Thursday, October 29, 2009

On being the mommy of a heart baby

I thought today about something that I honestly haven't thought about in years.  Within days of Jay's birth, I was told by a team of Cardiologists that my son had Tetrology of Falot (TOF) and would eventually need open heart surgery.  It was a scary thought, but not something that could be taken care of immediately as Jay only weighed 2 pounds.

Just one day shy of 10 months later, I watched as my little boy was wheeled off to an operating room where he would spend the next 12 hours of his life.  I was scared, of course, but the lead up had been scarier.  Because of a hole and narrowed valve in Jay's heart, he was what had previously been known as a blue baby.  This meant that any time Jay got upset and started crying, he would turn blue from lack of oxygen.  Oh, the blue fits we had in the 10 months leading up to surgery.  It was so precarious a situation that Jay was never allowed to leave the hospital during this time.  I was beginning to think we would NEVER leave that hospital.

Two days after surgery, Jason was off of the ventilator that had been assisting his breathing for the majority of ten months.  Four days after surgery, he was only on 1 liter of oxygen.  A month later, I was home with my most precious of miracles.

The reason I'm thinking about my heart baby today, is because I follow the blog of a mom who has her own heart baby.  He hasn't been as lucky as Jay.  This little boy was born with SVT, a condition that sometimes causes his heart to race at over 200 beats per minute.

I was telling Micah about this other little boy today, and I told him I realized how lucky we were to have it so easy.  Mind you, 8 years ago I wouldn't have told you that 10 months of waiting for a 12 hour surgery were easy.  But as I've followed the journey this family has been on just in the past 24 hours, I realize our journey was simpler than most.

And now, at almost nine years old, Jay's heart is in perfect condition.  His cardiologist told me the last time he had an echo that if he didn't know Jay had a TOF repair he would have never guessed he had a heart condition.  The only tell-tale sign at this point are the wires that are visible in an x-ray.

While this journey hasn't always been easy, I can look back now and say that it wasn't so bad.  Nine years ago there were days when I felt like I walked through hell and back.  But today I realized, it doesn't matter how hard it was because I would have done it all ten times over, just to have Jay.

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