In those days, I’ve laughed with my child, cried for her, held her, changed countless diapers, cleaned up more vomit than I care to remember, and read many bedtime stories. I’ve been exuberant and exhausted, overwhelmed and overjoyed. But, I’ve never been bored.
I’ve watched my daughter recover from 2 open heart surgeries, a g-tube insertion and 2 cardiac catheters (that’s 5 rounds of anesthesia, 3 breathing tubes, 2 central lines, countless blood draws, x-rays, and echocardiograms). I’ve taken her to a feeding clinic, an ENT, an opthomologist, a dentist, a pediatrician, a cv surgeon, a cardiologist, a plastic surgeon (for the helmet), an orthotist (for the helmet), a gastro-enterologist, and a cardiac interventionist.
She’s been visited weekly by a physical therapist and a speech therapist. She’s been evaluated several times by an occupational therapist and a developmental therapist.
We’ve been to Gymboree, Torah for Tots, Music Class (en francais), and Art Class. We’ve been to Belgium, New York City, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Virginia Beach.
Charlotte has taught me so many lessons.
She has taught me to slow down and take notice of the world around me.
She has given me a whole new definition of bravery.
She reminds me daily that laughter can cure almost everything. That it’s funny to fall down. That sometimes it’s important to say something over and over again. That it’s okay to babble just to hear what the words sound like.
I could go on and on.
But today, the 2nd anniversary of Charlotte’s homecoming after heart surgery and 49 days in the PICU, I just want to say that most of all, Charlotte has taught me the true meaning of gratitude, faith, and strength. She truly makes our house a home.
In Charlotte’s honor, I invite you to follow this link to a search result on the Congenital Heart Information Network website and read about many other families who have been touched by a child born with truncus arteriosus.