Monday, September 3, 2007

This isn't going to make me cry is it?

I've been feeling somewhat emotionally tapped out lately. I don't really know why, but I've been avoiding anything that might make me feel vulnerable. I don't want to talk to people, I don't want to share my story, I don't want to get very deep. Maybe it's denial. Maybe I'm just saving it up for early next year. In any case, you might be surprised then that a couple of days ago I attended the first meeting of a new support group for parents of children with heart defects.

I convinced my best heart-mom friend Gina to go with me. When she got to my house she said, "This isn't going to make me cry is it?" Funny, I guess we were both feeling the same way. I said "I hope not, it's the first meeting." So we get to the meeting convinced that we wouldn't be sad. As we walked into the room to sit down we notice that one of the women is pregnant. And then later a second pregnant lady came into the room. As the meeting began we were asked to introduce ourselves and talk about our kids. And both pregnant moms are carrying their heart children right now. They have the diagnosis, but haven't had to endure the surgeries and hospitalizations yet. And I was so sad. They are just starting out on this difficult journey. They don't even know yet. There was another mom there that I have met before. I knew that her son did not make it, and I thought it was due to his heart condition. It turns out he made it through his first two heart surgeries fine. He was later diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away soon after. That is so unfair and horrible I can barely stand it. Needless to say I was on the brink of tears the whole time.

Both of the pregnant moms are set to have their babies at UCSF and will have the same pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon that did Drew's surgery. I gave them my phone number and said to call me anytime. I'd be happy to share my story with them, offer them any advice that I can and give them hope for the future. I am trying to choose to turn our negative situation into a positive. If I can help other people then at least there is some good coming out of the bad. And yes, it might make me cry, but that's a small price to pay to give another mother dealing with a terrifying situation someone to lean on.


erika said...

Good for you. Talking to new heart moms for some reason makes me feel a bit better, I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the whole, "We've been there, you can do it - it's going to suck, and it's going to be hard, but you can and will do it, because you have to" thing. Sort of like battle wounds - we've been there and we're still okay, even though we may not feel like it a good chunk of the time. It's a reminder to ourselves, in a way, you know?

Anyway - I hope it brings you some peace.

Anne Marie said...

I'm glad you went to the meeting, and that you have a group like this to go to whenever you feel like you need to be with moms who understand. Drew's whole story is such a blessing, you will have ups and downs- but he is proof that you guys can make it through the tough times. It's awesome for you to reach out to the new heart moms- they will need such a loving resource, especially in the beginning.
I hope you are feeling better as the day goes on, and that Drew's sweet smile will bring you extra happiness today.

Jessica said...

You are an amazing woman and mother. I'm so proud to know you.

Dina said...

You put to words what I have been trying for a couple of days to write on my blog. The vulnerability is a big thing for me that keeps me away from a lot of things.
I'm glad you went and hopefully I will get to see you at some in the future.

Isabelle's Mommy said...

I am prpoud of you for going. I knwo that you are going to be an amazing support to those mothers! You are my hero! and an amazing role model! I love you!

Valerie said...

It was funny, when I told Siri that you planned on coming to the support group, she was happy (I was very happy) and we both agreed you had so much to offer other parents. I am so happy to know you, Andrea!


Molly said...

Good for you Andrea! What a wonderful opportunity to take a negative situation and make good things come out of it!

Samantha said...

Hi Andrea,

I am not sure if I have posted here before, but I do read your blog all the time. My name is Samantha and I am also a heart mom.

I think that it is wonderful that you went to the meeting and that you are willing to be a support to the others that are going along on this journey. I also knew before Micah was born that he would have his heart defect...actually, I did not realize it would be as bad as it was, but at least I knew...that being said, talking to other moms before, during and after his birth/surgeries was so helpful to me. So, by you doing this, I know that you will help someone else feel a little bit better, or at least, not so alone during their journey.

Take care!