March 16th arrived quickly. On the night of the 15th Ava had to start fasting and wasn’t allowed to eat anything after midnight. Let me assure you – that’s not an easy feat with a fussy 3 month old baby!
We arrived at the hospital and they put her in her requisite blue gown, tracked her vitals and weighed her. Because we’d been in before for 2 CT Scans, we were becoming quite familiar with the BCCH waiting room, and protocols.
At 10am Dr. Steinbok came to get us and told us we could go back with Ava into the anesthesia area. From there we were told to hand her off to the anesthesiologist and go and wait in the waiting area. The surgery was scheduled to take from 4 to 6 hours.
After one hour, Dr. Steinbok came to get us and told us they were having some trouble getting the IV’s in and not to worry, it would just take a little while longer… I smiled a reassuring smile and went back to picking my nail polish. I took a book with me and read the same page 11 times. We wrote our names on the whiteboard and went for a robotic walk around the hospital. I bought a tea in the cafeteria and it sat beside me getting cold. I counted the number of blue scrubs that came through the waiting room doors, and we were in the high-twenties by 2 o’clock.
Finally, after 5 1/2 hours, Dr. Steinbok’s scrubs came through the doors. He said she was doing okay and the surgery went well. I remember sinking down into a red, vinyl chair (I don’t know why I remember that) and putting my head in my hands. I sobbed. Hard. For a long time. And then I hugged him. He told us they would come and get us in a few minutes and we could go and see her in the Post Surgical Recovery Room.