So tomorrow may bring a sigh of utter and total relief, or it may be devastating....Wait...I should say today. It is 3:00 AM, and I have not been able to get a wink of sleep. I know I don't usually get overly personal here, and I always try to be positive....But sometimes, a mama can't put on a brave front. Right now is one of those times. My youngest, Xander, is 5 months old, and this morning at 10:00 AM he is seeing a pediatric cardiologist to have a heart murmur that was detected by out pediatrician double-checked. While I realize that the vast majority of murmurs are completely innocent in nature, I cannot help but be paralyzed with fear. I cannot bear the thought that my happy, beautiful, seemingly healthy little boy might have a serious problem that could require corrective open-heart surgery.
Anything heart related is scary, especially when it involves a tiny baby....I have been assured by the pediatrician that this is not something I could have caused, and that 1% of all babies are born with a congenital heart defect of some sort. There is usually no known cause, and it's something that just happens. She said most of the time, it's due to a small hole in the heart that will eventually close itself as the child grows, and no treatment is needed.It was also detected when he was getting over a horrible flu that we all got because it was going around like crazy. She said that illness can sometimes produce a murmur, and that it would clear up. That's the best case scenario...Xander seems perfectly fine. He does not seem at all sickly, eats like a champ, and gains weight very, very well. He also doesn't turn blue...Occasionally, if he is crying a lot or is cold, he will get a slight bluish tint to the nail-bed on his thumbs, but ONLY on the thumbs, and he will get a purplish hue around his mouth. (Not at all uncommon for a crying baby.) His tongue and gums are always a nice, healthy pink. None of these symptoms are ever severe, though.She still suggested we take him to the specialist and get it checked, since any murmurs detected before the age of 6 months may indicate a problem.
Worst case scenario? A severe malformation that could require a shunt or another corrective procedure. Open heart surgery. How scary is that?! I once had a good friend who was born with a heart defect, and while she is healthy and thriving at almost 30, it has been a long road for her. We had a falling out for reasons that I still don't fully understand, so I have not been able to talk to her about this....But just the fact that she's okay as an adult despite several surgeries and some difficult times gives me hope that no matter the outcome, Xander will be just fine. People can live full, healthy lives with congenital heart defects...Maybe he'll never run any marathons, but people adapt to whatever hand God deals them.
I am trying to remain optimistic here...It's just incredibly stressful...I mean, all 3 of my kids rarely get sick. Kyle has had Scarlet Fever once, and that was scary....But at 11 years old, that is the worst of it..He's had one ear infection in his entire life, and while he will catch the occasional cold at school (and let's face it, ALL school aged children get colds) he has never had any real illnesses. Neither has Sophie. She has had 2 colds in her entire life, and both were blessedly minor. She's never had any infections, either, and has always been very healthy. I am a hand-washing and Lysol Nazi, and now that I am FINALLY no longer pregnant and on bedrest and living in a disgustingly messy house because I had to rely on a man and boy to do the housework in a half-assed manner, I am a bit of a neat freak. Sure, I have clutter due to the amount of baby toys, etc, but I have no filth. I wage war on germs. My kids are healthy because of it. I try and do the best I can with factors that I have control over...But this...This heart murmur...Well, that's something I cannot control, and it scares the living crap out of me.
I also feel incredibly guilty....I am not proud to admit this, but when I got pregnant with Xander RIGHT after having Sophie via C-section, I was NOT happy about it. At all. My pregnancy with Sophie was AWFUL....I was horribly ill the entire 9 months and would randomly projectile vomit several times a day. I was stuck on bedrest for most of that pregnancy, and was not "allowed" to do ANYTHING. My house was in a MAJOR state of disarray, which I was not comfortable with, and I had a fairly difficult recovery from my C-section.I was also very stressed at the time, as we had a relative living with us who lied, stole from us, and basically ended up being a very manipulative con artist, AND my husband lost his job and was without work for over 2 months. Top that off with a bout of Post-Partum Depression, and you can see why I wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of having another baby so soon. I was not eager for a repeat performance at the time. (My babies are 12 months and 2 weeks apart.) This was a very difficult period of my life, and was mentally and emotionally exhausting. I was pushed to my breaking point on more than one occasion due to the stress....So I was not happy to be pregnant...At all...To be 100% honest, I was not completely happy until I saw his face for the first time...Then I was immediately and hopelessly in love with the little guy.
Xander is the happiest, sweetest, most wonderful baby, and I am racked with guilt for ever feeling like I didn't want to be pregnant with him at the time....Sure, we wanted another child, and once we found out, we accepted it and abortion was NEVER an option. I just wish it were a happier time for me. Things are so much better now, and I am so happy I was blessed with my little man....He is my whole world, as are my other children. My life would not be complete without him. There is nothing better than seeing his smile and hearing his laughter...And now, here I am, terrified that the baby I was so stressed about having might have something wrong with him. I would gladly, without question give him MY heart if that's what he needed...I would go to the ends of the Earth for him. He is my baby, and I love him more than I could ever hope to express.
So now I am awake and absolutely petrified. I have said about a million prayers that everything will be alright and that the cardiologist will tell us that his murmur is innocent, or better yet, is no longer detected. I don't know what I would do if my little boy was sick...So if it's quiet here tomorrow, I apologize. I will need to catch up on sleep, I'm sure. Hopefully the babies will nap and let me get a little bit of much needed rest tomorrow.
I have a request of all of you...If you're the praying type, please say a little prayer for Xander. I know God hears all prayers, and hopefully if enough people are praying for his well-being, MY prayers will be answered. Thanks for "listening." :)
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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