Monday, April 18, 2011

Shadows of My Past

I think it is funny how much certain places can bring back such overwhelmingly strong feelings.

Whenever the Dancing Queen is hospitalized in her primary hospital, I have to walk by the ultrasound department to get to the peds floor. I walk over the  swirls the ultrasound tech sent me to walk over during my ultrasound of DQ to get her to move her hands. (She always had them over her heart.) The first time, my husband and I joked about the swirls. We thought the tech had sent us to walk on the squirrels.

I remember the jokes, but only after I get the painful reminder of the consultation room. Only after I remember lying on the table holding back tears when they said my baby was sick. I can't walk by those swirls without hurting from the memories. But in a cruel twist of fate, I must walk over those swirls frequently for my sweet girl.

Another similar place is my OB office. I had my annual appointment today. The entire time, I thought of how I used to sit there, trying to figure out how I would become the mother of a sick child. All of those fears and insecurities raced through me.

But more troubling was that I remembered myself before DQ in that waiting room. I could picture clearly who I was when I was pregnant with TRex and before the diagnosis with DQ. And I saw the huge change to who I am now. I'm not sure I like what stress, lack of sleep, and three plus years of constant worry have done to me.  But how do I change? Can I get back the woman I once was? Do I  want to?


  1. Oh how I can so relate to this post. I have a hard time sitting in my OBs office for my annual exams too. Except because I didn't know while I was pregnant with Logan that he had heart defects it is different. I sit there looking around at all of the other pregnant women thinking do they have a heart baby too that they are unaware of because of my OB office's practices? It make same angry.

    I don't think there is going back after what we have been through. I think we are forever changed by this journey. In some ways for the better and as you know fully well in some ways for the not so better. It is a journey for with our child and one we are on with ourselves ever evolving throughout it.

  2. Stefenie, I also wonder if the pregnant moms have a baby with a CHD, diagnosed or undiagnosed. I'm wondering if they are as lost as I was knowing their lives would never be as they imagined, searching for someone else who understood. While DQ was diagnosed in utero and I discussed everything with my OBs and my primary OB has a niece who had a heart transplant as a toddler, they still didn't have anything they could offer me. They didn't understand heart defects. They couldn't tell me who to talk to, they just didn't know. So, I wondered about that as well. Was the woman dressed in business clothes, accompanied by her husband, there to make an alternate birth plan? Did she desperately want to talk to someone who understood? I will never know and can only hope those women who do follow us, will find the heart community quicker than I did if they need it.

  3. No one likes the stressed-out, lack-of-sleep version of themselves. But don't be too hard on yourself! I did not know you back then, but I find you pretty fabulous now.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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