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.