Monday, April 26, 2010
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.