As you sit in the waiting room after the anatomy scan thrilled that you will be welcoming a baby girl, you know in your heart that something is wrong. Your doctor will enter the room to go over the ultrasound results and again it’s clear something is wrong! Things will become blurry around you and all you can see is a doctor pointing to a list in her hand and trying to point out all of the positive things that they saw in the ultrasound. And then, finally, she reveals the results that she too has been dreading. “Something is wrong with the left side of your baby’s heart.” After this moment you won’t hear much else from the doctor. She continues to talk however things are sinking in and it hits you that your baby may not make it. Tears began to flow and your husband wraps his arms around you to try and comfort and console you. You take a few minutes in the room to compose yourself as the only way out is through the waiting room full of happy, expecting Moms. Once having a few moments to gather your thoughts, you know this is the time in your life that you have to really act on your faith. This is not a time to just say the right things, this is the time to really believe that God is in control and knows what is best for your child. Once you turn over your worries and your concerns to Him things will become much more peaceful throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Over the next five months you’ll do your best to become an expert in hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Advocating for your child will begin before she’s even born. You’ll research numerous hospitals to ensure that wherever it is she is born they can provide the best care possible. You will learn to navigate the insurance system, which by the way is a nightmare!
On August 4, 2015, you will learn how strong you really are. You will deliver a child with a life-threatening disease, yet you will have the ability to laugh and enjoy your labor. (Epidurals are a wonderful thing!!) When it’s time to push, the room will fill with medical staff. You will have a NICU nurse come to your bedside while you are pushing and tell you that after your daughter is born they will be taking her to the NICU. Your mama bear instinct kicks in now and with heavy tears you insist that you will get to hold your child before they take her, as you were promised you would have this privilege.
Throughout the next four months of your child’s life you will experience her first two open-heart surgeries, watch her come far too close to death, become her at home nurse and learn how to meet every medical need she has.
As time goes on you will learn to let her be a “normal” child. You will still put your hand on her chest repeatedly through the night to ensure that she is breathing, you will still pay attention to every little detail of your daughter to ensure that she looks ‘right’, that her coloring is good, that her breathing is at a normal pace and so on. With God’s peace, you will learn to live in the moment and not think about what is to come.
You will see firsthand that you have family and friends, including your new heart family, who will always be there.
You will know that God chose you to be her mom and you are a better person because of it.
Guest Post Written by Molly Audetat. She is 32 years old and the mother to two beautiful children Abel (4) and Aja (2). Molly grew up in Texas and moved to Iowa after falling in love with her amazing husband, Zach. She has a degree in social work and works as a case manager for those with disabilities in Iowa. Molly loves all the roles God has given her in this life, including being a Mom to a heart warrior.