This picture was taken an hour before Mimi got the call.
Here is Mimi getting in as much time holding Mia as possible before they take her away.
Dad even got to hold his sweet baby before she had to go.
Mimi is giving Mia a last minute pep-talk before the big event.
It will never matter how desensitized we get from all the tubes etc, but it will NEVER be easy to wheel our baby to the Operation Room. And even more for a transplant.
This is moments after Mia returned to the room. The first time we got to see her. She had a really great (low) heart rate and her saturation levels were on the money.
This is our baby Mia with her new Angel heart. She looks so great. Her new angel heart feels entirely different beating in her chest. She is pink, and beautiful!
Here Mia is after surgery. She is now giving Mimi a pep talk. Between the anxiety and stress of the surgery of Mia,for the loss that another family- who is suffering somewhere, and for all the other moms with babies still waiting here in Seattle, she has just been feeling ill. I think a good nights rest will do wonders. I think we have both experienced every emotion possible today. Mostly we are in awe at the miracle that took place, and that transplantation is even an option. We are so happy, and so relieved. We are so grateful to the donor family, and their willingness to give. Our nurse tonight gave some really good insight. She mentioned how wonderful a feeling it is for a donor family to know that even though having suffered a tragic loss, that part of their baby is living. Their baby's heart is alive and beating and will be doing so for years to come. She mentioned that it is healing for them to know magnitude of the gift they were able to give. This gift is something we will never take for granted! The healing effects of selflessness and service are always present.
An enormous thanks to all the nurses, surgeons, pilots etc who did a wonderful job today. It was touching as the doctors almost seemed giddy after surgery. They were so happy about the condition of the new heart and that there were no hangups. I know that they have to feel so much joy in giving such an amazing service to babies and in turn to couples like us. We waited so long, and we could tell that they are truly happy for our blessing today.
Here I am with my mom. Her mother/my grandmother, passed away today at noon, just a few minutes before our baby was out of the Operating Room. I didn't find out until tonight and I have had many different thoughts flood to my mind. The first of which is my wonderful grandma holding this sweet angel baby that has given Mia life today. Grandma was a true Christian her entire life. I know that she is watching from above. She was always so good at watching after us kids, I know she still is. I am sad to see her go even though she has declared for months that she was ready to go and to be reunited with Grandpa. She led a life that was filled with service to others, and I think that when she was unable to give any longer, she decided that she was finished with her work here. She actually cared for my grandfather for years, while he had severe Alzheimer's, and while she couldn't even walk without a walker. I can't believe she is gone, but I am happy she is in a place of rest. I know that grandma will hug a baby this day, as she will rejoice with her husband and son who have gone before. I know that grandma will stand by Mia's side along with other angels to give comfort in the days to come. (I was brought to tears a few days back when my sister Anne commented that angels were standing by Mia's bed), so I know they are there. Grandma will continue to live on through her family as we have all been influenced by her example. Love you grandma. Thanks for showing us the way. I can remember from the time when I was just a boy when you would tell me that one day I would be the one to pick you up in my arms and carry you when you were too old and weak to walk. I hope I did enough to carry you in your last days. I will miss you until we meet again.
As we head into the next and more rewarding leg of this journey, I have to thank all who have given so much support. I know that Mimi and myself have been moved to tears many times over by the wonderful and inspired words of others as you have made comments to us as well as on our family blog. We have rarely had to stand on our own through these tough months. There is no method to sufficiently express our gratitude, but I will say again, that the inherent good in people has become more and more evident. All of the family, friends and strangers who have lent their shoulder, words, prayers, time and efforts. You have changed us.