Abigail, not even 1 week post operation.
Hooray! She is craniosynostosis free! But not just like that. It was a 7 hour surgery and a heart wrenching 4 day stay in the hospital. She is thriving! The Drs. did an excellent job on everything and she has never been happier or healthier.
It's nice to know she is comfortable now and not hurting like she was. She is much more of a happy baby now. The hardest part about this for me is trying to get used to looking at a new baby. For 8 months I grew to loving her just the way she was and getting to know all her little features. Those of which are gone now.
I miss the way she used to look. I don't miss her birth defect because it was causing her so much pain but I do miss the face it had that I learned to grow and love from the moment I saw it enter the world.
|Abigail's birthday: exchanging first glances.|
I get emotional having to think that I have to get used to this new little person and new face. All of those features seem brand new. I feel like it's bittersweet in that way. I feel like I gave my daughter away to the surgeons to get back an entirely different baby. She doesn't look like my little Abigail or act like her much at all. Those aren't bad things it's just... they are things I have to get used to. And re-learn how to love and appreciate them myself.
I guess another way to describe it would be, I feel like I lost a huge part of my little girl and I know I can never get back. (Not the birth defect) but the beautiful little person that came along with it. That is not to say that she isn't beautiful now she very much is. What I am saying is, I wish surgery didn't have to be the only option for her. I wish there could have been another option that would get rid of her birth defect that was hurting her and just that. That way, I would have been able to keep the face I loved to look down at when I nursed, sang lullabies to when tired, or wiped the tears from when she was scared.
I didn't realize the surgery was going to totally reconstruct the face I knew.
When I heard, "skull surgery" I expected just that.
Not a new face to go with her new skull shape.
It's not something I expected.
I find myself wanting to look back at old pictures of her just to make sure she is still who I brought home from the hospital.
It's all very emotional.
Hard to grasp.
Hard to take.
I lost parts of my daughter the 25th that I deeply loved. *Cue the crying*
I'm glad that the craniosynostosis is gone but I feel like my daughter has gone with it.
Now when I go to pick up this new child, and look her in the eyes... I don't feel like she is who God made her anymore. Which she isn't. So, I thank God that He did give her one thing that the Drs. could never take away...
There is this one tiny, barely noticeable white speckle in the very center of her pupil (perfectly normal, just like a birth mark.) That she has in her right eye. When I begin to feel my memories of her that I had diminishing and when I feel my familiarity distancing... I stare deeply into once was.
And I see her mark.
And I am reminded... that she is still God's. And she very much is still mine.
Parts and pieces of who she was are forever gone. But what is left is a reminder to me to not take one second with her for granted. Because, not one person is guaranteed another day on this earth. I am going to try to re-learn to love what I see. Embrace the changes. And enjoy who she is now:
A craniosynostosis survivor.