I knew there was always a chance it could happen again, but I didn't truly believe it would.
I hadn't unpacked from our trip to London in September so I didn't have much left to do once the kids had gone to bed on Tuesday night. I'd organised our train tickets, reserved our seats, sorted out accommodation at Weston House for Wednesday night and had been in touch with family services about accommodation for the rest of Martha's stay. I'd spoken to Isabella and Osh's teachers at school and said goodbye to everyone there.
In my head I was ready to go. I was ready to face this operation, to get it over and done with and begin the long road to recovery and getting Martha Grace ready to come back home.
When my phone started ringing and I saw the number flash on my screen - I knew what the call was for. My heart sank as I heard Adrian's voice and she broke the news. But there was no time to be upset, I had to bepractical and organise everything for the following week. Our train tickets needed re-arranging, my work and annual leave needed switching (as did Mark's) and I needed to try to sort out childcare for the following week - I went in to autopilot mode and just got on with it. Secretly relieved that I have another week as a family of 5 to enjoy before we're separated.
I've been asked a few times since the operation was cancelled in September and again this time "I bet you were annoyed" or heard the comment "Oh how awful for you" and "what a nuisance".
No I'm/ we're not annoyed
No it's not awful for us
No it's not awful for us
No it's not a nuisance
We chose to take Martha Grace to Great Ormond Street. As a specialist hospital and Heart & Lung centre they HAVE to take in emergency cases from other Hospitals on an ad-hoc basis.
What we are is grateful that our child can be treated at this excellent facility with first class Surgeons. Grateful that our child is treated in a Hospital where they will cancel elective procedures at the very last minute in order to treat a child who has suddenly become gravely ill.
Tonight a Mother and Father are bracing themselves to put their child through an operation tomorrow. I know they would do anything to trade places with us - that they wish their child was well enough that their operation could be postponed at the last minute...to not be the emergency case.
On Thursday as I watch Martha Grace playing with her pram and her dolly, as she sits down to eat her lunch with me - I'll be praying for the child who's been given Martha's slot. I'll be praying that their operation goes as planned and that it was a success.
Please hug your children that little bit longer today and always, know that up and down the country there are families who would do anything to have their kids at home refusing to eat their dinner and making a mess in their rooms.