Preparing for Baby’s Surgery
In two weeks, my 10-month-old baby boy will be having open heart surgery. We’ve known since the day after he was born, then diagnosed with a large VSD, that he was likely going to need surgery to repair it. After months of monitoring his progress, the definitive decision was just made one week ago to move forward with the surgery. It took no time at all to get scheduled, and now, after 10 months of waiting, I feel like the surgery itself has caught us by surprise.
My husband and I spent hours in bed last night thinking of all the questions we don’t yet know the answers to. We know he’ll be in the hospital for at least four days, but what will his recovery be like after he’s discharged? When will he return to his normal self? When will he be able to return to the child care center? How do we prepare our older daughter? When can she visit him without getting freaked out by all the tubes and wires connected to her baby brother? Will we need lots of babysitters, or will we be able to manage it ourselves by tag teaming? Will we want visitors in the hospital, and if so, when? Do we bring his own food with us on his 8-hour pre-op visit or will he be fed there, or unable to eat? Will he need his own clothes while he’s in the hospital? How soon after surgery will we be able to hold him?
I’m sure we’ll get answers to many of these questions when we meet with the surgeon this week, but some of the best advice on these sorts of question — and the dozens more I’m sure I haven’t thought of yet — comes from parent who have been there themselves. So if you’ve ever had a young child in the hospital and have any advice at all, please, please , please share.