To See or Not To See


Emmy is off bypass! Her heart is beating on its own!!!!!

Yesterday, it was determined that a surgical team would try and take her off bypass because she was bleeding. We were incredibly nervous. Last time she came off bypass, we ended up with 2 cardiac arrests and a very, very tenuous situation. One day, I’ll write about exactly what happened, but I can’t even go back there in my mind right now. I’ll put it this way — we almost lost her.

This time, she tolerated the move off bypass very nicely, and we had a beautiful night next to Emmy with her heart beating away at nice steady pace. Today, she is still sedated, and she is on a respirator to help her lungs. Overall, she continues to have steady progress in the right direction!

I’ve experienced many amazing things over the past week and, again, I’ll write about those at a later date. I’m still in a hospital room with her, and it’s difficult for me to really reflect on anything until we are home safe and sound.

But I’ll tell you a story from yesterday…

It was Charlotte’s 4th birthday, and her wish was to see her sister. Yikes. We hadn’t planned on having her see Emmy from the beginning of this journey because we were only supposed to spend a couple days here. But with the complications, Emmy’s stay got longer and longer. And Charlotte got more and more curious.

“Why can’t I see her?”

“Just send me a picture.”

“Put her on FaceTime.”

“I know she’s sleeping. I still want to see her.”

My gut told me that it was time she saw Emmy. We seemed to be doing more harm with all the secrets and avoidance. Charlotte has had a tough time the past couple days. She’s a girl who loves routine, so all the craziness has really had an affect on her. We tried to shelter her from it, but kids FEEL things. Probably better than adults.

Even though my gut told me to bring her in to see Emmy, my mind flashed back to a few days ago when my sister came to visit. Upon seeing Emmy, my sister fainted! I must tell you — it is difficult to see Emmy like this. It isn’t glamorous by any means. But here I was thinking, if my 28 year old sister fainted, did I really want to bring a 4 year old in to this situation?

Turns out that there’s a Child Life team at the hospital, and they’re excellent. They prepare kids for seeing their siblings in this state.

So for Charlotte’s birthday wish, I brought her to the hospital to see her sister. The wonderful woman from Child Life helped ease Charlotte into it. Before we went in, she gently asked questions about how Charlotte was feeling and described the contraptions that we would see in the room.

When we entered Emmy’s room, Charlotte’s eyes immediately went past all of the machines and landed straight on her sister’s sweet face. She was quiet, taking it all in.

After a few minutes, the Child Life specialist asked, “I see you’re looking at something, Charlotte. Do you want to tell me what you’re looking at?”

Charlotte nodded slowly and then said, “My baby sister Emmy.”

She barely noticed all the machines. She only saw her sister. It was beautiful.

We went into the waiting room to give Charlotte her birthday presents, and throughout the afternoon she kept asking to return to Emmy’s room — to see her baby sister.

26 thoughts on “To See or Not To See

  1. I’m so thrilled to hear of Emmy’s progress and of Charlotte’s wonderful perspective. I continue to think of you all. Jennie Rothman

  2. Beautiful! Thoughts and prayers for Emmy, you, your family and everyone taking care of all of you from MD and from every other WS Mommy who has been anxious to hear your good news.

  3. I can’t wait to see Charlotte and her baby sister Emmy across the street. I’m so glad it went well and we will continue to pray for such progress!!

  4. I am on pins and needles to hear how Emmy is each day. How precious Charlotte was with her. Your blogs are magical. Bless all of you!

  5. First you are such an amazing Mom and have such a wonderful team to stand next to you or behind you when needed. My eyes just fill up with tears everytime I read one of your posts. We are praying for everyone. I have 3 sisters and love them dearly but don’t think I’ve ever loved them the way you describe Charlotte and Emmy. Many prayers and hugs sent your way.

  6. this made me cry…it is so beautiful. if only we could see with childrens eyes the world would be a much better place
    love to your awesome family

  7. Bless her!!! And bless all the children born with this.And Cheers to All You Parents who do a Great and not always easy Job that make all your Sons And Daughters to be Great members of sociaty.We love you ALL!!!!

  8. Hi Vanessa, I am following your sweet Emmy’s journey. I am a childhood friend of Erin Healey and have a little one of my own. Your family is so strong and your little Emmy is amazing. Sending positive vibes your way from Rhode Island- stay strong!

  9. I somehow missed this post so thank you to Erin for re-posting on FB, and thank you Vanessa for sharing your story with us. Children never cease to amaze me with their clarity and honesty. I’m so glad you followed your gut and took Charlotte to see Emmy. I’m sure that was not an easy decision for you and your husband to make, and it took a lot of courage to trust your instincts. Happy Birthday Charlotte! I’m so glad your birthday wish came true πŸ™‚

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