“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Price of A New Heart

Dearest little Bug,
It occurs to me that, as always, the price of things can not always be counted in simply dollars and cents. While in real cash money you may be close to being a million dollar baby, in many ways the actual cost was much higher. And I find that it's important to me to lay those costs out so that my head can fully wrap around them and appreciate each one.
So here goes.....

7 hours in surgery
24 hours on a ventilator
One four inch scar right in the center of a tiny chest
One two inch scar to the right of your belly button

One broken sternum
One rebuilt heart
One case of pulminary hypertension
One collapsed lung
13 chest xrays

2 chest tubes
2 lines directly to your heart
Countless IV's
9 days of morning blood draws where nurses stuck everything they could find, including the vein in your forehead
1 jugular IV
1 arterial line
4 days of being unable to hold you
13 days in the ICU, watching and waiting
One external pacemaker
One internal pacemaker
Hoards of doctors and nurses
4 more hours of surgery
4 days in the Heart Center
Hundreds of tears
Thousands of prayers

When put into a list like this, it seems a high price to be paid, especially for you. But when faced with not having you here with us, it's a drop in the bucket.

To watch you go from this:

to this:

well worth any price. 
All the hours spent praying for the return of my sweet baby, of that light up my world smile, that sassy personality, that gorgeous inner light. And here we are. 

By His grace....

 By His Mercy.....

The recipients of an amazing gift. :)
I'm pretty sure that you are going to be VERY spoiled (as if you weren't already!) but I think that just means you are also VERY well loved. 
You are such a fighter.

Yet soft and cuddly in all the right places.....

I am so thankful for Riley Hospital, for Dr. Rodefeld, whose hands pieced your broken heart back together again and who took it personally that you had to get a pacemaker, for Dr. Radda and Dr. Tosi, who put up with your mama's neurotic episodes and took such good care of you in the ICU, for Dr. Schamberger, who we will be hopefully seeing a lot of in the future and who never failed to stop, say hi, smile and lend an encouraging word, for Leesa, the ICU nurse who had a child with Down's Syndrome herself and who never once made me feel as if my concerns were needless or anything I asked a hassle, for every nurse who stopped to visit and ooh and ah over you, for our special friends from IU's Special Care nursery who stopped to visit and support us, for Grandma, Grandpa, GG Garnet, GG Bill, Aunt Cheryl and Kylie, who were there to love, support, and bring snacks (chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate!), as well as every single friend, acquaintance, and even stranger who prayed for us, supported us, and showered us all with love and concern. 

I don't know how we would have made it through this without every single one of these people. I have more gratitude in my heart than I could ever express eloquently in words.
For now, I am so thankful to be home. To have this behind us. To watch you smiling, laughing, and playing. To receive precious Liddy cuddles whenever I want them. To breathe in the fresh baby smell without the stench of sickness and hospitals. To bask in the sunshine that comes to anyone in your presence. 
We are SO blessed. 
I love you so much. And you are beyond worth any price that I will ever be asked to pay. :)


  1. It's amazing isn't it! Ollie's heart surgeon cost $8,000 for surgery time - which compared to her entire bill and the fact his two hands saved her life - I think he needs a raise honestly!!

    God has definitely blessed us & I think we'd give up everything and then some to see our girls smile again & now they are & they are thriving! So glad to be on the other side! But still praying for those who aren't yet.

  2. crying and rejoicing with you. God is so good. What a blessing! xoxo


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