24 December 2010

A Small Left Ventricle

(I wrote this Wednesday the 22nd, and am just now posting.)

I've been reflecting a lot lately. This time of year always brings it out in me, but with the events during the pregnancy that all occurred last year at this time, these days the past is on my mind a lot.

(That has always been a battle of mine; living in the past.)

A year ago today I was on bed rest except for doctor's appointments. I had a long day ahead at the hospital, appointment with my actual doctor, blood work, non-stress test. (This was all the Tuesday after I spent the night in labor and delivery because of concerning contractions.) During the NST, Sookie's heart rate was irregular and they set up an unscheduled ultrasound. I knew they were watching us both closely but it felt so out of left field. Her other NST's had been fine. I had an ultrasound just 2 weeks prior and nothing was of concern. I still remember minute details from that day. The sweet but perky NST nurse who was way too positive even in the face of potential life changing moments. The jittery with anxiety maternal fetal medicine specialist, who talked in a low voice with the ultrasound tech about my daughter like neither of us were there. I remember tears cascading down my cheeks during the ultrasound. I remember thinking I have risked my life for this child and it still isn't enough to get her here safe. I have stopped medication that is crucial to my own health, yet will most likely harm hers.

I was told to see a pediatric cardiologist at the children's hospital here. Someone would call me to set up an appointment. We received this news three days before Christmas.

Fast forward 20 or so minutes later; sitting in a restaurant with R and my mom. Trying to force food down, but crying instead. Our poor waitress, I felt so bad for her. Then we received a phone call. My sweet cousin S had suddenly and unexpectedly passed on during the night.

I immediately felt selfish. Yes, Sookie had heart problems. Yes, I was panicking, anxiety filling every fiber of my mind. Then I was so quickly reminded how it can all be gone. Just like that. Life itself. I made some sort of bizarre deal with myself that if we were blessed enough for her to make it through delivery and we were able to bring her home, I could handle anything.

I write about this because it is part of Sookie's Story. I write about this because it had a huge impact on my emotional well being on Christmas last year. I write about these things a year later because writing has always helped me sort my thoughts and emotions. To me, when I write, it is like organizing my closet. Sounds silly, but it is true. Oh okay well this shred of fear goes in this little box over there...and so on. Yes I still get upset thinking about that day even though I shouldn't. After two trips to the pediatric cardiologist, which included a fetal echo during my pregnancy, and another echo on her when she was just a week old, they said her heart is perfect.

{Our sweet little one getting her EKG before her echocardiogram.}

Things that are making me happy these days? Sookie feeding me some of her pomegranate (her newest food obsession), Sookie simultaneously growling and kissing her reflection on my laptop screen, rain instead of snow, toffee, Sookie's face at her first taste of Red Rocks' homemade root beer, heated seats in my car, Sookie saying "book" the other night, and gingerbread lattes.


  1. My son had heart issues too (murmur and narrow valve) when he was born...still does as far as I know. (We haven't been back to the specialist lately)It's soo nerve wracking when they are so tiny and not doing well! Glad your little dolly is doing good!!!

    Merry Christmas! :)

  2. It's so wonderful to write......just let it all out:) i'm glad she is doing well and your enjoying those lattes!:) merry christmas