It’s 5 AM and I’m sitting up in bed having my first sip of coffee. I haven’t had much sleep, maybe four hours. I worked last night. Lindsay, who’s asleep next to me, has probably had less since she’s been up and down with Stella through the night. Stuffy, runny nose. Stella is scheduled for a fairly routine outpatient procedure to unblock a tear duct, but it does involve her being under general anesthesia for 10 to 15 minutes, which is the part that scares the hell out if me.
The procedure is considered elective at this point since it hasn’t caused any major problems other than perpetual tears running down the right side of her face. Blocked tear ducts are fairly common in babies and usually rights itself by one year. Her left eye is fine and has been for some time and though there has been very little infection in the right eye, which we’ve been able to treat with a simple antibiotic ointment, it could get worse and cause more problems. Problem is that the longer we wait the chance of infections increases and the success rate of unblocking on the first try decreases.
I’m afraid this father thing will never get easy. This feeling that your child is so vulnerable. So utterly dependent on your decisions.
It’s 8 AM and the anesthesiologist has signed off on the procedure. Her oxygen levels and heart rate is great. Lindsay is going in with Stella to be with her when they put her under but has to leave and wait with me until they’re done. It will be the longest 10 or 15 minutes ever. Lindsay’s mom has come done to be with us.
Lindsay tells us that Stella put up a struggle and started crying when they put the mask on and she was clinging to her but she finally goes to sleep. Tough little girl.
It’s about 10 minutes when the doctor comes out to us. We can’t tell anything from his expression. Lindsay asks if everything is ok and he smiles and says it went great. They’re waking her up and we can go see her shortly. He goes over what we need to do and we go in to get her. She’s crying, of course, but settles down quickly. Her right eye is goofy from medication but she looks great and is thirsty and tired.
It went great and I can feel my body relax knowing she’s ok. We’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to know for sure if was a success.
As the day goes in she rests a lot and is extra cuddly and all looks to be well. I love this little girl more than anything in the world.