As I sit here thinking back 4 years ago, today is the day that changed our lives. Although his birthday is so special and reminds us to celebrate how far he has come, today is an equally important day. Four years ago today, Mason was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Looking back I think I knew deep down inside that something wasn't right - call it mother's intuition. I couldn't get him to eat much and he was sleeping a lot. Everyone commented on what a good baby he was but it just didn't feel right to me. I even commented to the nurse and she reassured me that there was nothing to worry about. The day we were to be released the pediatrician came in to check him out. She said she heard a heart murmur and it was pretty loud so she ordered an echo. After the echo, the cardiologist sat us down and drew a picture of a normal heart and then drew a picture of Mason's heart. She said and I will never forget it "He has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. You have two options: 1 - Go to Michigan for a series of 3 operations over the next few years or 2 - Go to Denver for a heart transplant." My first thoughts were "This is bad, very bad. How could my perfect baby have such a broken heart that he could possibly need a new one?" This day changed me forever. I could have never predicted the trials and triumphs this little guy would face. He amazes me everyday with his strength.
This day not only changed the path of Mason's life but opened my eyes to a world I didn't even know existed. As I would soon find out, I was now a "Heart Mom". I have met so many people that have truly changed my life:
Janel Lentine, we met the day both our little ones were having their first surgeries. We were the only ones in the waiting room that early in the morning. Little did I know that day how much we would lean on each other during that first long stay at Mott. I don't know what I would have done without you. You and your family will always have a special place in my heart.
Karin Prutiny, you amaze me! I will never forget when you approached me in the hallway while we were pacing the floor. Mason was in surgery and was having uncontrolled bleeding and couldn't come off bypass. You walked up to me and asked if there was anything you could do. Little did I know that your daughter had heart surgery as well but you took to time to help me. You listened and then you hopped on your blog and asked all of your followers to pray for Mason. You will never know how much that meant to me.
And our families, wow, where do I start? The day Mason was flown to Michigan, members of our families got in cars and flew on planes to help us. I have always been close with my family but this experience has shown me how important you all are. Whether it was coming to visit, sending care packages or sending prayers, you all have been there for us when we needed you most. A special Thank You to my mom for staying with us in Michigan as long as you could and flying up at a moments notice when things just got too tough and I needed my Mommy. Another Thank You to Randy's mom, Phyllis Slater, who quit her job to stay home with Mason and care for him while Randy and I returned to work and tried to create some since of normalcy.
So, these past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions but looking back it has taught me so much. Thank you all for being a part of it. Can't see what the next year has in store for us!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MASON!!!!!!!