Baby G has been here for 3 weeks now (plus a few hours). And this really isn’t about her.
While I was pregnant I tried to imagine what she would look like at 3 weeks. Not necessarily her facial features, but what a 3-week-old baby looks like generally. Their length and heft and “floppiness.”
I know 3 weeks is kind of a random age to pick, but it’s not random, for me. 3 weeks was when I had my first heart surgery. I wrote about that and the story around it at length over here, which I’d love for you to jump over and check out.
So I wondered what she would be at 3 weeks, and what I must have been at 3 weeks. And where my parents were at 3 weeks, and where I am now at 3 weeks. Right now, I can barely handle it.
My heart defects were a complete surprise. Somehow, I have no idea how, but somehow I had managed to fly under the medical radar my first three weeks of life. And in a matter of moments, my parents went from having a “normal, healthy” baby girl to…not.
I can barely handle it.
Baby G was born at 36 weeks and was put on breathing assistance and a feeding tube. She had her blood drawn and tested frequently the first week of her life. Already she’s had 3 echocardiograms to make absolutely sure she didn’t develop any of the defects I was born with. I’m very pleased to say that the consensus was that she is, after all, normal, healthy.
I try to imagine finding out at 2:00 in the afternoon today that, after all, she isn’t. Like my mom did.
It blows my mind.
I got a small taste of it at the beginning, with all the tests and uncertainty. When they finally brought her out of the Special Care nursery and put her in our room, and only then mentioned that they “might” have heard a heart murmur, and I didn’t sleep much at all that night, I just wanted lay there and hold her. One day, after a checkup where they said her weight had dropped too much and her bili levels were too high and we still had one more echocardiogram because the last two were inconclusive, my parents and my husband had sent me to take a nap, and all I could do was sit on my bed and cry and pray.
But here we are. 3 weeks and a clean bill of health. No larger issues looming. The day I’ve been waiting for.
I’m so incredibly thankful.