Friday, August 12, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time (on April 24, 2008), there was a very pregnant momma who snapped this picture a mere two hours before her second child was born.

She was very excited, as she and her husband already had one son, and they had waited until the birth to find out the sex of the baby. After the doctor announced it was a boy, there was nothing but smiles and happy tears.

Until there was news.

Life-changing news.

The mom was told that her precious baby son had Down syndrome, and was born with three heart defects that would require surgery in the first few months of life.

This was confirmed by his very first echocardiogram.

Over the next few months, the little boy did well. He ate well and slept well and never showed any signs of heart failure. The mom and dad took the baby to his beloved cardiologist every few weeks for x-rays, echocardiograms, and EKGs.

One of the heart defects (PDA) closed up on its own, but the other two (VSD, ASD) required surgery.

Finally, when the baby was five months old, the mom and dad left their 2.5-year-old son with the mom's parents and drove 2.5 hours to Nashville for the baby's heart surgery.

After a long day of exhausting pre-op tests and procedures,

The day came.

But another heart-baby was born in the middle of the night and needed more immediate care. So the family waited until the next day.

And the day came.

October 3, 2008

The momma handed her baby over to the nurse.

To get his heart fixed.

Several hours later, the surgery was declared a success.

But the first few days were rough.

There were complications.

And exhaustion.

And tears.

And the noises will never truly leave the mom's head:

The constant beeping of the machines.

The screaming from the unsuccessful nighttime blood draws.

The sobbing of the parents in the next room who lost their child.

It took days for the baby's sweet smile to return.

But things started to get better.

The mom and dad were even able to find some humor in their situation as they attempted to share a pull-out bed in the baby's room.

The mom nicknamed it the "bouch" because it wasn't really a bed, but it wasn't really a couch. She blogged and blogged and blogged.

And then, one day, the baby's smile returned.

And he even got to go to his very first concert in the hospital with many other Vanderbilt Children's patients.

Here he is, still hooked up to wires, "enjoying" Rascal Flatts:

Finally, the baby boy got the all-clear and they packed up to go home.

After a long ten days, they were back home.

The boy celebrated his first birthday the next spring.

Even then, almost seven months later, the scar was barely visible.

They continued to go to the cardiologist, and were given good news every time.

The defects are fixed.

The holes are patched.

Come back in a year.

A month before his second birthday, the momma had yet another boy and now the boy was not only a little brother but also a big brother.

And then the little boy turned two.

And they continued to receive the same wonderful news from the cardiologist.

The defects are fixed.

The holes are patched.

Come back in a year.

The boys all had another birthday and the mom and dad had a change of heart about wanting a fourth child.

Three boys was enough.

Their family was complete.

Just last week, the little boy, who isn't much of a little boy anymore (but will always be his momma's Baby B) went back to the cardiologist.

Can you guess what they heard?

You guessed it.

The defects are fixed.

The holes are patched.

Come back in a year.

I don't know about you, but that makes me sleep a lot better at night.

And it really makes me smile.


Muttering Mama said...

Hooooray for Happy Hearts!!!! xox

The Wood Family said...

Beautiful story! Beautiful boy!

But I have to admit, for a minute there, I thought you were announcing pregnancy news. Whew!

Amanda said...

We LOVE YOU B and Angela!!!!!!!!!!

Branton Family said...

I love the pic of him sleeping...just like Zach does. Wish they could do a sleepover. So happy for all of you! What a story...not at all what we thought a fairy tale would be...but ours nonetheless!

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

this brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy his heart is still going strong!

JILL et al said...

That little boy always makes me smile!

What a wonderful update! Sending all our love!!!

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

That was LOVELY!!!!!! And your boy is beautiful.

I love the pic of him pushing his little brother.

Mary Jo said...

So many emotions for me in this post! I remember each of these moments -that first text about B's arrival, waiting on heart surgery, and now such wonderful news "see you in a year!" Love it...what a beautiful boy and what a wonderful family you all are to share your journey with us. Love you my friend! MJ

Laura said...

I was so nervous reading that! I'm so glad everything is all smiles!!!!

Hallee the Homemaker said...

This was beautiful.