As most of you already know, Harper will be having another open heart surgery on April 3rd. We've known about it for quite some time...and for quite some time I've been able to think of it as an event far off in the future. But now it is less than a week away and I'm having to face the harsh reality that in 6 days, this is actually going to happen. I'm panicky and I'm terrified.
We've been keeping me and the kids in and away from germs as much as possible for a couple weeks now. We want Harper to be as healthy as possible and we certainly don't want the surgery postponed on account of sickness. I'm not going to lie, it's been kind of nice to stay in my little bubble. I do okay when I don't have to face anyone. When I can cry anytime I want. When I can hang out with my little ones and just focus on us.
It's when it's my turn to go to church that I really fall apart. It's when I hear Harper's surgery announced out loud at church, shocking me out of my denial. It's when I hear someone pray for her and I'm humbled with gratitude. It's when I see people I love, who I know love me and my family, and they are hurting for us. It's when somebody hugs me. It's when someone gives me that look...you know the forced smile and sad eyes. Those are the moments that make my head pound because I have to try so hard to hold the tears in, only to fall apart anyway.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Harper's heart was supposed to grow, and as it did, the residual hole would become more and more insignificant. That would have happened except for some muscle tissue that has grown in the area underneath her aortic valve, limiting the growth of that artery and causing it to start being blocked off. The pressure has been building and there is already a small amount of leakage from the aortic valve, indicating damage. If the tissue is not removed, the situation would become fatal. There is no less invasive procedure to do this, so another open heart surgery is required.
I don't want to bog you down with a bunch of medical stuff, so I'm going to be pretty vague. It is impossible to tell from the echo-cardiogram the exact location of this tissue. Ordinarily, this would be a very straight-forward surgery to go in, cut out the tissue, and get out. Unfortunately, our doctors are concerned that the tissue has grown over part of the patch that was used to close the holes in Harper's heart. If that's the case, the straight-forward surgery has now become seriously complicated, basically requiring them to redo what they did the first time in addition to cutting out the tissue. The surgeon won't know exactly what he needs to do until he opens her up. This possibility of the more complicated surgery is really what terrifies me the most and I'm asking, or rather begging, for your prayers on this. Please just pray that Harper will only need that tissue to be cut out and nothing else next Tuesday. I beg and I plead daily for this, but I need the prayers of others as well. I am desperately pleading that you specifically ask God to bless us in this way. I'm also praying that God's hand is all over the doctors and Harper on Tuesday, that He wraps us all in His loving and comforting arms, that He gives me peace and understanding, that He keeps Eli and Landon safe and happy while they are away from us, that we have competent and compassionate nurses, that Harper comes out of this surgery as her spunky and precious little self with no long-term effects or complications, that this PLEASE be the last time we have to go through this, and that God's will be done and He receive the glory no matter the outcome. I can't even begin to pretend that I understand this. I can't wrap my mind around the "why" of Harper's damaged heart. Satan works at my heart and my mind and he wants my worry, doubt, and fears to overtake me. I have struggled with this so much more this time around and it takes a real emotional, physical, and mental effort to just focus on the goodness of God...on His promises and His faithfulness, where I can always find peace and comfort.
There really aren't any words to thank you for your prayers. It is the very best thing you can do for us right now. I am really, really struggling with all of this and there is nothing that brings me more comfort and peace than to know that God's people are storming His throne on our behalf to pray for sweet Harper.