March 30, 2009

Our Warrior Princess (the beginning)

It has taken me along time, almost a year, to get to this point, where I am finally ready, willing, able and anxious to let everyone know where I have been. I’ve been on the road less traveled. On the path no mom, no parent wants to be. I’ve been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. To the valley of deep shadows and then soaring way above the mountain tops. I’ve been changed for good for bad but most definitely forever. I have added a new title to my list of "I am’s" ~ I am now a heart mom. I knew but I wasn’t able to live it live online as it happened to me. I needed to look inward, to retract. To focus. To prepare. I put it in a private handwritten journal, I put it in earnest prayer to God, I put it in many tears on my pillow, in songs to my baby, in research and reading and long talks, hugs and occasional meltdowns with my husband. But now I am ready to share some with the world, with you, because you are moms and parents too, and for the other heart moms out there like me, who I’ve received hope from in reading their personal stories and for the heart moms to be and for our babies who so courageously face what no child should have to face, for their strength and will to live and survive, I now share some of my story.

My life changed, on a beautiful spring day just like today, April 28, 2008 to be exact. My family, husband and kids went to the doctors office to meet our baby for the first time on ultra sound and maybe, maybe not, find out the babies sex. We were thrilled! It meant, seeing our little peanut on the screen, watching it wiggle, counting all fingers, all toes, two legs, two arms, and a button nose. But then, a pause, some silence, some confusion and uncertainty, one doc, then another, lots of s i l e n c e with a little running around. Then finally, the news, as my husband and I looked at each other in disbelief, in love, in pain, in strength, in uncertainty, in unity and devotion they said it: "Something maybe wrong with your little ones heart". Whoah! What?! That hits you like a ton of bricks. Like the earth falls from under your feet. Like your life, and dreams flash before your eyes. Like you get the wind knocked out of you. Like your in daze. Like you want to wake up. Like you don’t know who you are? Or who you’ll be? Like your to weak and scared to face this. Like you want to know everything and you want to know it NOW! Like you just want to cry but you remember your in an office and your kids are with you and you don’t want to make spectacle of yourself but they just told you that something maybe wrong with your babies heart!! Their heart!! That same little heart you heard beating so beautifully just weeks ago. Their heart. Your heart. Our heart. It hurts. You feel it. It’s broken, both of yours.

But how? Why? What did they mean? What was it? Could they be right? Is it just a bad angle or picture? Were they being overly cautious or precautious? Did my baby have chance? Should I get my hopes up? Would I still get to meet the precious little being I had already fallen head over feet in love in with? I wanted them to tell me everything, explain all the details. Or tell me it was no big deal, routine, a piece of cake, a walk in the park. Give me some hope - something. But all they said, was that they could not get a good enough picture of the heart and they needed to send us to a pediatric cardiologist for a fetal echo. You know how long I had to wait with the torture of not knowing? Two very loooooong weeks! Why? On the same morning I found out the news about my baby that day at noon our insurance decided to cancel their contract with the Obgyn office and hospital I had been receiving care at. So instead of getting in to see the specialist in two days like they had promised, I was now without a doctor, specialist nor hospital. I had to start over from square one, finding a new OB who would care for me, and finding my way alone frantically trying to find someone who would do the fetal echo we needed, SOON, so I could get some something, some info, some piece of mind, the truth. This, although very frustrating at the time, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In the meantime, I didn’t understand how this could be happening to me? To us? To my baby? We were the picture of perfect health. No family history of heart problems. Took all my prenatals, never had one drink, have never smoked, or ever tried any drugs. I’m so anti-drug I even delay as long as possible taking a Tylenol when I have a headache. I have birthed both my children naturally, no epidural, pure raw earthly mother power. I’ve given birth in water. Am into green healthy living. I am strong, young, pure, as is my husband. How? How could this be? And so this is where our journey into the unknown world of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) began. For now, here is a picture of my princess at one month old, her first time home, in a birth announcement I created. Meet Alexa Brianne, our beautiful warrior princess …

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