My baby girl is turning two in a few days and I am filled with emotion. This is my last baby and she’s growing up so quickly. But it’s more than that. A few weeks after her birthday Allison will be going in for Chiari decompression surgery and it terrifies me. We made the decision to go ahead with the surgery, but the closer we get, the scarier it becomes. I am so afraid I’m going to lose my baby girl. What if this is the last birthday we celebrate with her? It is a completely morbid thought, I know, but it is my biggest fear. I can’t imagine life without her and the fact that there’s a possibility when we hand her over to the doctors in July is mind-numbing.
I completely broke down tonight when I had to explain to my eight year old why I wanted her to stay home from her father’s and spend a few weeks with Allison. Her innocent and naive mind couldn’t grasp that there was the possibility that Allison wouldn’t make it past her second birthday. I had to explain that things sometimes happen during surgery and there is always the risk of death. I had to tell her doctors are human and humans make mistakes. I had to make it clear to her that even if Allison did make it through surgery, she could come home a different person. While Allison is tough, she is also so sweet and lovable, you can’t help but grab her and kiss her because she melts your heart. It was something she just couldn’t grasp, and honestly, neither can I.
My sweet Allison is only going to be two. We should be planning fun adventures for the summer not preparing for surgery and what may happen after. What happens if she’s a different child? She is one of the strongest little girls (or boys) I’ve ever met. She will tell you how it is, demand what she wants, and take a hit, get back up and keep on running. While not always the easiest and best traits for a child to have, knowing her strength makes me feel a little better. Her personality is so unique to her, if it changes, we will be losing a piece of her. I cried after my conversation with my oldest daughter. I kept asking my husband if we were making the right decision, even though I know we are.
The loss of a child has to be the most unbearable thing a mother can face. My mind won’t even let me go there because I become physically ill trying to prepare myself for the worst-case scenario. I think I would just crumble and never be right again. These women that I’ve seen go through this, continue to take care of their other children, be productive members of society, and all-around good souls, amaze me. They’ve overcome something so awful and come out the other side stronger and more resilient. I can barely make it through the thought of something happening to her, so I know that wouldn’t be me.
Our original plan was to wait another 18 months before moving forward with surgery so there was less of a chance of her needing a second surgery. However, my husband and I both agree that she can’t wait that long. She’s in pain every day. She is miserable more often than happy. What kind of life is that for a little girl, a baby? I’m terrified about surgery, but it needs to be done. This was not a decision made lightly.