So an early start so we can be on the ward for 7am and while Jenny & I tried to tip toe around the room, so as not to wake Evan - within a few minutes there was that wee voice 'hello mummy, hello daddy' and like any house once Evans up everyone's up - and that probably meant the rooms on both sides and accross the hall.
The early start was to enable blood matches to be made as he will need a serious transfusion during the operation, and with the help of 2 doctors a nurse and the both of us we eventually got the 5ml needed, after a lot of screaming and kicking.
And by 9:30am we were with the anestheticist who after putting a toy hippo, a toy octopus, a toy frog and Evan's bear Maurice to sleep, got Evan off to sleep very easily and without alot of fuss.
It was hard saying goodbye to Freya but leaving him sound asleep waiting to go into theater is never easy - but Maurice was with him, Maurice is a green and grey bear that Jenny had knitted for Evan before he was born and has been in every operating theatre with him since so he has seen alot and strange that he never looks for him at any other time but always looks for him in hospital.
The waiting is the hardest time any parent can spend, so we went for breakfast, went for a walk, went for coffee, got a call that we had a room in Ronald McDonald so we transfered all our stuff, made a few phone calls and it was still only 1pm.
We had been told the operation would take 4-5hrs so the mental maths the watch checking has me at PICU for 1:30pm - 4hrs on the dot - and then the thoughts start -
*did they mean 4 or 5 hours from the operation started?
*do they mean 4 or 5 hours since we left him?
*it was 9:30am so what time is 4 or 5 hours from then, redo the sums a couple of times, no still makes it 1:30pm or 2:30pm.
*and then the main thoughts - where is he, how is he, how can I distract myself so Jenny either doesn't catch on what I'm thinking or upset her - but that never works she knows me too well.
3pm - a call for Evan's parents he's in intensive care and settled - and so he is.
The Surgeon is there - happy with how everything has went and there were no problems, so it's now a waiting game.
Or phone call to Freya, finds she has fallen down at school as she wasn't looking where she was going when she was being chased by a boy, nothing new in that, but she told me his name - including surname which is something new, but I suppose now that she's 5....
A bigger difference from his last op, is now that Evan is a toddler with a far better understanding and a better ability to remove lines and drains and an understandable need to see either mummy or daddy when he does open his eyes for a few minutes, means the shifts have started.
So its 00:05, in PICU in Birmingham Children’s, Evan's settled at the moment, Northern Ireland have just beaten Greece qualifying for the Euros, Jenny's away back for a few hours sleep - and the Sister from Ireland who looked after Evan the last time is looking after the child beside him, calling everyone Betty and keeping a check on everything & everyone within a 50ft radius but no sign of the spirit level ;-)