“Close Your Eyes”

blue eyesHe walked into the surgical suite hand-in-hand with the anesthesiologist.

Lifted onto the table, he was wrapped up warmly in a blanket.

I stood by him so I could look into his beautiful eyes and soothe him. I held his hand and told him he was going to be ok.

The lights, so bright, they bothered both of our eyes. I told him to close his.

I know how hard that is, to close your eyes, because then you can no longer see what’s happening, you hate to give up what little control you have left.

I smelled the anesthesia. I hate that smell.

It’s one of those scents you can’t describe until it’s there and then you know exactly what it is.

Like chemical bubble gum in a plastic air mask.

I was worried that if I leaned in too close to him, I might breathe it in too and pass out right there on the floor.

Just the thought of that disoriented me for a second, because my mind immediately sprung into panic mode, thinking about what might happen if I couldn’t be there for him.

He tried to fight it. He wriggled and wrestled to get away from it. I tried even harder to keep his eyes trained on me, to stay in his sight so I would be the last person he saw.

I always think about that when I go under.

It’s the nurse who holds my hand or rubs my arm or looks into my eyes to assure me I’ll be ok, that she’ll be there when I wake up.

That’s the last thing I see and the first thing I remember when I come to.

It’s comforting. It’s better than the bright lights.

“You’re going to be ok,” I whisper into his ear.

“Mommy loves you.”

Kiss on the forehead.

He’s out.

I walk away on rubbery legs.

Breathe. Repeat.

Then wait in anguished anticipation.

And pray that my baby will be ok.

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