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Happy Heart Day!
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON AUGUST 2, 2009
It was on this day two years ago, that my youngest child went under the knife. Laurel, now two, had open heart surgery to correct a heart defect that she was born with called Tetralogy of Fallot.
The second that she was rolled into surgery, I felt as if my own heart was ripped out of my body. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't function. I couldn't imagine my life without this four month old being who I had become so connected with. I would have given her my heart in a second if it would have made a difference.
There was not enough Valium, Xanax or anything else that my doctor's tried to give me that could prepare me for the actual day of surgery. I am a fairly optimistic person. I pride myself on being able to see the bright side of most situations.
On this day, two years ago, there was no bright side. No silver lining. No sun. No new day. There was nothing. I was trapped in time for several hours where all I could hear were my own negative thoughts. Where I could only relive my own worst fears over and over and over.
I felt feel responsible for her heart defect. I always have. I cannot help but think that if I had done something different during my pregnancy, anything different, that my daughter would have been born without this hole in her heart. Without this defect that put her under the knife and at risk to lose her life. I could be responsible for the death of my beautiful child.
Guilt is a horrible, mind numbing, time consuming thing that can take over your life. I know because it happened to me.
My daughter came out of surgery and did very well. She ended up not eating so I spent three weeks in the hospital with her after that but that was a minor setback in the whole scheme of things.
But it was the day after my daughter's surgery that I made a promise to myself. Rather than focus on the surgery itself, I would revel in the day. This was the day that changed her life. The day where she no longer had to be hooked up to machines 24/7 at our house. The day where she became free. I became free as much as I could from the guilt.
Every year on the date of her surgery we celebrate. We celebrate the strength of this beautiful little girl. We celebrate the amazing doctors and nurses who we could NEVER EVER thank enough. We celebrate our complete family and we celebrate each other.
So happy heart day everyone! This is a big day for us. Our entire family.
I wrote this post on August 2nd which was the actual day of the celebration and for some reason it stayed as a draft. I am not sure why but I still wanted to share our wonderful day and the reason we celebrate.