It was exactly six months ago when Dylan had open heart surgery. He was 4 months old.
This was the surgery that was meant to repair his complete AV canal defect. However, once the surgery began, an additional, and extremely rare defect called an AP window, was discovered.
The actual surgery took about 8 hours. We were told that because Dylan had been on the heart/lung bypass machine, as well as being put on cardiac arrest for so long, that his recovery was going to be quite difficult. We were told that Dylan's lungs did not "look good" and he was in "very very critical condition".
We were scared. This didn't sound optimistic. But as the days passed, more and more tubes and wires were removed. Dylan was taken off of the ventilator. He was recovering! And recovering quite well, I might add!
On day 6 we were surprised yet again. This time it was an omentum hernia that required surgical repair. Eh, a minor set-back in the big scheme of things, I'd say. Once that was taken care of, he was on the road to recovery once again. And this time, it was the fast-track.
Dylan was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for a total of 9 days. He came home with some Tylenol, Lasix, and instructions on how to pick him up properly. We were told that it would take up to 6 weeks for his ribcage to fuse back together. We were careful with him and he seemed comfortable.
I remember being home with him then and thinking, "He's here. He's fine! And we are fine, too. We did it. I can't believe we did it!".
The day of Dylan's surgery was not an easy time, to be sure. Probably the most difficult day of my life, actually. But you know what? We got through it. And we came out of the experience even stronger. And with even more love than before...we learned just how fragile life can be.
It's funny...part of me feels like this all just happened yesterday, but yet another part of me feels like this was a lifetime ago. I think I am different now. I feel like I have changed, somehow. Like I am all the better for it. And stronger, too. All because of Dylan.