Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub... The quiet beating of a heart is something most people don't think about. It's something we take for granted - God has programmed our heart to beat automatically. But life changes, literally in the beating of a heartbeat.
Feb. 3, 1998 the stick showed two lines... How was I going to tell my husband that we were expecting our third child? After numerous surgeries for ovarian tumors, we were blessed with a boy and girl, then 5 & 6 and we didn't think we could have more. God had other plans. I started working immediately on this baby's scrapbook, writing him letters, trying to finish as much as I could, as time would pass quickly, for this baby we prayed so hard for.
A week before his birth, we listened as the nurse ran the ultrasound over my extended belly - we heard those precious sounds in perfect rhythm confirming the healthy heart of our expected son. We were anxious to meet him, as were his brother and sister, and had already picked out a name: Connor Eli.
The day finally arrived in mid Sept. and Connor arrived. The stadol they gave me during labor made me sleepy, so I don't remember most of what followed except the words of the pediatrician - "Your baby has what could be a fatal heart defect", at that moment our hearts broke. He was flown by helicopter to AR Child. Hosp. and there we stayed for a mere 17 days.
We took 9 rolls of pictures of everything - daily pictures of him, the nurses, his room, visitors, him after surgery, holding him for the first time, etc. We designed several pages filled with each nurses picture and a place were they could write to him, and the baby that I feared we would not have, soon had two scrapbooks filled to the brim.
Connor's scrapbook has been more therapy through the heartache, something that we needed to do. Watching him improve, fight back, taking picutres of improvements, milestones, and victories. He has truly been a blessing and miracle, and now he has several books that he can look at when he's older and know exactly what happend and how much he was wanted and loved... Through his scrapbook, there is a story about a boy with a broken heart and how it was fixed, and how he became the person that he is. If you're ever at our home, and want to see it, just ask. We'll gladly share it with you.
This last Tuesday, we traveled back to ARCH for Connor's Cardiac checkup. Each time we approach the hospital from 630 hwy, my throat suddenly constricts and I feel my heart stop, remembering. I grip the seat and tears well up as we make the exit. The car is silent as we pull up to the entrance and Dave let Connor and I out. The visit for us was routine, we knew what to expect: EKG, echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), and visit with the cardiologist. We were so thankful and blessed. The cardiologist said his heart looked so good (x-ray and EKG) and sounded so good that we didn't need to do an echo and could go home. "See you in 2 years!"
Each year I sneak Connor up to the 4th floor CVICU so he can see where he was and what it looks like. While a lot of things have changed at ARCH, we look for those familiar to us and we found Sue, The Boss. She was one of Connor's first nurses and a wonderful blessing, and still retains her British accent. She was so thrilled to see Connor again and see how well he was doing. I tried to express to her how much she meant to us, while there, but all I could do was give her a hug.
We're so thankful that God allowed Connor to stay with our family. Each day with him is a new adventure! We can't wait to see what God is going to do with his life in the days to come.