Zoe is great.
She turned 6 months old on November 11th and is now 2 months post-op. Now that we are past the 8 week mark, we can now pick her up under her arms, like a 'normal' baby. We've finally forced her into tummy time as well. She's making good progress.
(Tummy Time on Tuesday)
(Zoe having a good laugh on the couch.)
I have two little girls at home who are so much fun. Emerson is realizing that Zoe is here to stay. Some days (or minutes) she likes that fact, some days (or minutes) she does not. I wonder if we could've done something different so she would love her sister 100% of the time. Instead of being a heart mom at that point, thinking everything has to do with Zoe, and her heart, I resorted to the good ole "What to Expect: The Toddler Years." And, guess what? She's normal - totally normal. Emerson is a 2 and 1/2 year old with a new baby sister. Sure, her reactions may be magnified a bit, given the past several months, but I did not do anything wrong. As a parent, we do the best we can. A wise woman once told me (ok, more than once) that: "as a mother, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be good enough."
Thank God, because as a mom, I am far from perfect. But I am good enough; perhaps a bit better than good enough.
This last week, we were thrown for a loop when we were told that another member of our family was diagnosed with a CHD - an adult who never realized this fact before. Me, hearing of a CHD in the family, obviously panicked. I began doing research and located several studies indicating genetic linkage to BAV (the diagnosis) and HLHS. Zoe's cardiologist, of course, received a text (seemingly calm to me, but I'm sure he sensed my anxiety) and called me within the hour. I explained to him my fears of Emerson having a missed CHD.
After Zoe was diagnosed in utero, December 9, 2009, a day I will never forget, we scheduled Emmy for a complete cardiac workup. She was given the thumbs up. With the knowledge of yet another CHD in the family, I wanted Zoe's cardiologist's eyes on the echo. He agreed to do so, knowing there can be recurrent CHDs in siblings. He also told me that he is going to throw my computer away. I research too much; but that is who I am. He knows that. Bottom line, we received good news. He reviewed Emerson's echo and stated that her echo looked ok (she was irritable when the pictures were taken) but her aortic valves looked normal.
And, more good news this past week: Zoe's little heart buddy, Will, arrived late last week. He is stable and scheduled to undergo his Norwood procedure tomorrow morning. Please say a prayer, send positive energy and love and light to Will and his parents, Chris and Meg. They will need extra strength as they fight alongside their son over the next several weeks.
Overall, my world is bright, even though I have pain in my heart that will never ease. My heart is often heavy, but more full that it has ever been. With the holidays approaching, I've been more emotional.
This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful and thankful for all that I have.
Who wouldn't be, given these darling faces I have to look at each and every day?
(Emmy doing her best Dax Shepard impression.)
(Zoe preparing to eat, real food.)
(Emmy passed out during a play date with Papa.)
Oh, and check out some of Zoe's supporters sporting their CHD Awareness tees at Disneyland. Way to represent, Vehons!