"How soon would you like to schedule Tatiana's procedure?"
"Um, would you like me to bring her in today?" I responded - half joking, half serious.
"How about next week? Would Thursday work for you?"
I almost jumped out of my seat from the sheer excitement of the news. We've been waiting for this surgery for quite a while now. It’s the one that would close up her colostomy and hopefully, allow her to poop like any other normal kid. What exactly is a colostomy? Well, a colostomy is an abdominal opening that is created by bringing the intestines out through the skin and then sewing the intestine to the skin to create a stoma, or a little opening that in this case, provides an outlet for Tatiana’s poop. It’s funny how we can take those bodily functions for granted; at least I never gave it much thought before Tatiana was born.
When we first discussed how long Tatiana would have her colostomy, we were working off of a 4 to 6 month timeline. Back then, I felt like that was going to be an eternity. I thought "Well, it could be worse. Some kids have to have their colostomy for life. Who am I to complain about a couple of months?" That thought has become something of a mantra in those times when I feel like I just can't do it anymore. And even then, I'm embarrassed by those moments of frustration because they remind me of how weak and shallow I can be. Things could be worse and yet, in those moments of frustration, I feel like this world is caving in around me. I try not to think about what must be going through people's minds when they see her little pouch of baby poo. Sometimes, the comments are cute and harmless: “It looks like split pea soup” and yes, sometimes, it does. But it’s those silent stares that I wonder about. They don’t bother so much anymore, but I still wonder.
We had originally scheduled this same procedure for some time back in December, but if this past year has taught me anything, it's that I should always be open to rolling with the punches. The surgery was postponed back then because Tatiana needed another surgery that we hadn’t quite planned for. Thankfully everything turned out fine.
I’m looking forward to the surgery. I’m nervous, excited, and anxious.
I think about all of those moments when I’ve had to change Tatiana’s colostomy bag; I think about those moments when I’ve sat there staring at my hands, covered in my daughter's blood and crap, and I can’t help but think back to those first days in the hospital. After so much of the same - blood, crap, sweat, and tears - we welcome the change. We've come a long way, and we have much to be thankful for.