So as promised in my "wonderful world of mascaras" post I'm going to explain why I've been so distant lately and hopfully bring some awareness to something newly dear to me.
Let's begin at the beginning. So last time I wrote a post was Feb something. Well if you've read anything I've wrote before you know that I have many roles. One of those being student. I am in Paramedic School. It's hard. I'm not even going to pretend it's not. Well if and when I ever finish this semester I will be half way through the 2 year program. In other words, I'm smack dab in the hard stuff right now! It's fun. I love it. Medicine fascinates me. But I am so stressed out right now. We have about 9 million things to remember ever single class. It's really annoying. I just keep telling myself "it'll be worth it..." With school I also have exam, which are really ridiculous, and clinicals which take up a lot of time, and also labs. Lots and lots of labs. In class labs. After class labs. Open labs. Saturday labs. You get the picture.
On a lighter note a lot of really great things have been happening too. My sister-in-law was pregnant and I had the honor of throwing her a baby shower along with her best friend. My friend got married to her boyfriend of 4-5 years (finally!) and I got to be a bridesmaid. I was really excited about it too. And my sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy :)!
The baby shower and wedding were a week apart so I literally had no free time. Between spray tans, dress fittings, nail appointments, decorating, baking...really.
Then my sweet baby nephew was born. I love him! Which brings me to the reason I wanted to write this post, awareness. My tiny nephew, Jackson, is a brave and strong tiny little soul. He was born with a CHD, or congenital heart defect. There are several kinds of CHD. His is something called HLHS, or Hypoplastic Left Heat Syndrome. It gets pretty complicated once you starte reading about it but here is a basic over view.
The heart has four chambers. The left and right atrium and the left and right ventricles. To properly function and keep you alive all four chambers are needed. When your blood pumps through your heart it goes into your right atrium to your right ventricle, out to te lungs to receive oxygen to carry to the rest of your body, into the left atrium, down to the left ventricle and out to the rest of your body. I'm trying not to get to detailed here. Anyway, babies born with HLHS do not have a fully functioning heart. The left side of the heart does not work. This can cause a whole bunch of problems that's I'm not even going to get into. Unfortunatly, there is no cute for this type of CHD. There is, however, a series of surgeries they can do to "re-route" blood flow and give him a heart that can function with what he has. The scary thing about these surgeries is that the are open heart surgeries on tiny newborns and toddlers. He will have a min of three. The first was done when he was 6 days old (it's normally done within the first week or so of life.) The second will happen around 2-4 months depending on his progress and growth. And the 3rd will be done when he is about 2-4 years old, again depending on growth. He has had surgery #1. Following that he started to have a lot if fluid build up around his heart so they had to have another surgery to remove that fluid. So he is now just a few weeks old and already had two surgeries. I'm telling you he is a tiny hero.
As you can imagine this is very difficult for our entire family. We are all in a positive state if mind and are taking it one step at a time. I do want to take this opportunity to stress the inportance of pre-natel care. This is one of many examples of things that can, and often are, detected early with consistent pre-natel care. My SIL found out her baby had this when she was around 25-ish weeks I believe. She went to do the anatomy scan and they saw an abnormality of his heart. They immediately sent her to a specialist and cardiologist. They were seen and had the proper care from then on out. This gave them the ability to discuss all options they have and more importantly plan ahead for what is a will be a long and rewarding journey. Had she not known about this before hand, there is no telling were they would be or in what condition the baby would be in. He is currently doing really well. They are actually moving him out of the NICU tomorrow and to another floor of the hospital which will allow my SIL and BIL to be with him 24/7. They don't know how long he will have to be in the hospital. Some of these babies get to come home between surgeries 1 and 2 and some of them do not. We are hoping he does but thinking he won't. He is in some incredibly talented hands.
Statistics show that 1 in every 100 babies are born with a CHD. Not all of them are HLHS but they are all very serious. Pre-natel care and screening is so important to the early detection, planning and immediate specialized care required for these babies.
Sorry I went off on that but like I said it's something that means a lot to me. I never thought we would have to go through something like this, no one ever thinks about it. It's a very real thing. These kids and their families need love ad support.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read all that! Now you can under stand why I've been in hiding the last few months!
Stay beautiful and stay healthy,