8.11.2014

moon river


It's almost been two months since Ivy's surgery and I have to remind myself that it happened because her recovery has been wonderful. Flawless, really. We were at Joann's yesterday, just me and Ivy and she was sitting in the seat of the cart, playing with stuffies and flipping through an elmo book when the lady who was cutting my fabric looked at her. "That's a mighty big scar for such a tiny baby." I was caught off guard. "Huh? Yes, right. Yes, she had skull/brain surgery a couple months ago. Now, I'll take two yards please." It was as easy as that. But often that prompts more questions. "What was wrong?" And in the past 8 months, since knowing about Ivy's cranio, I have summed it up rather well, "The plate above her right eye was fused prematurely so they (surgeons) went in and released the fusion while correcting the deformation that was developing on her left side due to her brain growing asymmetrically. It's called coronal suture synostosis." That's it, right? Now, where are the seem rippers? 

"You know, I have a scar too." The lady precedes to unbutton the top of her shirt to reveal a scar from when she had open heart surgery when she was baby. She shared all about it, and I listened. I wanted to know every detail. Because the greatest thing about all of this (all being Ivy's cranio/surgery journey) is when people listened to you share this experience. Really listened. Countless people, upon hearing about Ivy's condition, googled and researched and most likely scared themselves seeing images and learning facts, etc. I have had so many conversations over the past 8 months where people asked me how she was doing and then said "Yeah, I read that." Blew me away. How thoughtful. As not to bother me with those scary details that were in her future, they went and learned about it before talking to me. They just wanted to know how I was doing with it all, with a genuine concern for my mama-heart. 

I have started about a dozen posts about Ivy's surgery. Details, then personal reflection, then delete, then start again. It's hard to wrap it all up. It's hard to relive some of those moments, even if they were amazing moments, that intense rush of emotions floods my eyes instantly. As the days go by and were further away from the surgery, I still have a time each day where we are right back in the hospital, it's when I put her to bed and we sing.

I wanted to have an arsenal of songs to sing while in the hospital. I have songs that I sing to Avery, different ones for Eliza. For Ivy, I knew she wouldn't be able to see me for a few days, but I wanted my voice to comfort her. We grew pretty close in the months prior to surgery, because there were days when I just couldn't let go; days where it was emotionally easier for me just to hold her all day. I wanted my voice to calm her, so I added some songs and sang them to her nightly so that she'd associate them with home. One, her favorite, is "Moon River." Who knows why I started singing it, but I did and she loved it instantly. She'd smile through her binkie at me with those big blue eyes. I knew, it was our song. 

Moon river, wider than a mile // I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker // Wherever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters, off to see the world // There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same, rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend // My Huckleberry friend, Moon river, and me

If you know me, you know that parts that put a lump in my throat. The early days of June, I could barely finish this song without weeping, but with her in my arms it was cathartic. Wherever you're going, I'm going your way. I thought about if this surgery goes South, and we're left without a Ivy shaped void in our family, what then? How would we go on? And I thought about heaven, and that if she did go to her eternal home early, that I'd be "going her way" soon. We all would. And while the thought of heaven brings great joy to me, the thought of her earthly journey ending was too much to bear.

The beginning of the second verse, Two drifters, off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see. I thought about the adventures my mom and I went on, the travels and experiences we shared. We got to see the world, I want to see the world with Ivy. There's so much for her to see. I would pray that Jesus would let her see those things. Every night. I like to think of the rainbow's end, that no one can really arrive at on earth, as heaven. While we're after the same, rainbow's end, I want to be with her. That's all I wanted, was to still be with my Ivy. I would sing to her, kiss her forehead, pull her in a little bit closer every night before laying her down, and I'd come out to the front of the house to Ken who saw my red eyes he knew I had sang to her.


The afternoon of June 19 is up there with the greatest few hours of my life. When I got to hold her hand, as I couldn't hold her due to the IVs and such, and I got to sing Moon River to her, only on the other side of surgery. She'd fidget and clench my index finger and I'd say, "there's such a lot of world to see, sweet Ivy" and all was right in the world.



Ivy's 9 months old tomorrow. She's crawling, pulling up on her sister's bed, eating everything and wearing her scar well. She's quite a special little girl. Now, at night when I sing to her, I'll save "Moon River" to the very end and she'll sing with me. No other song but that one, she'll lift her head from where is was resting on my shoulder, look and me and smile. Then she'll start humming, or making noise of some fashion, but I know she's singing. It's easily my favorite part of everyday.


To those of you who have read all about Ivy on this little blog, I appreciate you. Your comments have been encouraging. You're listening to me with genuine hearts, so I thank you. Thank you for your prayers and support. I feel all too blessed to have been given this life, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share it through this outlet. So much love for each of you.

4 comments:

Carly Patterson said...

ivy is the luckiest!!!! i love you mama bird!!! xoxo

Sharon said...

She's your brave one, and you're her brave mama!

The Zaballos Family said...

Well I'm glad I didn't have my makeup on, this is so beautiful Mel, so real. I love you, what an amazing mom you are!! Those girls are blessed to have you!!

Courtney Landry said...

I'm all choked up! I'm so happy for you and Ivy!

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