Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, Post Surgery

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

(Lk 1:46-55)

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Before I get started, I want everyone who reads this to know that I attached pictures of Viv to this post surgery.  It may be hard for some people to see her with all her tubes.  In my eyes, she looks more beautiful! The pictures showcases her strength and the hope we have in her to fight through this.  I can't stop telling Viv how proud I am of her. :)

At 10:34 this morning we were told that the first incisions had been made on Vivian.  I was still in shock after wheeling my baby down from the room I had been holding her in just hours before to hand her off to the doctors.  No one can explain to you the love you have for your child until you are living it.  My heart has literally been outside of my chest since we welcomed Vivian into this world last week, and it will be this way now until FOR-EV-ER.  Giving her away to the doctors was a moment I will never forget--and it is one we will experience a few more times with her.  My mom always says 'you don't get the ticket until you arrive to the station' and I lived that today.  Although tears poured down my face and I could barely get out the words, "I love you" a peace fell over me and took over my body and I felt no fear.  I felt this same way the day we found out about Vivi's heart--I knew that peace was God speaking to me securing me to the truth, "it is all going to be ok" because He is here.  Sitting in the waiting room praying with Rod, I knew with every being in my body my baby was ok.  She is a fighter, and has such a strong soul that I knew she was going to come out of this surgery as a Champ.  An hour and a half went by and the surgeon's assistant walked in.  "Vivian is a Rock Star back there.  She is doing so great, we couldn't ask for better"  Exhaling for the first time, I sat on Rod's knee and snuggled in close--I knew it!  I knew she could do it.  I knew she has the strength to do so well.  Another couple hours and the nurse came in--the surgery was finished.  Viv did awesome, but the hardest part was yet to come.  She had to ease off the heart and lung bypass machine to "living" on her own.  Another hour went by and when the nurse opened the door smiling, I knew we were finished.  She did it--she did all of it perfectly.  I smiled a smile I never have smiled before.  She did it.  The anticipation was over.  My insides were singing praise to God "My soul proclaims the greatness of your love oh Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!"  The words of Mary reverberated inside--our hearts had been linked all day and the joy I was feeling she was feeling with me.

Like I have mentioned many times, Mary has been so close to me, especially Our Lady of Sorrows.  This morning I woke up curled up on the Lazboy Vivi sleeping soundly in my arms and they had changed the time we were going to send her back.  I was thankful, but anxious at the same time.  I knew what was coming, and I knew I couldn't stop it.  I knew Viv knew too....poor thing cried a cry I have not heard throughout the night and there was no consoling her.  It was as if her little soul knew what was on the agenda for today.  I kept thinking about Mary--how she had to wait and watch Jesus suffer.  As a mom, as much as I wanted to take her place and take away all the pain she would be going through, I couldn't.  She had to do it.  I felt Mary standing with me, hugging me, crying with me because she felt the same with Jesus dying for all humanity.  Obviously I don't know what God's plan is for Viv.  I do know that although it seems that there wasn't "the miracle" of her heart being healed, I know there are miracles that are happening that I see, but the ones I love the most are the ones I don't see and I know they are happening.

Two very interesting things happened today that were little smooches from God saying he is here!  Tomorrow is the anniversary of my grandpa's death.  He had a great devotion to St. Therese of Liseux.  He called her "his girlfriend" and rightfully so after she would grow roses in his backyard in the winter :)  I told him after he died that he would have to find me a husband.  Rod is not only similar to my grandpa, but he is also related on his mom's side to St. Therese.  Coincidence?  I think not at all!  Hand picked, more likely ;)  My mom received a phone call from my dad today while we were waiting for Vivi to complete her surgery.  He has just received a card from a family friend that offered masses for Vivian from St. Therese of the Little Flower Society.  What an affirmation that grandpa is rootin' for Viv, but that he is also roping St. Therese in as well.

A few weeks ago I had a dream that Rod and I were driving in a van with our 5 daughters.  For some reason there were 2 of the girls that stood out more--one was a sandy blonde hair girl and the other was a dark haired firecracker.  The blondie was Vivian and the dark haired one was named Audrey,  When Vivi was born and had all the dark hair she has, I thought about this dream and thought maybe Audrey was Vivi's guardian angel, and I got the physical appearance messed up in my dream.  Today a family friend's sister who works at Children's stopped by to visit us while we were waiting.  She brought with her a very special gift, a rosary that was her mom's.  Recently, her mom passed away and this rosary was the rosary she was using while she prayed as she died.  Touched by this selfless gesture, I asked her what her mom's name was so I could always tell Vivi about her special angel in heaven that she would have close to her with this rosary.  Much to my surprise, the answer was Audrey.

We are so blessed by all the prayers that have been storming heaven in our behalf.  Viv definitely jumped a HUGE hurtle today by getting through the surgery.  The next 48 hours are crucial in the recovery process so don't give up the prayer intensity yet :)  My prayer is that the doctors are wise as they assess each situation, that the nurses are compassionate and well trained, the Vivi continues to fight hard, and that her liver redirects itself and is a non-issue.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the prayers and all the love.  I am floating on them.


  1. Maria did they do the Norwood procedure?

    1. Hey Amber! Sorry to have missed you on the phone! The Norwood is complete--she was a ROCK STAR! She is taking her time on this recovery bit, but we are not worried. We are praying for a slowed and steady heart rate and a steady blood pressure to begin to take off lines. Thank you for your support and prayers!

  2. I am choking back the tears in such RElIEF! Go vivvian! I knew you could do it. I could feel it yesterday when i held you. Maria, still praying for you all .... Still have the girls hard at work. ;). Love ya.

  3. i saw your photos on loft3pd today (first I've heard of Vivi) and have been praying all day. I had to check in on your sweet little angel today to make sure she was ok after surgery- continued prayers. Stay strong Vivi and mommy and daddy.

  4. I had to check on Vivi too! She's a beautiful girl and sounds like a feisty little fighter. Good for her (and you)! Our 5 year old daughter is named Vivian, and we call her Vivi and Viv too, just like you. We chose her name after my husband's grandmother and because it means full of life/alive. We lost our first daughter when I was 38 weeks pregnant, so I needed our daughter after her to be spunky and full of life. Our daughter had a full head of jet black hair and has more personality than 10 girls! You chose a wonderful name, and I'm sure your Vivian will be running your house soon.

    I also wanted to tell you that we know 2 little girls who have been through the heart surgeries, all 3 surgeries done at CCHMC, and they are doing well and living normal, healthy lives. Both are almost 5 years old!

    I will continue to pray for Vivian, I have a special devotion to our Blessed Mother as well. I know She hears our prayers!