Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't Make Me Eat My Words

Yesterday I was talking with another heart mom and we mentioned how after your kid has open heart surgery, things like getting tubes in their ears seems like no big deal.  When I said that, I was not wishing it upon my son.  However, I took him to the doctor today and his right ear is infected again.  This is the second one in a month.  In April I took him to the audiologist for a routine hearing screening.  They found fluid in his right ear that was causing a conductive hearing loss.  They told us to come back in 3 months to see if the fluid is gone.  But since then he's had these two ear infections and the fluid is still in his right ear, the doctor said today that when we see the audiologist in July they will probably recomend tubes.  Compared to heart surgery, tubes really aren't that big of a deal and if he is going to continue to get ear infections, I would rather him have tubes than constantly be taking antibiotics.  But it still stinks.

Also, I mentioned to the doctor that recently I've noticed him getting sweaty easily when he plays and that while he's playing sometimes he will lay down and take a short break.  The doctor said his lungs seem clear and that the gradient of stenosis he has in his pulmonary artery should not be causing symptoms.  He said he's not a cardiologist but that the murmur, caused by the pulmonary stenosis, sounds the same to him now as it did before.  It would be very surprising if it had worsened in the two months since we saw cardiology.  So that was good news but just something we'll keep an eye on.

An exciting thing that has happened is we are going to have the opportunity to travel to New Orleans soon to attend the Mended Little Heart's conference.  MLH just started up a group in our area, but the leader is not able to attend the conference and was looking for someone to attend in her place.  They will cover the cost of my trip and my mom was generous enough to give us miles for Aaron's plane ticket.  We are going to stay in the hotel one extra night and make a little trip out of it.   We have been so fortunate with travel this year.  We are looking forward to getting away and networking with other parents who have children with CHD's.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Heart Mom's Mom

Untill recently, I never thought about how hard it was on my mom when Caleb was born and in the hospital.  I heard her mention the other day that there was a time where all she could do for her daugher (me) was pray.  Then it hit me, while I was dealing with my baby being sick, she was dealing with her grandson being sick and her daughter being scared.  I'm sure she was scared for her grandson, but her heart also broke for her daughter. 

But of course she doesn't give herself enough credit.  She was there for me and prayed for me, but she has also done so much more.  After Caleb was transfered to Children's Hospital and my husband was with our son, my mom spent the night at the hospital for two nights with me.  Then after I was released but could not drive, she drove me back and forth from the hospital to see my son and took me home with her each evening.  She made sure I ate regular meals and took care of myself so I could take care of my baby when he came home.  She washed pump parts and bottles countless times.  Since there was a two visitor policy, she sat patiently in the waiting room while my husband and I hovered over my son's hospital bed.  When I needed a break, she gladly sat with her grandson.

After my son came home from the hospital, Mom would come over each day for a couple weeks to bring me food and help out where needed.  She drove us to several follow up appointments and gave me the moral support I needed to get through those first few weeks.  She encouraged me when breastfeeding seemed too difficult.  She kept me calm.

In the heart community there is much talk about Heart Mom's and Dad's and Heart Warriors.  All of them deserve the praise.  But I am starting to think some of the real hero's are the behind the scene grandparents.  As I learned to be a mom to my son, I am so grateful that I had my mother there to be a mom to me.