21 hours after Hailey's open heart surgery...3 a.m. on July 14, 2011, the director of the cardiac intensive care delivered news to me that I longed to hear for almost 5 months. "The echocardiogram shows the patch is holding. Your daughter's heart is perfect." The fountain of tears started again. I thought it was dry, but there were more. The director looked at me puzzled. He asked what was wrong. I explained that all of this started with an echo telling us that Hailey had a heart defect and now it was all over with an echo. It was some of the best news he could have ever given me!
In terms of her heart, life for Hailey has been uneventful for Hailey since her surgery. We haven't had any reason for concern. Her follow up visits have been good. She is no longer taking any heart medications and there has been no reason to think that she will need another procedure.
We haven't been to the cardiologist for a year. She felt that Hailey was doing well enough. Hailey has a follow up Monday with the cardiologist. I was hoping that I would have zero feelings about it. That is was just a follow up to see how great she is doing. My head believes that. I see her thriving. I know the signs of heart failure and she has none of them. Unfortunately, my heart doesn't always listen to my head. The scars on my heart are stretching right now. They are sore. The feelings of anxiety and worry are creeping back. What if we are missing something? What if something else is going wrong? I can't help but remember those feelings of watching my daughter struggle. I can't forget how scared we were of losing her. I can never forget how tiny and slightly blue tinted Hailey was when we handed her off to the staff outside of her operating room.
I'm grateful that the only knowledge Hailey will ever have of that time is a pencil thin scar that runs the length of her chest. I wish the same for her Dad and I. I honestly don't know if those feelings will ever totally disappear. Our hearts hold scars of a different kind.
There are no indications that the visit Monday will be less than okay. But I will definitely be thrilled when the cardiologist tells me that and we are on our way home!
I know I've shared this photo multiple times, but it is one of my favorites of Hailey's. It was the day after her OHS. This look was "Everything is okay, mom." So hard to believe it has been almost 2 years ago!