He's out, quicker than we thought. He'll be asleep for a long time, and on pain meds after that... but we're told it went well. They're x-raying him now to see how well the clip is placed on the valve, and to evaluate the effect it has on his lungs and ventilation.

I've got to figure out how to ride these low points. People stared at me for crying freely as I walked down the street, red-faced and hunched over from the incision. It throbs, this swollen patch of numbness.

A swollen patch of numbness. Not unlike the rest of me. Far removed from grace and shit-togetherness.

In the realm of preemies, this was routine. But it was the first intervention aside from the IVs and the medication and the stat-watching. The first time he was wheeled down the hall and away from us to a place where they'd breach his skin.

It got the better of me, the thought of it. And still so long to go.