Monday, April 26, 2010


An anniversary is approaching for our family, one that feels more significant than any birthday could be.

At this point last year, we were struggling as a family. Our new baby was crying almost incessantly, was not gaining weight, and other little children (not-quite 2 and not-quite 4) were certainly feeling the change in the air. I was newly postpartum, the experienced breastfeeder of two previous children, and I was exhausted with trying to take care of these little people. I was trying everything I could to nurse this baby and could not figure out what was going wrong. Week after week, my heart was broken as we had her weighed, only to find that she'd gained mere ounces.

When she was 7 weeks old, we attended our last midwifery appointment. What was a heart murmur at birth had become a constant, very loud purr, and we were sent straight to our family doctor, who referred us to the Cardiology Unit of the closest children's hospital (in Ottawa, about a 140 km drive away).

When I think back to that time, it's a blur of too many: tears, movies, ice cream cones, raised voices, feelings. Feelings of frustration, confusion, exhaustion, rage, and mostly fear. We didn't know what was wrong, but it soon became apparent that there was, indeed, something wrong.

In this space I hope to walk back through those days, with my eyes open, with forgiveness in my heart for the mother I couldn't be at that time, with tenderness for the mother I was, just struggling along and doing my best, even though I was spread way too thin. With each post I'll share a photo that captures the days leading up to Margot's diagnosis, eventual surgery, and recovery. I look forward to passing through it once more before happily moving into a "new" year.


  1. Such beautiful poignant words. My heart aches for you now as it did then. You have a power with words, my friend! Next post, I'll make sure I have tissues in easy reach.

    Wishing you healing on your journey of reflection...

  2. And as we did then, we will do now.......walk by your (and Robin's) side offering whatever it is you need to ease the journey. The first anniversary of such a difficult and frightening experience is the most raw and the most healing.

  3. Talking and writing about difficult times like these are the best way to work through them and heal!

  4. You brought that whole time back to me so clearly, Stephanie. Ditto what Julie said. We will go this way with you, if you want us, and will heal and celebrate together. Love you!

  5. Oh Stephanie, such beautiful words... my heart aches that you went through that, but I love that you have this space to work through those moments and share those memories.

    Thank you so very much for your very wonderful words you left on my blog today. I can only hope that my son has teachers as dedicated and lovely as yourself.

    *hugs* Marina


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