Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Year of Thanks

This Thanksgiving, I am beyond grateful. I have a new life.

A year ago, I had no idea my life was about to come to a screeching halt.

A year ago, I had no idea that my unborn daughter, 18 weeks gestation, had only half a functioning heart.

A year ago, my life was happy and carefree.

A fellow heart mom and I had a chat the other night. We talked about how our lives have dramatically changed over the past year. About the ups and downs. About the sudden loss of her daughter who battled HLHS. About the wonderful new friends we've met on this journey. We talked about our children. We talked about the pros and the cons of this new life, and all that it entails.

The most important detail we discussed was the fact that we like our new selves better than our old selves. Our old selves being the pre-heart mommy days. It is hard to imagine that such trauma could bring us to this new place in our lives. Through all of the heartache and pain, of watching our children undergo radical medical treatment and recovery, and in her case, the death of her only daughter, we are better people - better moms, better wives, better friends.

I wonder if there is a pathway to get to this new self, without having to suffer so deeply?

I wouldn't give it back, none of it.

This Thanksgiving, just two weeks shy of the day we learned, a year ago, about Zoe's imperfect heart, I am grateful. I am Thankful - for my new life, my family, my friends, and for those that made it possible for my incredible daughter, Zoe Madison, to mold me into a new person.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends, both old and new. We extend our warmest regards and thank you for your ongoing support and love.

(Our family, one year ago. With a fourth addition on the way...)


  1. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. This has been an amazing year and you are right...I like my new self so much better. I really wish it didn't take my daughter's heart to be a better person, mom, woman...but I am thankful for it and for the changes.

  2. What a great post Stacey! I couldn't agree more. I feel like I have learned so much about who I am and who I want to be. Our children are brought into our lives for a reason and it took a long time to embrace my daughters half a heart instead of constantly being afraid and angry.
    Happy Thanksgiving Lihn family!! :)

  3. Great post! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
    It is amazing how this journey changes some of us. I definitely have no regrets! My life is so much more beautiful after having Logan.

  4. I couldn't have said it any better. I am forever changed by Caleb, and he taught me so much in the 3 days that we were blessed with him. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  5. Very nice post, Stacey. Thank you for teaching me about CHDs and sharing your beautiful daughters with us. Wishing the Lihns a very Happy Thanksgiving...
    The Skumliens

  6. You are so very right. Being a CHD mom has changed me in positive ways Ive never imagined...and I am thankful.

    Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I am also a very changed person since finding out about this world of CHD. I am so sad that it takes my sons broken heart to be aware of such a nasty disease but I will be a changed woman forever. Nothing will ever have the same meaning, and I will be forever grateful for what Parker has showed me.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. Cheers to new Mommys, new lifes & bright futures....HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

  9. What a blessing it is to have that special Zoe with you and your family this Thanksgiving. I am thankful that she is doing so well. Hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Becky Goodman, Milton, WV

  10. Zoe and your family hold a special place in my heart as I follow your journey this past year. You all are in my prayers every single night. Praise God for the special miracle of Zoe Madison!