Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Mother's Days

On my first Mother's Day as a mother, I was five months pregnant. I felt like my life was just beginning. I was excited. I was scared. I was beyond happy. Best of all, the Editor and her family were visiting us and we got to spend time with all of them.
The Mad Scientist on my first Mother's Day with our nephews.
My second Mother's Day was stressful at first because we couldn't get reservations, so the Mad Scientist sat at the restaurant holding a table for 6 by himself for an hour before I came with baby TRex. Then the 3 of us sat for another hour waiting for my parents and grandma to show up.  All the while, we received the evil eye from the wait staff and others. In the end, we enjoyed the time together.
Me holding TRex for my grandma on my second Mother's Day.
My third Mother's Day was a joyous day. The Dancing Queen had been born two months earlier. My family had been torn apart for two months. TRex was 17 months old and couldn't fathom what a sister was, let alone a sister he had never met. The Mad Scientist and I were constantly torn between home with TRex and the hospital with the Dancing Queen. We had watched her live off a ventilator for a month. We had gone through her first heart catheterization, her first major heart surgery, her second heart catheterization. We saw her improve and then get desperately ill again.  But, the Thursday before Mother's Day, our sweet girl was released from the hospital and came home. It was the best Mother's Day gift ever. We were a family, all together.
TRex meeting DQ for the first time, just before my third Mother's Day.
My fourth Mother's Day was spent with the family again at home.  Just as the year prior, the Dancing Queen had just had surgery. We spent three weeks split between home with TRex and the hospital with DQ. It was harder because TRex knew his sister by then. He took it very hard when she was gone. He didn't understand why the doctors had to fix DQ's heart. (He did think they used a hammer to do so.) DQ was miserable. She was intubated for over a week. We were not allowed to talk to her or touch her because she would struggle to get to us, fighting the vent and possibly hurting herself. All I wanted to do was comfort my baby and I wasn't even allowed to hold her hand. But, luckily enough, the Dancing Queen was released from the hospital the week before Mother's Day.
TRex and DQ on my fourth Mother's Day.
My fifth Mother's Day is one of the days burned in my memory. At this time last year, DQ was a very sick little girl. She was in heart failure and each breath was a lot of work for her. She used oxygen at night to help her poor heart and lungs get a break. The week before Mother's Day, the Dancing Queen was very sick and had to be rushed to the ER on oxygen. She was so bad that she was almost intubated. The culprit had been a high fever caused by a virus. Once the fever was gone, she was back to her then normal.  She was released fairly quickly and by the Wednesday before Mother's Day, she was totally like herself again.  During dinner on Mother's Day, DQ almost fell asleep in her food and turned blue on us. We put on her pulse ox and her oxygen saturations were in the 70s to 80s, way too low for her at the time. We had to put her on oxygen and put her to bed. She spiked a fever of 105+ and we couldn't stabilize her. We increased the oxygen as high as we could go at home and it wasn't enough, she still had trouble breathing. The Mad Scientist grabbed the portable oxygen and rushed her to the ER. I was left home alone with TRex on Mother's Day, wondering whether my baby would make it through the night. I cried myself to sleep.
DQ in the hospital last year around Mother's Day.
For my sixth Mother's Day, I just want to relax and enjoy my family. No drama.

I hope all of you mothers enjoy your day and everyone is able to do something wonderful for your own mother, even if she is no longer here with you to enjoy it.


  1. I hope you have a long, boring, leisurely day surrounded by your loved ones. :)

  2. What a touching, and sad, post. I hope this mother's day brings calmess and healthy children. And chocolate. Right? Chocolate!


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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