Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

- Ambrose Redmoon


The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

-Buddha



Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 15: MEET SAMUEL!!!!

Meet Samuel!!!!

I found out I was pregnant February 2011. We were so thrilled, but terrified at the thought of actually being parents. This was no longer a conversation. It was happening! 
At 21 weeks, we found out our son had a heart defect. Our world came crumbling down. But that tiny guy did not stop growing, the rest of his body was in perfect condition. After a couple of weeks of finding out, Husband and I decided to remain positive. We bought baby furniture, we set up the nursey. We attempted to be optimistic.
This is me, 22 weeks pregnant.
One of the cardiology nurses gave me a sneak peek at our little man. Boy, was this 3d ultrasound accurate.
My son was born September of 2011 with a congenital heart defect. 
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, to be specific. 
Our hopes after birth were that he would be taken back to have his ventricle ballooned, and then
his doctors would decide where to go from there. 
Plans changed once the balloon was not effective. Surgeons were not comfortable going through with the series of 3 surgeries to repair his heart.
I was referred to Children's Hospital Colorado to speak to surgeons there. The first to chat with me was the Transplant team. Transplant, in our heads, was not an option. Mostly because our cardiologist was so gung-ho the surgery route. Which we thought would be a better route, also. Transplant scared the living crap out of us! 
I looked into it, I literally had a matter of 2 days to decide what I wanted to do. My son's life was in my hands. His brand new little life was completely in my hands. My husband and I made the decision to go transplant route, praying we were doing the right thing. 
We were transferred to Children's Hospital immediately, that day.
We were placed on the heart transplant waiting list within a matter of days. I was told the average wait time is around 58 days. I was prepared to live in the hospital, hardly leaving my child's side. Which I did. For 9 days. We waited 9 days. 
I got to the hospital that morning. I had gotten a room at the Ronald McDonald house because my mom was there with me for a while. I would have slept in his room if I were able, but he was in an open bay in the CICU. When I walked in, I started checking his numbers, at this point only 9 days later, I was a pro. Doctors immediately came around and started checking his numbers, too. Told me there was a possibility of a heart. I had him repeat himself about 5 times. I did not believe it. I had just dropped my mom off at the air port. And Bear got his heart. 
I had a ridiculous amount of different emotions running through me, I was deeply saddened that someone's baby was taken from them. Because I couldn't imagine that happening to mine. But a wave of happiness came over me. I cried and cried, and cried some more. I was in shock. It took me 20 minutes to even call my husband, and then call my mom. After that, everything was a blur. We got a heart. I remember waiting, sleeping, waking up, and seeing my puffy baby. We got a heart.
Bear has been through so much in his short time alive. I can't believe the amount his little body has been through, and he is thriving today. He is reaching his milestones. He is learning, he is growing. And all thanks to a sweet little baby boy whose parents gave us the biggest and greatest give anyone could ever give.
This has been really hard for me to re-hash. Very emotional, digging up all of these old memories. Most of them I only remember parts of. Like I said, it was all a blur. But we thank God every single day for the gift that is currently sleeping in the next room. He has a heart in his chest that is beating. I'm so thankful to our donor family, and I have been so grateful to have gotten to know them. I can't say this enough. Samuel is my heart hero.
And to end on a happy note, some pictures of my monkey bear.
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