Please note - confronting medical images are part of this post.
Hi Baby girl,
I wasn’t sure whether or not to write to you telling you about your heart surgery as I hope you never have to endure anything like that again. However on the night I wrote to you as I lay awake at your dad’s Aunty Jen’s house at 3am terrified and missing you more than anything. I was talking to Aunty Kara and I said not that it’s a secret but I don’t want everyone to know what you have gone through because I don’t want you to think your any different. But as she said to me, we can look at it that way or look at it that you survived this huge ordeal. And you should know how proud of you I am so this is what I wrote to you as your recovery progressed post surgery.
Today was the hardest day of my life and I hope yours to. You had your heart surgery to repair your coarctation of your aorta (the narrowing of your aorta). It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do handing you over to the kind doctor who would take you through to the fight of your life. The 4 hours you were in surgery, your dad and I paced the hospital grounds waiting for the call that you were out. When the phone finally rang my heart honestly stopped. I was so terrified to answer but couldn’t wait to hear you were ok. When the doctor said it was all completed and you were being transferred to ICU I broke down. I couldn’t hold it together anymore and just needed to see you but we had to wait another two hours until you were settled in ICU.
When I walked into your room in ICU I walked straight up to touch you. You were so cold and white, you had no colour. The tubes were everywhere and you looked lifeless. It was the most horrible sight I had ever seen. We weren’t allowed to stay with you tonight as there is not enough room in your room so im currently laying at Jen’s not being able to sleep because I so desperately want to be cuddling you and telling you everything will be ok. They are going to take you off the ventilator in the morning. I have asked that I can be there to comfort you and make sure your ok. I can’t wait to see you in the morning.
Baby girl you are improving so rapidly. By the time I got to the hospital at 6.30 this morning they had taken you off the ventilator. The doctors are telling me you are doing so well however they are concerned your colour hasn’t returned so you may need a blood transfusion. Your starting to wake up a little more however the morphine they have you on had to be weaned today as it was making you too drowsy. Your showing no signs of pain thank goodness. The doctors are telling me the surgery was a success and that they couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. When I left your room last night I saw your anaesthesiologist who took you off me yesterday morning. He gave me so much comfort when he said he was playing with you and you are such a happy little girl. He said you were so well behaved. But that’s no surprise. I can’t wait to get home, to have you all better and for us to start the rest of our lives with you well and healthy.
Billie in ICU
We came home from hospital today bubba. Usually after your type of surgery, babies are in for at least a week however you have recovered so quickly and well that you were allowed to come home sooner. To be able to hold you in our arms with no wires makes me feel complete again. Your such a happy girl, no one would know you just had to fight for your life. Im going to bed now to dream of you running around with your friends, living a long happy life. I love you so much.
12 Months After Surgery
Billie Lee we just saw your specialist and you have been given the all clear! I can’t believe it. This morning I was telling myself, preparing myself for the worst that no matter what we would get through it. But your cardiologist has just said that at this stage you can live a ‘Long, normal and active life’. That is all I have ever wanted for you. It’s important to understand that you are never completely out of the woods and that you will always need yearly monitoring. There are some periods of growth which we have to be extra careful with such as your toddler growth spurt and your chance of heart attack over the age of 40 is increased however as a child you are healthy and can be a normal kid! I’m so relieved. We will take each day as it comes but for now we can relax and enjoy this crazy ride as you grow into the beautiful strong little girl you are becoming.
Your a fighter baby girl with your very own Poppy as your guardian angel by your side for your whole life. We are so blessed to have you and I want you to know how incredible, brave and strong you are. You have the world at your feet my darling. I love you more than anything.
Love always, Mummy xoxoxo