing by selecting surgery to fix a ptosis in one of our daughter’s eyes that may permanently affect her vision if left untreated. My mind fills with worries and what ifs. The blessings of her short life fill my mind, and I hold on to those as we wait.
The surgeon just came to give us the good news. The surgery went well! She is just waking up. Only one of us is allowed into the recovery room as she wakes. I glance at my husband with hope in my eyes. He sees it and I watch the sacrifice as he nods that I should go to her.
I cradle my precious daughter. Her eye is swollen and covered with a clear plastic eye shield. She is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to be in the hospital bed. The nurse asks if I would like to sit with her in my arms. Would I ever! I sit holding her and waiting for her to calm and go to sleep as I croon a lullaby. Waiting and holding. There is nowhere else I would rather be right now and nothing else I would rather be doing. Nothing. Yes, I’ll hold.