Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Year

One year ago today, hubs and I received the most devastating, most shocking and most unexpected news of our lives. It took me several days to process it. I wasn't able to share much with my readers at the time. Almost a week after receiving the news, I wrote this post. I remember how very difficult it was to write because putting it all out here on the blog made it so real, so definite.

This blog is about my family, most especially my children. And it was so much fun to write updates about being pregnant with Chase, how big he was getting, all the crazy symptoms I was dealing with, etc. But my world turned upside-down on June 16, 2009.

I had never heard of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Honestly, I wasn't even sure what a "CHD" was or how common they were or how often they occurred or how they were treated or... Seriously, I didn't know a thing and felt like I was blindsided by a mack truck.

Suddenly my life changed. My joy was harder to find. My faith was lurking somewhere in the background, seemingly too timid and unprepared to handle the drastic upheaval resulting from this news. My strength seemed to disappear. My thoughts were overwhelming as I reeled with the fact that my newborn son may not survive long enough to come home with us from the hospital. My fears multiplied as I wondered if he'd ever see kindergarten. My hope seemed to drown in the research and survival statistics I poured over. My life would never be the same.

Over the next few months, I felt God speaking to me. I know He had been there all along, and was holding me up as we received Chase's diagnosis. I know He was the One that allowed me to somehow drive home safely following that appointment as the tears were flowing uncontrollably and the sobs caused my body to shake from head to toe. But I finally started to get to a point of accepting this, this unbelievable, crippling fate, this was His will for my life, for my son's life. And all I could do was turn to Him to see us through.

I remembered how He gave me an unimaginable peace when we first learned we were pregnant with Chase. We had been "cautiously optimistic" during my pregnancy with LO because we experienced two miscarriages before her, and we were afraid it would happen again. But that peace! Oh, that peace. It consumed me early on and the fears of miscarriage essentially disappeared. Life was good! And then June 16, 2009 happened.

It took time, but as I was saying, I started to sense that peace again. It was there all along, of course, but I was in no shape to receive it, much less believe it. But God was slowly working on my heart. He was helping me to accept His will and before I knew it, I became "that" mom. The one who was dedicated to learning everything I could about HLHS. The one who was committed to putting all the plans in place and figuring out every last detail to ensure my son's safety and absolute best chance at life when he was born. The one who refused to feel sorry for myself (or my son) and chose instead to fight with everything I had in me.

Now here it is, a year later. And what can I say about where I am now compared with where I was this time last year? There are no words! God has truly blessed us with a miracle that we can see every day with our very own eyes. I wish I would've known at that time that we would make it this long, although my hope and prayer (as is every mom's) is that my son will live a long, full life. But I don't know what God has in store for us. I don't know His plan for Chase's life. This new world I've been immersed into is one where each and every day, each and every moment, is treasured. Each smile is captured in my mind. Each laugh is etched in my permanent memory. We aren't promised tomorrow. None of us are. None of our children are. This is all too well the reality of heart moms, but it holds true for those with healthy children as well. Never take a single moment with your children for granted.

I'm so grateful. I'm so thankful that God chose us to be Chase's parents. I'm so honored to be his mommy. I'm so blessed that God has chosen to give almost 8 months with our son (and I'll keep praying daily for more)! I cannot get enough of this sweet boy! I know we've got at least one more heart surgery ahead of us, and I know that Chase's future is uncertain, and I know things can be great and then drastically change for the worse in any given moment, but I'm going to continue to rest in the Lord, trust in Him and know that He will bring His peace in the midst of any storm that lay ahead.

Thank you, Lord, for my little miracle, Chase!

And really, how can you not love this boy to pieces?