Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two mended hearts...

On February 28th I had to put my trust in a man I had only met once the day before. I had to trust him with the life of my daughter. He would be stopping her heart and I had to trust him to get it to beat again.

I held on to my daughter and tried to memorize every curve of her face, her smell, the way her skin felt under my hands...every single detail of my little angel. Because even though I should have been thinking positive thoughts, I was in a very dark place. A place no mother should ever have to be. A place of despair and broken hearts. Every outcome I thought of all ended with God taking my baby girl away from me. I was petrified. People were in and out of the room speaking to me but I had no clue who they were or what they were saying. I was busy praying like I have never prayed before. Praying with the desperation that only another mother in this situation can even begin to understand. They put Violet in an isolette and we made the long walk over to the surgery area.

 Before I really understood what was going on they were wheeling her through the double doors. Tears streamed down my face. I was numb. It was a silent cry because I just didn't have the energy to do anything more. After the double doors shut I glanced in the other direction. My dad had walked away and now I saw why...he was crying. My dad who NEVER cries was in tears watching his daughter have to say goodbye to her daughter. This was now the second time I had to say goodbye to her not knowing if I would get her back.

We waited, waited...and waited some more. We were updated when they started surgery and the blood transfusion. The next update was the hardest one, she was on bypass, they had stopped her heart. Now I prayed that they would be able to start it back with no problems and bring my baby back to me. She was so young, only 5 weeks old and not the weight they wanted her to be for the surgery. The waiting was agony.

We heard our names announced over the intercom letting us know we had a message at the desk. I jumped up from my chair and took off. They told us she was off of bypass! Oh thank you God! We would be able to talk to the surgeon in around an hour.

After a while they led us in to a room and the surgeon came in. He explained the entire procedure and all of the holes he fixed and said her VSD was the largest he had ever worked on. Scott and I went in first to see Violet. I knew what to expect because my friends had sent me pictures and videos of their children after open heart surgery. I was glad I prepared myself in advance. She was swollen, tubes and wires were everywhere. A wall of beeping machines surrounded her. It was so intimidating.

The worst part was now over. The surgery was complete and she had been brought back to us. We knew we had a long journey ahead of us but at least one of the scariest parts of the journey was over.

Two days later she had to have emergency surgery to insert a tube in to the area around her right lung because of severe fluid build up. Her lung was in a collapsed state and could not expand so she wasn't able to breathe properly.
Wow, two surgeries in less than a week. She was transferred back to the RNICU at UAB for the rest of her recovery. Each day there was a huge difference. She was so much more alert, her breathing was in a normal range, her heart rate was better and there wasn't anymore heart rate drops. She was going to make it.
Here are a few pictures from her birth, before surgery and now after surgery. She's come a long way!

(2 pictures above) were take right after birth.

 (above)  around 2 weeks before surgery.

(above two pictures) taken in the days following open heart surgery)

(above) these are all pictures of her now. She's alert and just a bundle of joy. She's my little heart warrior :D


  1. Amber she is beautiful. She looks so much more alert and happy now! My son had his first surgery (closed heart) at 9 months and had an emergency surgey the following morning for the same reason. He had open heart surgery at 2 and a half and at 5. He is now almost 11 and is doing great.

    Violet will do just fine and before you know it she will be home and growing quickly right before your eyes. Iam following your blog so I can see how she is doing. Take care!

  2. I'm so glad you are getting to write all of this out. It's great for all of us outsiders looking in but you, you're going to be so grateful over the years that you have all of these details recorded! Once she gets home it'll be harder to find the time, I've written like 6 entries since Abraham was born ;)
    We love you 3!

  3. Violet had her surgery the same age as Elizabeth. I like many other mothers that have been through this can picture this day over and over again. Violet is going to be giving you a run for your money before you know it! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I found your blog from a comment you left on Kirill's blog. I will be praying for your family! Your daughter is Beautiful!

  5. i just want to let you know that I love her so much! nermine from WTE january facebook grooup

  6. <3 you sweet girl and warrior Momma!

    Auntie DeeDee