Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our World Turned Upside Down. And We Love Her

How do you catch up on 3 months of absence from blogging when your world has changed? I guess you really don't.

My oldest daughter, Kate, and her husband welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world on November 12, 2009. Little Aliyah Marie changed my world. I'm a mama of 6. I've been a mama for 21 years. But I've never been a Grandma before. I really didn't know what to expect. I thought I knew how I'd feel, but I was so wrong. Aliyah captured my heart more than I ever thought possible. Even before I saw a picture of her. She was mine just as much as my children are mine. She just belongs to others as well. I would do anything for her.

This beautiful baby girl was a fighter from day one. She was born a month early, and had some problems breathing. We thought that was normal, she was born a month early after all. After spending 5 days in the hospital, she was finally ready to go home, and a nurse was doing a pre-discharge assessment and heard an unusual sounding heart murmur. They followed up with an inconclusive x-ray, which lead to an ECHO of her heart. I was so convinced that this would turn out fine that I went about my day as usual, knowing my daughter would call me with the news that Allie had a little heart murmur, but it was nothing to worry about, and they were on their way home. I was shopping when Kate called me, and I'll never forget the moment. She cried out that Allie needed a heart transplant. I fell to my knees. I don't remember leaving the store, but I know I asked my son to drive home. At the time, we didn't know her prognosis, and didn't even know if she'd live for a week. My husband and I booked a flight out to see her leaving the very next morning. My baby was hurting, and my baby's baby was hurting and we had to be there.

Allie was born with HLHS - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Basically the entire left part of her heart, from a functional standpoint, did not exist. My daughter and son-in-law chose a heart transplant for Allie, and we began the wait.

Our wait ended this past week, when Allie received her new heart. We will forever be grateful to the family who, in their grief and devastation chose to give life to Allie and others. Allie is currently recovering from her transplant surgery. She still has lots of milestones to pass, but she's a true warrior.

We continue to pray for her every moment of every day. I am speechless when I think about the number of people who are praying for this precious babe. She is loved by so many. Follow her journey here.


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