Waylon had surgery yesterday for what is commonly known as a “tongue tie” or ankyloglossia. It was something he was born with but had remained undetected until he was over a year old. We chose to have the surgery now because we were told that a) it’s no big deal and b) he is young enough that he won’t remember it later.
The thing about surgery being “no big deal” is that it’s always a big deal when it’s your toddler-baby being gassed and butchered by a meaty handed surgeon wearing crocs. It’s also really inconvenient.
For example: we left the house at 8am only to end up waiting until noon for surgery to actually begin. This meant four whole hours of distracting a whiny toddler who hadn’t eaten or drank since we stuffed him full of pasta the night before. Apparently operating rooms are always running behind. Who knew? (Austin) (I didn’t believe him).
The nurses were helpful. They brought out bubbles and coloring books and puzzles to help pass the time. Waylon was excited about BUBBLES because toddlers love BUBBLES like hipsters love juicing. At one point the entire room stood around to watch Austin blow bubbles while his son had mini panic attacks trying to destroy them. It was exhausting.
Nurse: “He’s never going to wake up after he goes to sleep!”
Me: THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE, WOMAN
Three bubble containers later, the docs came in and ordered pre-meds which is just a fancy way of saying they were going to make my kid drunk enough to carry away without him slitting their throats. It only took one tiny syringe of pink goo and Waylon turned into a college girl at her first party. Silly, slurry, and incredibly clingy. When he finally collapsed into my lap, he just sat staring straight ahead with a quiet grin on his face.
Austin: Look at him! He’s so cute.
Me: THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’LL EVER HOLD HIM!!!
Everyone says this about kids and surgery and it’s true: the moment you hand over your child to the doctor is the worst. My heart sank and my instincts told me to just take the drunk boy and run. It wasn’t the actual procedure that scared me, but the anesthesia. My mind raced to all the stories I’d read about allergic reactions and unexplained complications. The doctor said, “We’ll take good care of him,” but I could only smell his head and cry. It was hard.
And then we got cafeteria sushi and a frappuccino!
It was over in less than an hour. They found us in the waiting room.
Doctor: “Well, it’s over…”
Me: WHAT IS OVER? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? WHY ARE YOU MAKING A FACE?
We heard him before we saw him, held down by two nurses and screaming like a bobcat. They had warned us that some kids wake up very unhappy, but I’d survived colic so I wasn’t worried. Unfortunately bloody kids screaming in pain and hospital smells are two of my vasovagal triggers (fainting) so I had to leave the room to sit on the toilet and practice breathing. When I returned to the recovery room, Waylon was still writhing and screaming and Austin was still flustered and sweating.
All in all, it wasn’t great.
When we finally brought him home, our little survivor collapsed, slept for three hours, and then woke up to pudding cups and special sorry-we-cut-your-tongue bath crayons. He was pleased.
It was a long day, but we are glad our tongue troubles are behind us. Waylon is fine and we are fine. Everyone is just fine. Nobody died or lost control of their bowels or shouted at any innocent medical staff. I didn’t call Austin a jagweed when he mentioned I could maybe relax and he didn’t flinch when the nurses told him things he already knew.
If I have any advice about kids and surgery, it’s this: Xanax. Next time, definitely Xanax. And maybe a shot of whiskey. My mama heart is simply too fragile.