Sometimes time stands still for me.
It will occur in a moment where I am doing something very random - then suddenly I see the distinct curvature of her back - and I am hit with the "what if's" - the "I missed somethings".
Or I'll catch a glimpse of her zipper scar, the difference in the color of the skin compared to the perfection that surrounds such an agonizing scar.
Time stands still. I see my life flash before my eyes.
I worked too much.
I should've forced her to wear the brace - even though her ever changing abdominal distention would've made it horribly painful for her.
I remember those two beers I had 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant with her. - Did I cause this?
You'd think I'd be far over this by now - she's going on 10.
Truth is - it just doesn't happen as often.
But those memories - those feelings of guilt or regret - they never go away when you have a child like my Alex. You will spend the rest of your life second guessing every move you make in regards to their care.
You've been entrusted with the survival of this child - and haven't we all? We all are responsible for our children's survival - be them sick or not - but this is a special kind of survival.
I don't even have the word to describe it. But if you live this life you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
It's like this - you know your their Mother but your first and foremost their doctor. No I am not kidding. I am first and foremost her doctor. I had to be. I've learned the ability to diagnose her - with about a 95% accuracy - even with an ear infection. How? Because I had to. I prescribe the treatment, sign the papers allowing the treatment, just other people who learned how to cut do the physical work of it.
I have often longed to just be her 'Mother'. I'll never just be her Mother.
And after a decade of doing this I can tell you this one thing.
Even though you feel time stops (and it kinda does - spend some time in a pediatric ICU unit - You'll find out) - Life Goes On.
She goes on. I go on.
Once that surgery is over, you'll go home, they'll grow, and there will be instants of time that stand on the edge of a knife that remind you of that moment you handed your baby over to some dude in a lab coat who's going to cut open their chest and reroute their heart and it's vessels plumbing.
Another surgery will come, you'll exist in fear for appointments. Always waiting for the shoe to drop.
But LIFE will go on.
And before you know it - they're 9 going on 10 - with a 50° degree scoliosis curve, a shotty liver and jumping on couches like they don't have half a heart.
So I urge you to remember in those moments that time stops to remember the first laugh, or first roll over, or their first tooth falling out.
Remember the first time they turned purple as all get out yet ran back to you like it was nothing for them.
Remember those moments and remember that life will move on.