‘I’m so incredibly thankful for how far he’s come, because I know we’re one of the lucky ones.’
“I was 20 weeks pregnant and went to my regular OBGYN and they told me the baby’s not cooperating, you have to go somewhere with better machines. I didn’t think anything of it, so I went to a specialist and they had me there for six hours because again, the baby wasn’t cooperating. On the sixth hour, one of the technicians saw something that didn’t look right. It was one of those moments you’re on the outside, looking in. I was like, ‘what the hell did you just say?’
“All of a sudden, there’s two cardiologists, two specialists and six techs in the room. They said your baby has transposition of the great arteries. It was one of those moments you’re on the outside, looking in. I was like, ‘what the hell did you just say?’ They explained he had a heart defect and he wouldn’t be able to survive unless they repaired it at birth.
“When I had him, I couldn’t jump into the mommy role. I wasn’t allowed to change his diaper. He was on a feeding tube so I couldn’t feed him. I didn’t hold him until he was 9 days old. It’s a different experience when you have a baby and they take him away immediately. I held him for 10 minutes and then he was put into a seven-hour open-heart surgery.
He went through so much but alongside him I went through so much, and I almost feel that we healed together.
“Fast forward and he’s the light of my life. There’s something about him, he pulls on the heartstrings. He’s 20 months old and for the most part, he’s been developing as a normal average baby. They did tell us to expect cognitive delays as he gets older. He’s still not speaking. He hasn’t said ‘mama’ and that’s hard for me. He went through so much but alongside him I went through so much, and I almost feel that we healed together. I feel like him saying ‘mama’ is the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I feel like I’ve earned it at this point.
“He goes to the cardiologist every four to six months and he will for the rest of his life. There’s a 20 percent chance he’ll need another open-heart surgery. We take his life appointment to appointment. But I’m so incredibly thankful for how far he’s come, because I know we’re one of the lucky ones.
“I think out of my entire family, I’m the one healing from it the most. I want him to be proud of what he’s gone through and in him being proud of what he’s gone through, it’s helping me heal. I’m so proud to be his mom.”
Interviewed by Betsy Abraham